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Open Source Printing



GNUlpr (Pronounced new-el-pee-arr) is a project designed to improve printing for linux and unix. It's focus is on integrating together existing printing tools and replacing and improving them when needed.


GNUlpr began its life in some work that HP sponsored VA Linux to do. We initially put the component software together created a substantial number of independant projects which encompassed the functionality. The problem we quickly discovered was that no one except us knew what the various projects where, and how to fit them all together. We consolidated all the software into one unbrella project which we called GNUlpr because the plan at the time was to offer it to the gnu project. We may still do this at some time in the future once the sofware evolves a bit more but right now that would just be a distraction from the development of the project.

The loose arrangement of the component projects made it impossible to build a unified piece of software but HP was anxious to release and so we went through two preliminary releases where we released binaries for various distributions which had all the functionality of the forthcoming GNUlpr release but were hand assembled to work around the problems building GNUlpr. These releases were known as the Enhanced Print System (EPS) I and the EPS II release. All of the details regarding what this software does and how to obtain and install it can be found in the Mini-HowTo located at

After VA Linux Systems shut down its professional services offerings and laid of its entire staff. I had time away from adding new features to fix a whole bunch of bugs and work on the overall build system of GNUlpr and the result was the gnulpr 1.0 release which can be downloaded from: gnulpr 1.0.1

Unlike the previous EPS I and II releases. GNUlpr is fairly strait-forward to build and it is not necessary to hand craft seperate packages for all the distros. So it is distributed only as source rather than as binary packages.

Current Effort

Now that GNUlpr 1.0 is behind us. Time and effort are being devoted to three primary areas, replacing the BSD derived LPR spooler, incorporating some name service switch code contributed by Sun Microsystems and bringing GNUlpr into compliance with the evolving open source printing standard. The work towards these ends can be found in the head branch of the CVS repository.

Project Facilities

The GNUlpr project has the standard accouterment of development tools associated with Sourceforge based projects. The mailing list, bug tracking, and down load facilities can be accessed at

Ben Woodard,,
December 4,2001


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