Open Source Printing
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
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.
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.
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.
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 http://sourceforge.net/projects/lpr.