Printing from applications


KDE applications show a list of all printer queues on the system. Simply select your printer in this list.

KDE print dialog

With "Properties" you can reconfigure the TurboPrint driver (resolution, media type, etc.). Please note that the CUPS printing system must be installed for this feature.

Other applications (e.g. Netscape / Mozilla) 

In most other applications printing works just like printing from shell: The application programs creates a temporary file with the page(s) that should be printed (usually in postscript format) and starts the lpr or lp command.

In most applications the user can determine whether another print command should be used instead of lpr and which parameters should be used, e.g.

lpr -P tp0
lp -d tp0

(replace "tp0" by the actual name of the printer queue).


Instead of the lpr command you can also enter the command kprinter. kprinter opens a window in which you can choose the printer and make further settings.



To print from the image editor GIMP, click on the image to be printed w ith the right mouse button, then choose "File -> Print…". In the frame "Printer Settings", button "Printer Name" choose the short name of your printer. Set "Media Size" to the desired paper size.

gimp - print dialog

Then click on the "Setup" button.

gimp - setup dialog

Choose "PostScript Level 2" as the printer driver. Dont choose any of the manufacturer specific drivers (Epson / HP / …)! The default in the field command must be slightly changed. Please remove the "-oraw" option. The correct entry is:

lp -s -dprintername

For older versions of GIMP the command line must be changed from "/usr/bin/lpr -Pprintername -l" to

/usr/bin/lpr -Pprintername

In the field "PPD File" you should choose the PPD file for your printer from the directory


Press "OK" to close the "Setup" dialog.

As GIMP prints the picture a bit too bright you should open the Dialog "Adjust Colors" and change the "Gamma" setting to 0.75 and "Saturation" to 1.2. At this point everything is set up correctly for TurboPrint.

gimp - Color Dialog

Now you can choose the print size and position of the image. Use the "Scaling" slider to change the picture size. The print position can be changed either by moving the black square in the preview or by entering the position in the fields "Left" and "Top". Use "Center Image" to position the image in the middle of the page.

Finally choose "Print" or "Print And Save Settings" to print the picture or just "Save Settings" to save the settings you made.

Printing problems with GIMP 

If you do not get any printout, this may be a result from problems with GIMP's Postscript Leve2 driver (Gimp 1.3, 2.x).

To correct the problem start GIMP from command line as follows:

export LC_NUMERIC=C gimp

OpenOffice / StarOffice 


Before you print, you should first setup one or several printers - or you use the driver "Kprinter" which is pre-installed in current versions of OpenOffice. Kprinter lets you choose the actual printer driver before printing starts (see section "kprinter" above).

The printer installation tool is started from shell with the command


(the path may be different - please see the OpenOffice online manual).

In some versions of StarOffice with "Desktop" you can use the icon "Printer Setup" instead:

StarOffice - Desktop

The setup window:

OpenOffice - Setup Dialog

First you have to add a new printer driver. Choose "New Printer" and enter the path to the TurboPrint PPD files ("Driver Directory"). The path is by default


Choose the correct printer and click on the "Ok" button. Now the new printer will appear in the list of OpenOffice printer drivers. Choose it again in the printer driver list.

Choose "Next" to continue with the following dialog:

OpenOffice - Printer Connect Dialog

Select the printer queue of your choice (e.g. "tp0") and continue with "Next".

OpenOffice - Printer Configure Dialog

Choose the default page size and orientation. Then set "PostScript Level"="2" and "Color space"="Color". If you're using the CUPS printing system, you also have to choose the print resolution (DPI). Close the dialog with "OK".

Now close the "Printer Setup" dialog - everything is set up.


Open the "Print" dialog with the menu "File" / "Print".

OpenOffice - Print Dialog

Choose your printer. In the "Properties…" dialog you can change the page size and the color mode, if you want to. With the CUPS printing system you can also change settings like print resolution and print media. Thats it! Just press "OK" to print.

Note: The printout may need much time to process if you have chosen "TrueColor" mode in TurboPrint's xtpconfig configuration menu. You can speed up the printout a lot by choosing "Black & White". Also with the "256 color" or "Grayscale" modes printing speed will be a bit higher.


Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 03:25:11 +1000
> I have no printing problems whatsoever now (that I know of, anyway),
> _except_ for printing from gimp (always worked beautifully with my
> other printers in the past).

Try changing the printing command to "lpr -Pprinter" instead of gimp-print's default of "lp -s -dprinter -oraw". That's how I managed to get my Lexmark E210 (same gs engine: gdi) to print from The Gimp 1.3 under CUPS. Foomatic doesn't seem to like raw input in this case. Hope this helps.

Andrew "Netsnipe" Lau


> Try changing the printing command to "lpr -Pprinter" instead of
> gimp-print's default of "lp -s -dprinter -oraw".

Thanks Andrew — that worked a treat!


printing a fax from the gimp 

Date: 16 Jun 2003 00:51:15 +0200
> I never previously had to mess with the printing setup of the gimp
> but when printing a fax from the gimp to my laser (brother hl730)
> (standard rh9) it pops out about 20 pages of pdf headers.

Watch out with the Gimp. The default setting (on RH9, at least) is to print with the -oraw flag. Fine if the printer really is a postscript printer, but a right pain if it isn't. Go to the Setup Printer -> Command textbox and change it there.

> GQView is an excellent fax viewer - but it can't print - and kfax is totally
> broken on my rh9 - and gimp doesn't want to run from GQView without first
> editing the startup command.
> major mission to get a fax on paper

Serendipity. I had exactly this problem three days ago.

Try the following command:

tiff2ps -a <file.tif> <>

This will generate a postscript file, which you can view using:

ggv <>

If you just want to print, you can use:

tiff2ps -a <file.tif> | lpr -P <printer queue>

Assuming you have CUPS or something else that accepts postscript setup, and that you are receiving faxes as TIFF files.


DeskJet 890C

Newsgroups: gmane.linux.drivers.hpofficejet.devel
Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 13:20:05 +0000
> I am printing only from the gimp; using gimp-print-ijs to print photos
> on HP premium photo paper.  The gimp passes to the printer
>   lp -s -dDJ890C -oraw
> I have read the pages on printing in gimp help, but command line
> arguments are not covered.

Well the gimp-print and the hpijs drivers are two different animals. The best way that I would suggest to print from Gimp is this… Create a new queue in CUPS with all your settings that you want. Then in the command bar put in lpr -P <queuename> and print that way…

Cory hp linux printing team

Printing With CUPS in Mandrake

Printing From Applications

Related Resources: See Resources on article index

Modified: Nov 20, 2000
Author: Till Kamppeter

Printing from applications 

You can print documents from many Linux applications. In most cases you have to enter the appropriate print command somewhere in the "Print" or "Printing Setup" dialog.

The "lpr" command is compatible to LPD's, and thus the lpr usually provided as the default printing command would work. To choose the printer and set the options for the printout more easily, it is recommended to replace lpr in the printing command field by xpp or qtcups.

When you click on the "OK" or the "Print" button of the printing dialog now, 'xpp' or 'QtCUPS' will pop up and you can choose the printer and set the options as described earlier.

Please note that the application often does not redraw its window as long as you have 'xpp' or 'QtCUPS' open. This can lead to strange effects when moving their dialog windows, but as soon as you have sent your printing job these effects will disappear.


In 'Netscape' you click on the printer symbol and the printing dialog shows up. Enter xpp or qtcups in the "Print Command" field, click on "Print" and you are set. 'Netscape' remembers its printing command, so next time you simply click on the printer icon and then on the "Print" button of the dialog.

Star Office 

'Star Office' is a bit more difficult to set up for printing with 'xpp' or 'QtCUPS'. At first you have to quit a running 'Star Office'. Then switch to the 'root' account and type:

/opt/office52/program/spadmin &

This will open a dialog window. In it set up a queue with the "Generic Printer" driver (CUPS takes care of the PostScript rendering, so no special driver is needed) and xpp or qtcups as the print command. Usually you just accept the default entry ("Generic Printer in queue default_queue (/usr/bin/lpr)") and click on "Connect". Then replace /usr/bin/lpr in the prompt line by xpp or qtcups. You can also add an entry by choosing "Generic Printer" from the driver list and then click on "Connect" to set up the printing command. You can even set up two queues, one for xpp and one for qtcups. Neither do you need to set up a queue for every printer you want to use, nor do you need to select appropriate drivers for your printers, nor do you need to change anything when you connect a new printer. With the queue using the xpp or qtcups command you have automatically access to all your printers and can set up all their options. When you have set up your queue, click on "Close" to close spadmon.

When you run 'Star Office' now, just do the printing as usual, but choose your newly configured queue as "Printer". This will bring up dialog of the graphical CUPS tool you have chosen and the rest will be easy.


All 'KDE' applications, whether they are part of 'KOffice' or not, share the same printing dialog. It is one of the few printing dialogs which show a list of available printers so you can choose the printer with a single mouse click. But unfortunately, this dialog is heavily fitted to LPD: The printing command has been hard-coded to lpr -P [printer] and the printer list is taken from the '/etc/printcap' file. This works with CUPS: one can choose a printer and set some options (which are applied during the translation from the application-internal data format into Postscript, the format in which the data is sent to the printer queue) and then send the job to the printer by clicking the "OK" button, but you do not have access to CUPS' graphical interfaces to set all the available options. Note: Do not remove or comment out the Printcap /etc/printcap line in '/etc/cups/cupsdconf', otherwise CUPS does not generate a '/etc/printcap' file and without this file the printers will not appear in KDE's printing dialog. See also Configuration of the CUPS daemon.


Printing in 'GIMP' is very different from printing in other applications due to the GIMP-Print plug-in. When you click on your artwork with the right mouse button and choose "File" and then "Print" in the pop-up menu, you get a rather large dialog window.

To set up your printing job, you should start choosing the queue of your printer in the "Printer" field. Then click the "Setup" button at the right of the "Printer" field to choose the driver for your printer. Here you have two possibilities, you can either choose "PostScript Level 2" and remove the -oraw option from the print command (or replace lpr by xpp or qtcups altogether) so that the already installed driver with its settings (especially the color calibration) is used. Or you use the printer drivers of the plug-in (if your printer is supported by them) by choosing the appropriate driver and taking care that the -oraw option to the print command is supplied. -oraw overrides the driver which is assigned to the queue by CUPS. Printer-specific settings (like paper source, paper type, and so on) can only be set when using the second method, but not in Postscript mode. All the other options (image position, size, and type, color adjustment) are always available. Click "Save and Print" to save the settings for the current printer queue.

gv (GhostView) 

The PostScript previewer gv can print the displayed file, but if you modify the default printing command in the printing dialog (invoked by the "Print All" and "Print Marked" buttons), 'gv' does not remember the changes. To change this default command permanently to xpp or qtcups, click on "State" and choose "Setup Options" in the pull-down menu. Change the "Print Command" as desired and turn off "Confirm Printing". Then click on "Apply", "Save", and "Dismiss".

From now on, clicking on "Print All" or "Print Marked" brings up the dialog of the desired printing tool.

You can even have a printing preview in almost all applications if you enter gv as the printing command. Use gv -, if gv alone does not work.

documented on: 2004.07.24