Still hating Kde4/cups


Still hating Kde4/cups

Overall KDE4 doesn’t limit my working overly compared to KDE 3.5 (although, so far as I can remember, it doesn’t improve it).  One area where it particularly falls down is in printing.  I have remarked earlier on the absence of kprinter.

One consequence is that it is quite difficult to print to a pdf from an application (in particular MS Word running from crossover) which, previously, was a breeze with kprinter.  The practical consequence is that I can’t print a document with colours in it as b/w on my (admittedly brain damaged, since it doesn’t allow forcing b/w only mode and therefore probably wastes colour toner) Samsung colour printer.   If necessary I could do this by printing to pdf, then using the print greyscale option on the pdf reader.

Not any more.  Printing to pdf is not supported by cups out of the box (forever why not?) although apparently cups-pdf will allow this.  Now I have to hunt for cups-pdf.  Tch!

The absence of kprinter from kde4 is a major major pain such that KDE4 is still a net negative for me compared to KDE3.5.

Edit 28/9/11: cups-pdf installation was comparatively easy.  Noticed some print dialogs for my samsung do have a grayscale option, while others don’t.  cups-pdf dumps to a spool directory.  With kprinter I always printed to the same file print.pdf so I could (eg) include a link to it.  Not sure if cups-pdf allows this (seems to calculate output name based on input name).

Edit: See my “Back to the Future” solution here.

7 Responses to “Still hating Kde4/cups”


  1. 1 Anonymous 26 September 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Another problem that I faced is when printing from Lotus Notes applications, it does not pick up the duplex printing setting that is set inside the default printer setting.

  2. 2 brendanscott 26 September 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Oh yes Anonymous!
    Whether or not it remembers defaults is I think now determined by the implementation in the particular application, and they are typically brain damaged as well. I think Firefox remembers n-up but not the duplex setting, so I end up with 2-up double sided, but duplexed on the long rather than the short side all the time because of this.

    With kprinter you just printed the stream to kprinter and it then used its defaults so… blindingly obvious. Keep all the settings in one place where it’s easy to manage? Hell no! Devolve them to applications so every developer in the world can repeat each others mistakes when implementing the printer dialog. Why not also allow the apps to bugger up the text geometry when using n-up on their own as well (hello MS Word?)?

    I can’t understand why something so useful is so broken has remained so broken for so long. It must be that duplexing 2-uppers are a great minority.

  3. 3 John 27 September 2011 at 12:45 am

    If you’re running Word via Wine, then have you tried installing PDFCreator for Windows under Wine (http://www.pdfforge.org/pdfcreator)? Might solve the print-to-pdf problem for you under Wine at any rate.

    Not sure what distro you’re running, but some still have KDE3 available and may have kdeprint pacjaked separately so you can still get kprinter.

    Duplexing is rare in the consumer world, most people are single-sided.

    Not sure though how problems with Word / Wine / CUPS / Samsung drivers wind up being KDE’s shortcoming. Shouldn’t CUPS be providing a tool like kprinter instead?

    • 4 brendanscott 27 September 2011 at 9:50 am

      Re whose to blame – well, yes and no. The issue for me was that I was in printing heaven before KDE4, now I’m not. I thought it would improve, but it hasn’t. I guess I am more lamenting that kprinter hasn’t made it to kde4.

      Thanks for the tip re pdfcreator.

      Re duplexing – I guess you are right. It seems duplexing printers are much more expensive. Most of what I print are interim drafts. It really is easier to manage a 50 page 2-up duplex than a 200 page single side 1-up. Also 75%ish better for the environment.

  4. 5 Doug 3 November 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Well, it’s not only KDE have the duplex printing issue when using Lotus Notes. I am using Ubuntu 11.10 Unity, switched from openSUSE 11.4 with KDE 4.7, and still facing the same printing issue. However, printing with other applications such as browser, Libreoffice, etc. has no issue with duplex.


  1. 1 Links 27/9/2011:Tinycore 4.0, Android Most Popular | Techrights Trackback on 28 September 2011 at 10:12 am
  2. 2 Solving KDE4 Printer Problems « Brendan Scott’s Weblog Trackback on 10 November 2011 at 8:30 am

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