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Encyclopedia > Foomatic

Foomatic is a configurable printing filter. It uses PPD files as configuration to generate appropriate output for a given printer. It is intended to be used with the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS). It uses ghostscript in the background, using options according to the PPD file of the printer. Image File history File links Information_icon. ... Shortcut: WP:WIN Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia and, as a means to that end, also an online community. ... Shortcut: WP:NPOV Wikipedia policy is that all articles should be written from a neutral point of view. ... Shortcut: WP:RULES Wikipedia is a collaborative project and its founders and contributors have a common goal: Wikipedia has some policies and guidelines that help us to work toward that common goal. ... PostScript Printer Description (PPD) files are created by vendors to describe the entire set of features and capabilities available for their PostScript printers. ... The Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) is a modular computer printing system for Unix-like operating systems that allows a computer to act as a powerful print server. ... Ghostscript is a suite of software based on an interpreter of the Adobe PostScript and Portable Document Format (PDF) page description languages. ...


Description of the package

The components of the package are:

The universal configurable filter "foomatic-rip". It transforms PostScript data to the printer's native format, using the PPD as configuration. It needs a low level driver (specific to each printer) to generate the final code.
foomatic-db-engine: A tool that generates PPD files from the data in Foomatic's database. It also contains scripts to directly configure print queues and handle jobs.
foomatic-db: The collected knowledge about printers, drivers, and driver options in XML files, used by foomatic-db-engine to generate PPD files.
foomatic-db-hpijs: Foomatic XML data generators for HP's HPIJS driver.

Free drivers that can interface with foomatic

The following free drivers were specifically developed to work with foomatic:

  • pxlmono and pxlcolor, to work with HP LaserJets
  • ljet4 for LaserJet printers [1]
  • hpijs, for PCL inkjet printers [2]
  • splix, for SPL language [3]
  • GDI, [4]

GDI is short for Graphics Device Interface or Graphical Device Interface, and is one of the three core components or subsystems of Microsoft Windows. ...

How it works

As everything under CUPS, foomatic supposes that applications will produce output in Postscript. If the output is sent to a Postscript printer, no further action is needed. Otherwise, the most generic way to act is:

  • Create a raster file from the Postscript (ps2raster, usually using ghostscript in the background)
  • Create a printer language file from the raster data (raster2xxx, using the raster driver of the printer)
  • Send the printer language file to the printer

But if foomatic-rip "knows" about the available printer, it will translate the postscript data directly to the printer's language, without creating the intermediate raster file. Suppose the smiley face in the top left corner is an RGB bitmap image. ...

External links

  • Foomatic page

  Results from FactBites:
LinuxPrinting.org: Foomatic (703 words)
Foomatic is a database-driven system for integrating free software printer drivers with common spoolers under Unix.
Foomatic and vendor PPD files should also be loaded into client software including OpenOffice, the GIMP, GPR, or Windows or MacOS clients.
Foomatic's database engine generates PPD files from the data in Foomatic's XML database.
  More results at FactBites »



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