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Creating a PDF printer

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When I decided to move to Linux on my desktop, I tried to reproduce the same functionality that I was having under windows. One of the program I was using under Windows was PDF-Factory , it actually create a PDF printer. When ever I wanted to produced a PDF, I only had to print to that PDF printer. After some research, I found “cups-pdf”, this utility allow me to have the same functionality under Linux. In this article, I installed the product under RHEL5, but installing it on other version of Linux is very similar.

Once downloaded, installing cups-pdf is quite simple. Just type following command :

# rpm -ivh cups-pdf-2.4.6-1.el5.i386.rpm
warning: cups-pdf-2.4.6-1.el5.i386.rpm: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID 217521f6
Preparing...                ########################################### [100%]
1:cups-pdf               ########################################### [100%]
#

Next, we need to customize “cups-pdf” to our needs. To do that, we edit the configuration “/etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf”. By default every PDF you print will end up on your desktop. I choose to create a directory called “pdf” in my home directory and change cups-pdf configuration accordingly.

# vi /etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf
#Out ${HOME}/Desktop
Out ${HOME}/pdf

By default file are created with a umask of 0077, so only I can read it. I change it to 0022 so that everybody can read it.

#UserUMask 0077
UserUMask 0002

These are the only fields, I usually change before start using “cups-pdf”.

If you have any problem using “cups-pdf”, remove the comment on the “Log” and “Logtype” line to activate the logging. The configuration file is well documented, take a look at it and customize cups-pdf to it full extend.

You can download the version 2.4.6 for RHEL4 and RHEL5 or 2.5.0 for Fedora 10 and Fedora 11.

To download packages for other version of linux visit the download page of cups-pdf home page.

Happy printing !

Categories: Printing