13.4. Installing the Software

PPD (PostScript printer description) is the computer language that describes the properties (e.g., resolution) and options (e.g., duplex unit) of PostScript printers. These descriptions are necessary to make use of the various printer options in CUPS. Without a PPD file, the print data would be forwarded to the printer in a “raw” state, which is usually not desired.

During the installation of SUSE LINUX, a lot of PPD files are preinstalled. In this way, even printers that do not have built-in PostScript support can be used.

To configure a PostScript printer, the best approach is to get a suitable PPD file. If this is too difficult or if no such file exists, the system can also be used with one of the included generic PPD files. Normally, PPD files are available on the driver CDs for Windows or MacOS. If the syntax is correct, these files can also be used in Linux. Some printer manufacturers also offer PPD files on the Internet.

New PPD files can be stored in the directory /usr/share/cups/model/. However, the preferred approach is to add them to the print system with YaST (see Section “Manual Configuration”). Subsequently, the PPD file can be selected during the installation.

Be careful if a printer manufacturer wants you to install entire software packages. First, this kind of installation would result in the loss of the support provided by SUSE LINUX and, secondly, print commands may work differently and the system may no longer be able to address devices of other manufacturers. For this reason, the installation of manufacturer software is not recommended.