Print to PDF in CUPS

CUPS can be set up with a virtual printer that will generate a PDF from anything sent to it.

INSTALLATION AND CONFIGURATION
First, install the cups-pdf package, which should be in your distribution’s package manager.

Next, open the local CUPS web interface, go to Administration – Printers – Manage Printers. You should see the PDF printer installed and ready (“idle”); if so, your PDF printer is ready to use.

If you do not see the PDF printer, then add it. Go to Administration – Printers – Find New Printers. You should see “Virtual PDF Printer (CUPS-PDF)”; select “Add This Printer”. Make any changes desired to the default settings and select “Continue” multiple times until you are done. For “Make”, choose “Generic and select “Continue”.

At this point you can jump straight to using it, but first I like to review the configuration file /etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf. All I change is the output directory fromĀ /var/spool/cups-pdf/${USER} to /home/${USER}/Desktop.

USE
Create your PDF as if you were going to print from any application as you normally would. For printer, select CUPS-PDF and print. And you’re done.

REFERENCES
Archlinux’s PDF virtual printer instructions

The openSUSE wiki’s article Printing to PDF is particularly detailed.

Printing to PDF

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About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
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2 Responses to Print to PDF in CUPS

  1. Pingback: Software I commonly install and remove | A maze of twisty little passages

  2. Pingback: Verdi installation notes, mdv2010.1/2 | A maze of twisty little passages

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