Tuesday Feb 23, 2010

cups-pk-helper would not be on Opensolaris

Just saw Vincent Vuntz's blog on a fine-grained control for printer related operations on system-config-printer based on Policy Kit. That is the Print Manager for CUPS on a number of distributions including OpenSolaris. Tim Waugh has also blogged about this here

Unfortunately, OpenSolaris users will not be able to get this feature though since PolicyKit is not part of OpenSolaris.

Tuesday Nov 03, 2009

SUNWgtk2-print-cups /SUNWgtk2-print-papi in OpenSolaris 126

Part of the preparation for making CUPS as default on OpenSolaris, I have split out 2 packages SUNWgtk2-print-cupsand SUNWgtk2-print-papi in OpenSolaris 126 from SUNWgtk2.

Why did I do that?
The primary reason is that when LP ceases to the default print system on the LiveCD, having the PAPI print backend on the liveCD and not have /usr/lib/libpapi.so, all the applications that have print dialog will \*CRASH\*.

Splitting this out allows the PAPI print backend not to be installed on the liveCD when CUPS becomes default and allows applications to continue to work properly.

When will CUPS as default happen?
The basic code to switch CUPS as default is in b127, however, a lots of packages refactoring is being worked on so that CUPS will be slimmer than LP on the LiveCD. The credit for that belongs to Gowtham T (and as usual Norm as the adviser).

So when will CUPS as default becomes a reality from the LiveCD, that is all in the capable hands of Dave Miner and David Comay :).

So in the meantimes, in b126/127, you may have to do:

$ pfexec pkg install SUNWgtk2-print-cups

if you are already using CUPS and noticed that all the printers you used to see is not visible in the print dialog.

Why can this be fixed automatically?
It seems until facets is implemented in IPS, I cannot easily specify some of the interdependencies easily. (see discussion thread here, here)

While I am goggling, it is really excited to see that Bart is implementing facets with this bug.

GREAT News!

Tuesday Feb 10, 2009

CUPS Print Manager in build 107

Some of you may have read from Cyril Plisko's blog that in SXCE 107, desktop-print-management supports CUPS. What does that mean? I guess 99% of OpenSolaris users do not know even that the command, desktop-print-management even exists.

Well, it is technical solution that Norm Jacobs came up to have 2 print systems to co-exist in OpenSolaris in a painless way. In simple terms, when the system admin has set the machine to use LP, all the printing related commands point to that of LP; when it is using CUPS, it points to CUPS version of the commands.

'desktop-print-management' is the command behind the menu entry,

OpenSolaris: System->Administration->Print Manager
SXCE: Java logo->Administration->Print Manager

In build 107 when you have set print system to CUPS, will launch system-config-printer. A GUI Print Manager for CUPS from the fedora community. Tim Waugh has been \*incredible\* in making this happened. A screen shot of the main window.

From system-config-printer

A couple of gotchas which I must mention here:

  • After you switch from LP to CUPS (second part of the page) , you should logout and login again. Otherwise, you will get a Add Printer Dialog for LP pop up when a USB printer is inserted. Since that is for LP, even if you add the prit queue, it will not be shown up in the System Config Printer Dialog.

  • The CUPS equivalence of the LP Add Printer Dialog through the package hal-cups-utils is work in progress.
  • Monday Feb 02, 2009

    Printing blogs/paper in Japanese

    Ken Okubo has kindly translated the following blogs/paper into Japanese. I hope the Japanese readers will find them useful! Kudo to Ken who works so hard and yet stay pretty low profile.

    Ken, I have also updated the blogs to include links to those translated pages as you have suggested.

    Japanese version of OpenSolaris Print manager blog

    Japanese version of Groups Manager Concepts

    Japanese version of Presto Auto Discovery printers - paper submitted for OpenSolaris Developer conference

    I must admit it feels nice when I look at the all the katakana/hirakana glyphs, especially when some characters I can recognize like, "容易". That is the Ultimate goal of all user's experience!

    Wednesday Dec 10, 2008

    OpenSolaris 2008.11 Network Printers - auto-discovery using snmp

    Presto is an effort to fill the printing gaps in Solaris/OpenSolaris. The idea of Presto is to automate the process of locating printers as much as possible. So now with the integration of OpenSolaris Print Manager, we can now:


    • auto-detect local USB printers and prompt user to create queue on a pre-filled dialog when it is first plugged in.
    • OpenSolaris Print Manager allows user to do more print queues and print jobs operations as I have previously blogged here.

    One hidden jewel of Presto which is not available by default after installing OpenSolaris 2008.11 is the auto-discovery of network printers. Due the space constraint of Live CD, one of the package that the auto-discovery of network printer required is omitted from the Live CD, SUNMWsmmgr. To use this feature:

    • Launch Package Manager (a.k.a Add More Software) on the desktop
    • Search for 'SUNWsmmgr', you should see it is not installed
    • Click on the check box to its left
    • Click on Install/Update on the tool bar

    After installation, you have to restart the following SMF services:

    • svcadm restart hal (the process /usr/lib/hal/hald-addon-network-discovery should be running)
    • svcadm enable printers:snmp (make sure that this service is started correctly)

    Launch System->Administration->Print Manager, any network printer in your sub-net that talks snmp should be automatically added to the system and appear in the Print Manager. It will take about a minute for that to be shown.

    More on-line documentation about the Print Manager is here

    Tuesday Oct 07, 2008

    OpenSolaris Print Manager

    Japanese version of this blog
    This is something I should have blogged about earlier, it is always very hard for me to do something that I have stopped doing for a little while and under time constraints. Better late than never...

    The Phase II of the Presto project as detailed in section 4 of the paper had finally integrated into Solaris Nevada build 97 in mid August. A HUGE THANKS to Norm , Wendy, Calum for sticking in through phase I and II of the project. Though the greatest honors should be bestowed on Evan and Halton who resolved more than 90 bugs between them over the last few weeks before integration! Of course, they would be so great without all the bugs logged by Conny Cheng :).

    So what are the features in this release:
    o A shinning brand new Print Manager which supports Auto Detection of local USB printer. See this,
    opensolaris-pm-all-printers
    o It also auto-discover network printers when this service, svc:/network/device-discovery/printers:snmp is turned on
    o Added queues are automatically reflected in the Print Manager Queue window.
    o The Print Manager also provides a Printer Group view and a job view.
    o The print system supported is LP, no CUPS yet (just to disappoint a few, sorry)

    Details of the Printer Group is described in the paper above and also in my previous blog

    Thanks to Juanita and Calum, we also integrated the Online Help into Nevada 99. Thanks go to Matt for dealing with the yelp required format. This has been truly a team worked project! It has been GREAT experience when there were times when I thought I would never see the end it :)

    Update: Added the screen shot owned to Alberto (a.k.a ARC).

    Friday May 09, 2008

    Conferences Over the Summer

    I had submitted two abstracts in April to two conferences over the summer. The good news is both of them have been accepted!
    o OpenSolaris Developer Conference, June 25-27, 2008 Prague, Czech Republic.
    o GUADEC 2008, July 7-12, 2008, Istanbul, Turkey.

    The schedule for both conferences have now been published OSDEVCON 2008 schedule and GUADEC 2008 schedule.

    The OSDEVCON is also about Printing Tools, it is primarily concentrated on Presto on OpenSolaris Desktop. While I have been looking forwards going to Prague (never been there before) to talk about Presto and also meet face to face with many of the OpenSolaris developers. Despite all the good reasons to go, I could not make it due to unforeseen family circumstances. So to this end, Michal Pryc has kindly agreed to present the paper on my behalf. Thanks Migi!

    The GUADEC session is a BOF on Printing Tools, so in order to make it to work well, I need input/involvement of the communities. So I really look forwards to see everyone who is interested in printing or your applications have printing elements in them to be there! I plan to provide you an update on the GSOC project that I am mentoring on Integrated Printer Management. So Rui, pressure is ON! :)

    Monday Apr 28, 2008

    Mentoring GSOC on Printer Management

    I have meant to write this up last week. I am mentoring for the first time ever for GSOC. His name is Rui Tiago Cação Matos, a final year of Computers and
    Telematic Engineering at the University of Aveiro [1]. He will be working to improve the GUI for system-config-printer. The broad goal is to make it ready as a candidate for printers management to be blessed by the GNOME release team :)

    Welcome Rui!! Looking forwards to work with you!

    [1] It is in Portuguese, another little thing in life that I have to start learning :).
    Though I am glad Rui's English is actually very good.

    Monday Apr 07, 2008

    GSOC 2008 - Integrated Printer Management for GNOME

    Even since I expressed my interest in a BOF session to talk about tools for printers management in GAUDEC 2008, a number of things have happened since:

    \* I have volunteered myself to be a mentor to the GNOME GSOC 2008 for Integrated Printer Management
    \* I have also received a couple of direct inquiries from students who expressed interest to want to work on it. Both of them show great potential to make this project a success! I really hope that this project do get accepted, this is something really need to tackle head on, a GSOC project will help tremendously to make a head start!
    \* Google has extended the student submission deadline from 31st March to 07 April, 5:00 PM PDT /00:00 UTC April 8, 2008. That is less than 8 hours from now. Hurry Up if you are interested in this project.
    \* I have some very helpful comments from last BOF post. Thank you All! Keep it coming.

    Still, I am looking to hear from You who are working in printer related tools! (Hints, hints, fedora folks, ubuntu folks, OpenSUSE folks, BSD folks, Debian folks ... and those I have not mentioned :-)).

    Tuesday Mar 25, 2008

    BOF proposed for GUADEC 2008

    As I will be on vocation for the next 3 days, so I thought it is best that I submit my BOF (bird of feathers) proposal early. So below is the abstract I have written up.

    The GNOME community has not prioritized printing since the last gallant efforts by Alex Larson and John Palmieri back in 2006. With the gradual adoption of GTK+ printing, the GNOME desktop has finally got all its components to use GTK+ print dialog in 2.22.0. With the unified application print dialog at hand, it is about time to move on to the printing tools. Currently, various distros come up with each unique solutions. While the existing tools are usable and are making steady progress, there is no such printing tools endorsed by GNOME as such.

    The author proposes the following area for discussion:
    \* printer management tool that support major print systems such as CUPS, Windows and LP (with pluggable modules)
    \* examine the existing tools to enumerate the major must have and separate into nice to have features. The possible tools for evaluation include, gnome-cups-manager, gnome-cups-add, system-config-printer, and ospm-pm [1].
    \* consolidate the (possible) GSOC work on integrated printer management if the project does go ahead.
    \* create opportunities for the interested parties to work together.

    [1] Most people are familiar with gnome-cups-manager, gnome-cups-add and system-config-printer as these have been around for sometimes. ospm-pm is at an early stage and there are useful features worth sharing.

    If you are interested in involving with this work, please drop me a line regardless of whether you are going to GUADEC or not, here or post me a comment :) THANKS!

    Tuesday Mar 18, 2008

    OpenSolaris not selected by GSOC 2008

    I am rather disappointed that GSOC (Google Summer of Code) 2008 have not selected OpenSolaris as one of the Open Source community to participate the programme this year. Rahul is the bearer of the bad news. The complete list of Open Source communities that made GSOC 2008 is here. Rahul thinks OpenSolaris is too big a project to be there. He suggested next year we should choose "Indiana" or "DTrace" instead.

    It's such a pity that OpenSolaris itself not making it, I am saddened that my printing related proposals are now left on the long list of things to be done :(. Also missing a opportunity to be part if the mentoring experience. Well, we can always try again next year.

    Wednesday Feb 27, 2008

    OpenSolaris Printing Demo - Organising printer Groups

    Two Flash movies to demonstrate the Printers Group concept in Print Manager

    [Read More]

    Monday May 14, 2007

    OpenSolaris Printing - Presto in Flash Demo

    Norm Jacobs did a nice job in creating a flash demo on how the Presto project (Automatic Detection/Discovery Printers in OpenSolaris). Even though, the project is in its early stage of its full features, this flash demo clearly illustrates graphically what the project intends to achieve.

    Friday May 04, 2007

    Solaris Printing Experience - Presto

    I once heard a Solaris senior director said (para-phrased to that effect), "If you (as developer) can endure the first 36 hours of using Solaris, you are hooked for the rest of development life". Indeed there are really cool technologies in Solaris and the building up of OpenSolaris community with the huge Java community, and the free tools that Sun gave away for free make Open development a practicality.

    So what are these 36 hours of endurance that some developers complain about and wish it is easier. My guess there are four big things (after you got the Solaris Developer kits). Take these in chronological order, they would be:
    1. Installation of the system
    2. network/wireless drivers
    3. graphics card setup
    4. printer setup

    2 and 3 are really part of the system installation. They are mandatory part of the process, so no matter how hard that part of the process is, it is generally took on by the user as part of life.

    Setting up printer part is usually happened when the user has decided that he needs to read What's New on the train home or about to print his airline tickets, there is no printer to be found anywhere :(. So he starts hunting around wondering how he can hook up his free bubble jet printer to work. Wouldn't it be nice if he simply plugs in the printer and the system would simply set it up for him? Indeed that is the goals of the OpenSolaris project, Presto.

    Presto aims to automatically (or as automatically as possible) discovering and configuring access to directly attached, network attached, and remotely served printers. The work here will be integrated into JDS so that the user's experience should be 'Just Works'. Details of the Presto project can be found here

    The first prototype is now available for use, evaluation, feedback or whatever at can be found here. It works for USB printers for now. Try it out, play with it, do send us comment, either through the comment on this blog or at the forum, forum

    It even has a dialog

    Adding Queue

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