Hardware & Software
What to Know About Printing for the CompTIA Linux+ Exam
December 21, 2015
The CompTIA Linux+ exam requires professionals to develop a comprehension of printing with Linux operating systems. The utilities for printing aren’t complicated, but you may run into printer driver issues and additional troubleshooting concerns.
Printing for the Linux+ Exam: Installation and Configuration
For the Linux+ certification exam, you should understand how to set up printers, manage printing jobs and queues. You should understand the differences, advantages and disadvantages between the Line Printer Daemon (LPD) and CUPS for printing.
For adding and configuring printers via CUPs, know how to collect the corrrect information such as the printer make, model, and device driver for Linux. Not every printer manufacturer provides a compatible printer driver for Linux. Last week’s post on “Printing in Linux with CUPS” references my experience connecting a Linux system to a printer with no identifiable printer driver.
Edit the CUPS configuration files
Do you know where to locate the CUPS configuration file for editing details for connected printers (hint: /etc/cups/printers.conf)? In then configuration file you should know how to set printer definitions. These definitions consiste of the printer name, including the DefaultPrinter and Printer enclosed in angle brackets <>. Other definitions set the printer location such as the local hardware port or network location and the printer status. You can view alternative definitions in the PostScript Printer Defintion (PPD) file in /etc/cups/ppd. It’s beneficial to explore these directories and files, but the easier option entails adding and managing the printer PPD files and configuration with through the CUPS web interface.
Also, you should have developed a strong understanding of the Linux file system tree. Therefore, /etc contains configuration files because “etc” stands for everything configurable. For additional info on configuration files and options outside of a training class or course-ware, reference the CUPS man page or CUPS official documentation online.
Print from the Command Line with LP and LPR
Are you proficient with lpr or lp command line options for printing (hint: number of copies, job priority, computer hostname, notify users by email, specify job names, suppress banners, cancel or delete jobs)?
Admins should know how to manage printer queues with the lpstat and lpq command options. They should have the ability to grant and restrict access to particular users for printing to specific printers with the lpadmin command option.
Stretch Topic: Remote Administration
What file do you edit to set up remote administration for CUPS? Remote administration and printing is a more advanced topic, but it never hurts to establish an understanding for the task as an admin.
Gain Familiarity with Troubleshooting through Practice
These topics are among the few covered in CompTIA Linux+ certification. You can gain a full understanding of all the material addressed for printing in Linux through an official training and book or study guide designed for the certification.
Firsthand experience or advice from a Linux admin experienced with printing provides the best learning tool. For now, download the Linux Printing Commands Reference Sheet to learn relevant commands. Then set up and attempt to connect old printers to your Linux system at home. The proper test environment is the best teaching tool for installing, configuring, managing, and troubleshooting printing.