Foomatic 4.0 Printer Drivers Create PDFs

Jan 18, 2009

Foomatic is now released in version 4.0. The software creates PDFs, describes external drivers better and includes PPD extensions.

Foomatic generates filters as PostScript Printer Descriptions (PPDs) that inform the Common UNIX Printing System (CUPS) about specific printer capabilities. Foomatic 4.0 supports the new CUPS enhancements.

Certainly the newest aspect of Foomatic is that it sends PDFs instead of PostScript data to printers. Benefits include the Portable Document Format’s better color management and depth support (more than 8 bits-per-channel). PDFs also provide better transparency, are multiplatform and involve smaller files.

Foomatic now also supports PPD extensions whereby driver developers and printer vendors can create better driver GUIs in several languages (such as for the browser-based CUPS interface or GIMP Toolkit, GTK). The GUIs can include printer icons, tags and manufacturer logos, along with certain presets.

Foomatic 4.0 supports precise and extensive descriptions that help developers better identify printer drivers in the database, which also includes proprietary drivers. Not least of all Foomatic includes the foomatic-rip universal filter in C language that allows direct use of the libraries without requiring Perl scripts.

The Linux Foundation website provides Foomatic 4.0 downloads, or you can wait until the current version hits the individual distro repositories.

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  • Foomatic is a good alternative

    We have looked at the foomatic and believe it's a good choice for "side" printing with the UNIX/Linus platforms. We've used RPM in the past and will continue to use side-by-side with foomatic. It will depend on the clients needs and what they're trying to accomplish. With RPM, it will take a UNIX or Linux print file and print to any printer on the Windows side. We like that RPM will convert the files automatically into PDF for electronic storage and file archives. Plus, you can email those print files to one or many... Either way, foomatic and RPM should prove valuable in our "tool box" for Linux printing situations.

    Thanks for the info.

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