11.3. Installing the Software

PPD (PostScript printer description) is the computer language that describes the properties, like resolution, and options, such as the availability of a duplex unit. These descriptions are required for using 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, many PPD files are preinstalled to enable even printers without PostScript support to be used.

To configure a PostScript printer, the best approach is to get a suitable PPD file. Many PPD files are available in the package manufacturer-PPDs, which is automatically installed within the scope of the standard installation. See Section 11.6.3, “PPD Files in Various Packages” and Section 11.7.2, “No Suitable PPD File Available for a PostScript Printer”.

New PPD files can be stored in the directory /usr/share/cups/model/ or added to the print system with YaST (see Section 11.4.1.2, “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 in addition to modifying configuration files. First, this kind of installation would result in the loss of the support provided by SUSE Linux and, second, 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.