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7.7. Alternatives to the Standard Spooler

If you have been reading straight through this manual, by now you have learned just about everything there is to know about the LPD spooling system that comes with FreeBSD. You can probably appreciate many of its shortcomings, which naturally leads to the question: ``What other spooling systems are out there (and work with FreeBSD)?''

Unfortunately, I have located only two alternatives---and they are almost identical to each other! They are:

PLP, the Portable Line Printer Spooler System

PLP was based on software developed by Patrick Powell and then maintained by an Internet-wide group of developers. The main site for the software is at ftp://ftp.iona.ie/pub/plp/. There is also a web page.

It is quite similar to the BSD LPD spooler, but boasts a host of features, including:

  • Better network support, including built-in support for networked printers, NIS-maintained printcaps, and NFS-mounted spooling directories

  • Sophisticated queue management, allowing multiple printers on a queue, transfer of jobs between queues, and queue redirection

  • Remote printer control functions

  • Prioritization of jobs

  • Expansive security and access options


LPRng, which purportedly means ``LPR: the Next Generation'' is a complete rewrite of PLP. Patrick Powell and Justin Mason (the principal maintainer of PLP) collaborated to make LPRng. The main site for LPRng is ftp://dickory.sdsu.edu/pub/LPRng/.