Network printing

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

It’s nearly two years since I wrote about session printing, in which the user doesn’t need to modify a locally running CUPS instance in order to print to a network printer. The main advantage of having printing running entirely in the user session is that no special privileges are needed. After all, all you need to do is send the document over the network.

So what’s the current state of play?

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Printing to Google Cloud Print from GTK+

Friday, January 31st, 2014

I’ve been working on a Google Cloud Print GTK+ print module.

Google Cloud Print is a web service provided by Google that allows people to share their printers. In addition to being able to print to printers shared that way, there is a cloud equivalent of “Print to file” in the form of “Save to Google Drive”.

Here is a screenshot of the print dialog (from gedit) with this module included:

cloudprint

The cloudprint module uses gnome-online-accounts to obtain the OAuth 2.0 access token for the Google account, which is why the Google goa backend needs an additional scope.

Currently it can discover available printers, get simple details about them such as display name and status, and submit jobs without any special options. I plan to add options-setting based on the capabilities advertised by the printer.

To try it out you’ll need to patch gnome-online-accounts and gtk+.

Session printing

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

There has been a discussion on the Fedora devel mailing list recently about user session printing: why that might be useful, and in what circumstances it makes sense.

Where I can see it can make some sense to have printing entirely in the user session is for PDF printing to smart services hosted elsewhere: e.g. the office CUPS server, or Google Cloud Print.  Applications produce PDF, so for printing to these types of service there is nothing to do but send the PDF (along with any print options).

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