Print to PDF: cups-pdf

Something I’ve been missing since my migration to Linux is the ability to print whatever I want to a PDF. I find it insanely useful when I want a copy of purchase receipts or just about anything else that I should have a record of. I usually don’t print anything to paper, simply because I’ll just lose it or recycle it and then regret it 6 months later when I need a copy. Enter cups-pdf, a super easy way of outputting “stuff” to PDF.

Installing on Ubuntu 6.10:

sudo apt-get install cups-pdf

Create the printer:

  1. From the Gnome System menu, navigate to System > Administration > Printing.
  2. Double click on New Printer
  3. PDF Printer should already be selected under Use a detected printer, click Forward
  4. Select Generic from the Manufacturer drop down menu
  5. Select Postscript Printer in the Model section, click Forward
  6. Name your printer (I chose PDF-Printer) and click Apply

All set, you can now opt to print web pages, or whatever else to your Cups/PDF-Printer. Ubuntu saves the PDFs to your ~/PDF/ directory (if you want to change the default location, use the last paragraph on this post as a guide).

Installing on Fedora Core 6:

Fedora keeps this package in the extras repo, you can install it using the command below.

su -c ‘yum install cups-pdf’

A few seconds later I had a new printer named Cups-PDF, that when selected would print whatever I wanted to a PDF on my desktop. I personally don’t want all of my PDFs saved to the desktop so I created a PDF folder in my home dir and made a change to the config file:

As root, edit /etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf, locate the line that reads Out ${HOME}/Desktop and change it to Out ${HOME}/PDF. I didn’t need to restart the CUPS service to apply the change, it just worked. :)

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5 Responses to “Print to PDF: cups-pdf”

  1. Don't Work says:

    >>Installing on Ubuntu 6.10: sudo apt-get install cups-pdf

    Package cups-pdf is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source
    E: Package cups-pdf has no installation candidate

  2. Matt says:

    You just need to enable the Universe repo:

    add the lines below to /etc/apt/sources.list. then update and try the install again.

    deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ edgy universe multiverse
    deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ edgy universe multiverse

  3. [...] I was pleased to see that SciTE was in the default repositories and installed with ease. However, saving to PDF required a Google to point out that the CUPS-PDF driver was easy to install from the overly-simple package manager interface, but you had to know the location of /etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf configuration file to keep the driver from dumping each PDF on the desktop. This entry is filed under Home Page. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Leave a Reply [...]

  4. Any theories on how to get it it to prompt for a location to save?

  5. M@ says:

    As best as I can tell, that isn’t a possibility. You just need to set the path in the conf file. If you don’t want to save it to home dirs, you can set up a common dir for all users (not sure why you need it to prompt so I’m just shooting in the dark). You can get more info on that by reading the conf file.

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