Before you can start loading and configuring software, it’s a good idea to get a handle on your network environment. Determining exactly what you’re doing before you start doing it is always a good thing.
First, let’s make sure we’re talking about the same thing here. The network-printing world has gotten confusing. There are special types of printers available on the market called network printers. You can connect these types of printers directly to your network without using an intermediate computer.
Network printers are often heavy-duty printers, capable of printing thousands of pages a day. These printers are designed for medium- to large-office use and are usually too expensive for the casual home or small business user. These are not the types of printers we’re talking about here.
This chapter is all about sharing a common, ordinary printer that you plug into your Fedora Linux computer or server. These are called local printers because you connect them directly (or locally) to a specific PC.
The beauty of sharing local printers is that you don’t need to buy a separate printer for each computer on your network. Knowing how to convert a simple inkjet printer into a shared network printer is a great bargain.
If you haven’t purchased a local printer yet, check which ones are compatible with Linux. Unfortunately, most printers don’t come with Linux drivers. A great resource is the OpenPrinting Web site (www.linux-foundation.org/en/OpenPrinting). This ...