Use PC printers from IRIX?

Mike Brodbelt m.brodbelt at
Tue Sep 26 15:00:39 GMT 2000

Meinrado Samala wrote:
> Hello.
>        I understand that Samba allows PC's running Windows OS to see
> Unix computers (files and printers) as part of its network
> neighborhood.   My question is whether Samba will also allow UNIX
> systems to see and use Windows files and printers as well.
>       We mostly have WindowsNT computers in our lab and we have one SGI
> Octane. Since we already have set up and mainly use our PC resources (HP
> deskjets and laserjet) we'd rather not buy another printer (and a more
> expensive postscript printer at that) for local connection to the SGI
> computer if we can print over the local network.  We have so far been
> forced to FTP image files from SGI to PC.
>       Thanks very much.

Samba provides some utilities that can be used to achieve what you want
- the smbclient program can be used as part of a Unix print filter, to
transfer jobs to an SMB shared printer. However, this is not the
approach that I would recommend for this.

Your SGI will produce output to print in PostScript format. Simply
transferring the job via SMB won't solve the underlying problem that
your printers will then throw up an "invalid personality" error. With
network connected HP equipment, I'd get and install LPRng and it's
associated print filter, ifhp. With these, you can set up a print spool
on the SGI that will receive PostScript, convert it into PCL suitable
for your printer, and than transfer it directly across the network to
the printer.

The ifhp HOWTO has information on how to chain ifhp and ghostscript to
translate PostScript -> PCL, and the LPRng HOWTO has information on
setting up LPRng to talk to a networked HP printer (they simply listen
for jobs on port 9100).

Check out for more info.



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