Sunday, October 26, 2008

'WAY Cool PDF Writer

'WAY cool. Just like the old free Adobe PDF writer of 1998 vintage. It lets you simply print directly to a PDF instead of first to a PS and then translating it with ps2pdf.

The details are at

The article is a little confusing, it talks about both the lpadmin command line approach and the CUPS GUI. ITOT you do all the work at the command line and then check it with the GUI.

So, to install this, all from the command line as root:
  • Install CUPS with the normal software installer (duh)...
  • Create a script file /usr/lib/cups/backend/pdf-writer per the provided text or our own now installed version, doing a chmod 755 in the process.
  • Unzip the designated Postscript Printer Description (PPD::
 cd /usr/share/cups/model
gunzip -d Postscript-level2.ppd.gz

* Download the free AdobeTM Distiller ppd file here:
* Unzip it and copy it to the target directory:Link
unzip -d
cp Adobe/ADIST5.PPD /usr/share/cups/model/Acrobat-Distiller.ppd
  • Add the printer with:
  mkdir -p /export/share/pdf
chmod -R 777 /export
lpadmin -p CUPS-PDF -v pdf-writer:/export/share/pdf/ -E -P \
/usr/share/cups/model/Postscript-level2.ppd -D "PDF Writer for CUPS" \ -L "PDF Backend /usr/lib/backend/pdf-writer"

lpadmin -p CUPS-PDF -v pdf-writer:/export/share/pdf/ -E -P \
/usr/share/cups/model/Acrobat-Distiller.ppd -D "PDF Writer for CUPS" \ -L "PDF Backend /usr/lib/backend/pdf-writer"
  • Then and only then, launch the 'way cool CUPS GUI:

and play with your new virtual printer.
  • When you print test pages from this interface the results are stored in /export/share/pdf
Very very good.

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