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Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:42 pm
by dickon
Gavinmc42 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:20 am
Linux has cups?
Linux has CUPS.
Never tested Pi printing, what works and what does not?
Better on a different thread, is there a printing thread?
Dunno. I did setup CUPS on a 2B as a network print server at one point, but had to give up. The rasterisation process consumes a vast amount of RAM, and the machine couldn't handle it in anything like a reasonable amount of time. I'll be surprised if a 4B4 can't manage it, though. After that it's just a matter of sourcing a PPD for the printer: go for printers with Mac OS drivers: Apple now own CUPS, and all Mac OS-compatible printers must have a PPD somewhere in their driver bundles.

(Mods: feel free to shunt this elsewhere / delete it entirely if you're not happy with it here. But it was a direct question I have an answer to)

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:54 pm
by bjtheone
RossDv8 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:29 am
So the Pi 4 might not be a replacement for a real PC because it does not have Skype. But for me, sho doesn;t need Skype, it has far exceeded any hopes. I've said before if it wasn;t for the lack of printing ability (not the Pis fault) it would be completely replacing my 'real' Desktop PC.
I will point out that this issue is not due to Linux, but due to your selection of printers. Linux prints very well. It has been happily printing complex CAD files (both E & MCad) for a very very long time. After all Unix used to be the gold standard in "real" document publishing before Windows was a useful OS. I have used Linux as my sole OS at home since the mid 90s and been happily printing on a variety of inkjets and lasers. However, certain large consumer focused printer manufacturers suck at releasing printer drivers for Unix or Linux. I concede that you may get into a situation if you are doing some sort of niche specialty printing that you may have an issue with printer availability, but for general purpose printing, there is lots of choice.

Now for most printers, you can find a generic print driver and get them to work. This does sometimes involves a lot of mucking about, pain and frustration. However, claiming Linux can't print due to a particular printer not supporting Linux is pretty much the same argument as the Pi is not a real desktop, since Microsoft will not release version of Skype for it.

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:01 pm
by bjtheone
dickon wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:42 pm
Dunno. I did setup CUPS on a 2B as a network print server at one point, but had to give up. The rasterisation process consumes a vast amount of RAM, and the machine couldn't handle it in anything like a reasonable amount of time. I'll be surprised if a 4B4 can't manage it, though. After that it's just a matter of sourcing a PPD for the printer: go for printers with Mac OS drivers: Apple now own CUPS, and all Mac OS-compatible printers must have a PPD somewhere in their driver bundles.

(Mods: feel free to shunt this elsewhere / delete it entirely if you're not happy with it here. But it was a direct question I have an answer to)
The funny thing is that the Pi 4 I have has 4 times the ram of the x86 laptop it replaced as my daily driver. Given that I have deliberately selected printers that have decent Linux support, the Pi 4 has absolutely zero issues printing. The 3B+ also had zero issues printing.

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:15 pm
by dickon
bjtheone wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:01 pm
The funny thing is that the Pi 4 I have has 4 times the ram of the x86 laptop it replaced as my daily driver. Given that I have deliberately selected printers that have decent Linux support, the Pi 4 has absolutely zero issues printing. The 3B+ also had zero issues printing.
It very much depends on your printers. If they speak PostScript, then you're done: CUPS will simply hand that off to the printer and wait for the results. If not, then Ghostscript gets involved, and produces a bitmapped image -- A4 at 600dpi and 24b is a big file (~100MB IIRC), and not unreasonable for a colour printer -- and running all the PostScript in software on a Pi is going to take some time.

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:30 pm
by rpdom
dickon wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:15 pm
It very much depends on your printers. If they speak PostScript, then you're done: CUPS will simply hand that off to the printer and wait for the results. If not, then Ghostscript gets involved, and produces a bitmapped image -- A4 at 600dpi and 24b is a big file (~100MB IIRC), and not unreasonable for a colour printer -- and running all the PostScript in software on a Pi is going to take some time.
Totally. My main printer is networked and supports PostScript (along with PDF, Esc/P and HPPCL). Works absolutely fine with all my Linux systems. I also have a PI 2B driving one of those 54mm thermal printers (the ZJ sort) and a PI 3B driving an 80mm thermal printer.

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:52 pm
by HawaiianPi
RossDv8 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:29 am
I throw the power switch, turn around and grab my coffee from the table, turn on my keyboard and by the time I'm seated, Raspbian is waiting ready to use. In a a lot less time than the Brix can bring up XFCE, and if I wanted the Brix to boot Plasma 5, I could turn it on and MAKE my coffee!
I always have to laugh when people use boot time as a benefit of using a Pi, since the Pi really doesn't boot all that fast. Sure it's easy to find examples of computers that boot less quickly, but it's just as easy to find ones that boot faster.

My Windows 10 laptop boots in under 10 seconds (yes, that's from a fully powered off and not hibernated state). It's a relatively inexpensive budget gaming laptop from a few years ago with an NVMe SSD.

Chromebooks also boot faster (mine boots in 12 seconds from a shutdown state).

For comparison, my Pi 4B 4GB takes a little over 19 seconds to boot from a SanDisk Ultra A1 32GB card, or a USB 3.0 SSD (128GB MyDigitalSSD Super Boot 2 SATA-III with an Eluteng Blue adapter cable). OS is fully updated Raspbian Buster Desktop with the 64-bit kernel.

Code: Select all

~ $ uname -a
Linux RaspberryPi4B4 4.19.75-v8+ #1270 SMP PREEMPT Tue Sep 24 18:59:17 BST 2019 aarch64 GNU/Linux

Not saying 19 seconds is bad, but it's not exceptional these days.

It will be interesting to see how native USB boot affects boot times. It was much slower on the Pi 3B and 3B+ models (hybrid SD>USB boot was faster, but still slower than SD card boot on the Pi3).

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:24 pm
by jamesh
HawaiianPi wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:52 pm
RossDv8 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:29 am
I throw the power switch, turn around and grab my coffee from the table, turn on my keyboard and by the time I'm seated, Raspbian is waiting ready to use. In a a lot less time than the Brix can bring up XFCE, and if I wanted the Brix to boot Plasma 5, I could turn it on and MAKE my coffee!
I always have to laugh when people use boot time as a benefit of using a Pi, since the Pi really doesn't boot all that fast. Sure it's easy to find examples of computers that boot less quickly, but it's just as easy to find ones that boot faster.

My Windows 10 laptop boots in under 10 seconds (yes, that's from a fully powered off and not hibernated state). It's a relatively inexpensive budget gaming laptop from a few years ago with an NVMe SSD.

Chromebooks also boot faster (mine boots in 12 seconds from a shutdown state).

For comparison, my Pi 4B 4GB takes a little over 19 seconds to boot from a SanDisk Ultra A1 32GB card, or a USB 3.0 SSD (128GB MyDigitalSSD Super Boot 2 SATA-III with an Eluteng Blue adapter cable). OS is fully updated Raspbian Buster Desktop with the 64-bit kernel.

Code: Select all

~ $ uname -a
Linux RaspberryPi4B4 4.19.75-v8+ #1270 SMP PREEMPT Tue Sep 24 18:59:17 BST 2019 aarch64 GNU/Linux

Not saying 19 seconds is bad, but it's not exceptional these days.

It will be interesting to see how native USB boot affects boot times. It was much slower on the Pi 3B and 3B+ models (hybrid SD>USB boot was faster, but still slower than SD card boot on the Pi3).
My boot time is how fast I can wiggle the mouse, since I never turn them off. But then, the same is true of my desktop at home.

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:17 pm
by scruss
dickon wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:15 pm
It very much depends on your printers. If they speak PostScript, then you're done: CUPS will simply hand that off to the printer and wait for the results. If not, then Ghostscript gets involved, …
You might find that CUPS involves Ghostscript no matter what the output. If you do something like:

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cupsfilter --list-filters -d yourprinter hello.ps
where hello.ps is something like

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%!
/Courier 24 selectfont 20 600 moveto (Hello World!) show showpage
You'll probably see gstopdf as part of the output. If so, gs is involved: gstopdf is a wrapper for the binary /usr/lib/cups/filter/gstoraster which execs Ghostscript. Passing -o raw as your lp arguments might pass the data through.

Ghostscript processing time is negligible on a Raspberry Pi 4. Most printers are happier with bitmaps these days, as it keeps in-printer processing simple.

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:30 pm
by dickon
Yeah, but that's just converting PostScript to PDF. Given that PDF is a contrained form of PostScript -- Adobe's PS to PDF tool for Unix is / was called 'distiller' for a reason -- the resources required to do that are significantly less than a rasterising step. Don't worry about it unless it's converting to a bitmap.

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:06 pm
by lewmur
ShacharD wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:59 pm
While I do admire the work and the product (and the price), one has to buy the product first and then find out that basic features are missing and reviews simply ignore. In 2019, where everyone use skype for video chat, this feature is missing in all Raspberry Pi 4 OS. This could have been just a tiny issue if there was a replacement, but... no, no other software exist to date that allows video chat.
The funny thing is the huge amount of posts in the forum here that use skype to communicate for IT support :lol:

And please do not suggest skype over the browser, at least not before you actually tried it...

Hopefully this would be solved in the future...

Best,
Sean
Would you use a sledge hammer to drive a nail? Ever heard the expession "The right tool for the job"? Your complaint fails in that desktop computers aren't the right "tool" to use for Skype in the first place. If you want to make "video calls", use a tablet or smartphone. While I personally, wouldn't use even my Pi4 with 4gb as a desktop, it certainly isn't because it doesn't have Skype. Neither does my Rysen powered 8 core, 16gb, Mint 19.3 desktop. :roll: :roll:

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:24 pm
by Heater
Real computers, even PCs, do not run s Skype. It's a security hazard.

I was amused to read that I had never used a PC until my boss forced me to use Skype on Windows. He had to buy me an MS Surface Pro 4 to pull it off mind. Not a device I would call a PC in the traditional sense.

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:31 pm
by scruss
CUPS is still pretty opaque with its filters. Short of setting LogLevel debug in /etc/cups/cupsd.conf, restarting CUPS, printing something, then issuing:

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grep 'Using following CUPS filter chain' /var/log/cups/error_log
it's very hard to see what CUPS is really doing. Adding IPP into the mix just adds more complexity inside even if it makes the user's life easier. All my printers get raster files from CUPS, either PWG raster or Apple Raster, and I think one of them's supposed to understand PS directly. YMMV.
Adobe's PS to PDF tool for Unix is / was called 'distiller' for a reason
It was still called Distillery when I first started doing prepress things. Early PDF tools fell over about as often as an Acrobat in a Distillery …

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:28 pm
by RossDv8
However, claiming Linux can't print due to a particular printer not supporting Linux is pretty much the same argument as the Pi is not a real desktop, since Microsoft will not release version of Skype for it.
Which is exactly why I included (not the Pis fault) in my comment.
Just as the problem of Linux not being able to print was not the fault of Linux. In the 90s when we converted all our business operations to Linux, and many of our customers' operations, we always had to have a Windows computer to serve the printers. That continued well into the 2000s.

I am not changing all my printers to a brand which will print with the Pi.

But eventually, as they did with Linux, printer manufacturers will begin to realise that there are lots of these little Raspberry Pi things finding their way into homes, and hey, it just might be a sneaky marketing move to port or write a suitable driver.

For now, though, I have the Brix sitting a little over a metre away on the same work bench, connected to one of the printers via WiFi.

Which is why the poor old Brix is rarely turned on now...
I always have to laugh when people use boot time as a benefit of using a Pi, since the Pi really doesn't boot all that fast. Sure it's easy to find examples of computers that boot less quickly, but it's just as easy to find ones that boot faster.
Just as I do not see any reason to change my printers to suit the Pi, I have no intention of trying to buy a faster booting computer when I have half a dozen perfectly serviceable machines still lying around left over after retiring from my business interests.

Pi 4 is booting in about 20 seconds on microSD/SSD, Manjaro in a little less on plain microSD. Either is pretty well perfect, and for the most part both are loading programs faster than the older, though supposedly more powerful computers, some of which cost thousands of dollars.

They all boot slower than the Pi, mostly because they ran KDE , now updated to Plasma 5, and one runs XFCE again.
If I installed Plasma on the Pi 4 I might manage to get it to run more slowly than the Pi 4, but why bother?

I'm rather pleased with my little 'not a real PC' that doesn't have Skype..

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:48 pm
by Heater
Anecdote time...

About five years ago I wasted an entire day getting my Linux desktop to print on our new Cannon office printer/scanner/fax monster machine. Cannon do not make it easy and finding any useful info or driver stuff on their website as a nightmare. Got it working though.

The following week a colleague wasted an entire day trying to get his Windows laptop to print with that same printer. He gave up. It never worked for him.

Even machines that run Skype can be useless as "real PCs". Often you can't get them to even print!

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:03 am
by W. H. Heydt
Since we're doing printing anecdotes.... I have a convention registration system. It runs under Raspbian. The badge printing program writes a print image file (using a lot of PCL) and then use the system command (in C) to run lp to actually print the badge. I've never had any particular problem getting it to work.

Code: Select all

      sprintf(cmd,"lp -oraw -d %s %s",
                  printer_id, ptr_file_name);
      system(cmd);

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:19 am
by fruitoftheloom
Quite amazing the responses to the one and only post by a misguided poster.


Regards Printers have been using HP Envy family for years, always as Wireless Printers.


Is any Raspberry Pi SBC a Desktop replacement ? that is a question without an answer as it depends on what the user requires, no one size fits all.

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:27 am
by clicky
Since this thread already disintegrated into divergent semi-chaos - maybe we can derail it even more:
fruitoftheloom wrote: Quite amazing the responses to the one and only post by a misguided poster.
@mods - is it worth doing something like what other forums do - for people with very low post count (1? <10?) have all thread topic started by them being hidden and directed to moderators to decide should they be push forward (many genuine first time posters question) vs... well - this and similar threads ;)

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:36 am
by fruitoftheloom
clicky wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:27 am
Since this thread already disintegrated into divergent semi-chaos - maybe we can derail it even more:
fruitoftheloom wrote: Quite amazing the responses to the one and only post by a misguided poster.
@mods - is it worth doing something like what other forums do - for people with very low post count (1? <10?) have all thread topic started by them being hidden and directed to moderators to decide should they be push forward (many genuine first time posters question) vs... well - this and similar threads ;)

AFAIAA first posts are Moderated for content to weed out spam etcetera...

Re: Raspberry Pi 4 is not a replacement for a real PC, (as it doesn't have Skype) sorry!

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:43 am
by jamesh
clicky wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:27 am
Since this thread already disintegrated into divergent semi-chaos - maybe we can derail it even more:
fruitoftheloom wrote: Quite amazing the responses to the one and only post by a misguided poster.
@mods - is it worth doing something like what other forums do - for people with very low post count (1? <10?) have all thread topic started by them being hidden and directed to moderators to decide should they be push forward (many genuine first time posters question) vs... well - this and similar threads ;)
As above, only the first post is moderated. Workload would be much higher if we went any further than that. Wouldn't have stopped this post through, it was a fair enough post. However, most odd that the poster never returned so presumably just trolling.

Anyway, we've had enough fun with this one.