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Using a virtual PDF printer, you can add PDF export capability to any program with printing capability.

Quick and Dirty Method


To get a no-frills virtual PDF printer working is quite simple. First install the net-print/cups-pdf package.

$ emerge cups-pdf

If you don't already have it, install net-print/gnome-cups-manager to make configuration brain-dead-simple (the GNOME way :-) (optional)

$ emerge gnome-cups-manager

Restart CUPS to for both of these packages to take effect:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/cupsd restart


To get finalize the installation with the gnome cups manager:

To get finalize the installation with the cups web interface:

You're done! Now you can print to the printer named "CUPS/postscript-color-printer-rev4" from any printing dialog. The output will be placed in /var/spool/cups-pdf/USERNAME/MyPrintJob.pdf


Here are some tips to make everything a bit more user-friendly.

Output to User's Desktop

To have the generated .pdf file placed on the user's Desktop:

$ echo 'Out ${HOME}/Desktop' | sudo tee -a /etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf
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Last modified: Sat, 23 Aug 2008 14:13:00 +0000 Hits: 14,298