I have a Zebra printer that I'm trying to send a PDF of a label to. I was reading on Zebra's website that CUPS is an optional print server/spooler that can be used for exactly what I need. So I went through the process of installing CUPS on my AIX 6.1 system by going here: http://www.perzl.org/aix/index.php?n=Main.Cups and downloading the CUPS rpm and its dependencies. I'm able to get the server up and running and can add new printers just fine and set them up to use the built-in Zebra ZPL driver. My problem occurs when I try to send a test print job via the web interface or a PDF to the printer via command-line using lp -d <printer-name> <pdf-file>. Whenever I try to send anything to the printer, I simply get back an 'unsupported document-format' exception.

For the web interface it's: unsupported format: "application/vnd.cups-banner"

and for the pdf file it's: unsupported document-format: "application/pdf"

I'm not sure what to do at this point. I've installed GhostScript and Foomatic's filters (foomatic-rip) but I'm not sure if they're tied in to CUPS at all. I found this here: http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/view/svn/pst/cups-filters.html which is source code for all the CUPS filters that Apple apparently removed when they took over this project but I'd rather get some more feedback first before attempting anything else.

Any thoughts?

NOTE: I confirmed that CUPS will actually work as I have a separate RedHat box that already came with CUPS preinstalled. I was able to add the printer just fine and the PDF file printed to it. I know it works but our production server is on AIX so that's where I'd prefer it to be.


OK, got it fixed!

In the off chance that others are trying to get CUPS working on AIX with my scenario here's what needs to be done:

  • Install CUPS. (and all of its dependencies from perzl.org)
  • Install Ghostscript from source. Use the --with-install-cups flag when configuring. (the RPM on perzl's site specifically states that there is NO CUPS support in that package due to compatibility issues with certain AIX versions)
  • Ghostscript installs a gstoraster executable in /usr/lib/cups/filter but it doesn't work (at least for PDFs anyway) so overwrite that file with the gstoraster file from here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/cupsaddons/files/filter-gstoraster/ and take the gstoraster.convs and add its contents to the mime.convs or local.convs.
  • Restart CUPS and sending PDFs will be converted first using gstoraster then using the built in rastertolabel executable.

The other option is to compile the cups-filters package since it includes all the filters that Apple removed but I haven't been able to successfully compile that along with all of its dependencies yet.

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