[buug] xprint daemon

Ian Zimmerman itz at buug.org
Wed Jun 30 19:52:16 PDT 2004

Hi, those who run up-to-date Debian know that Mozilla and Firefox don't
have built-in PostScript printing enabled anymore (and other X programs
will probably follow the same path sooner or later).  Instead, printing
from Mozilla now requires the Xprint server.

But I only need to print quite rarely; in fact I don't even have a dead
tree printer, all I want to do is occassionally "print to file", upload
the output to my work machine and print it there the next day.  So
running Xprint all the time seems quite wasteful, especially because it
appears to be just a hacked copy of the regular X server, the worst hog
among daemons.

I'd like to set up Xprint to be started on demand through inetd.  The
README.Debian file hints that it is possible but it doesn't give any
specific advice or examples.  I could simply charge ahead but I am
the worrying type, so these questions come to mind:

1/ how does the client (Mozilla) know on which X display to contact
the Xprint daemon?  It seems when Xprint is started the "official" way,
from an initscript, the initscript sets up a file in /var/run or /tmp
listing the available displays.  But if it's started on demand, that
list obviously won't exist.

2/ how does the Xprint daemon itself know it is being run through inetd,
and thus that it should run the protocol on stdin/stdout rather than
listen on a socket?  There's no _documented_ option to tell it so (the
whole manpage for the daemon seems to be just a customized copy of the
Xserver manpage).

TIA for answers, hints, or pointers.

"It's not true or not."  A reality show producer (real quote)

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