Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My openSUSE 12 Journal - 7: Printing to PDF

One more thing... that I forgot to mention in my previous entry is the topic of printing to PDF.

I'm quite surprised this capability is not included in the base openSUSE 12.2 install since we have OSS version of the Adobe PDF reader (Okular). :-/

Scenario/Use Case:
You need to print out a document directly into a PDF format file, instead of killing trees.  Some examples are:
  • Printing online receipts directly into a PDF for your electronic filing
  • Converting some page or document into PDF format using the Print function
Do note that if your document can be opened and edited in LibreOffice (comes with 12.2), and you want to convert that document into a PDF, you can do that by clicking the PDF button within LibreOffice.


To verify you do not have the ability to print to PDF, open up Firefox and point it to http://localhost:631.  At the CUPS page, login with your root ID and password and click on Printers tab at the top of the page.  It should be empty (if this is after a clean install) or it should have a list of previously configured printers (either USB-direct or Network).

1)  Open up another tab in your web browser and point it to

2)  In the search field, enter "cups-pdf" and wait (1-2 secs) and the results should show up.

3)  (Optional) You may want to Click on the settings/spanner icon next to the Search button to verify you are searching against the openSUSE 12.2 distribution.  Noticed from the drop-down list that openSUSE embraces other Linux distributions as well.  Advert here for the openSUSE Build Service (or OBS).

4)  Expand (click) the openSUSE 12.2 link under the cups-pdf package followed by clicking on the "Show unstable packages" to reveal a 1-click install of cups-pdf for openSUSE 12.2.  You can safely ignore the unstable packages warning... come on, live a little eh? ;)

5)  Click on the 1-Click Install link and follow through to install the cups-pdf package.

6)  Verify that you have ability to print to PDF by going back to the CUPS page (the other tab in Firefox pointed to http://localhost:631)

7)  One final customization, the default output directory for the PDF document you print is in /var/spool/cups-pdf/${USER}, where {$USER} is your username.  For me, I edited the config file at /etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf and under the "Path Settings" section, changed it to /home/han/Documents/Print-PDF/ so I can easily find the document from my Dolphin file browser.

Hope this entry helped save you the time & effort to get this functionality on 12.2. :)


  1. Same problem, the pdf printer in old versions not present in 12.3. Tried this and worked. Thanks!