The graphical printing tool in the menu (system-config-printer) works wonderfully. That is also my problem. I would like to understand how it works.
I did the following, more or less for learning. There is a network printer in our LAN. I installed CUPS in a Debian Squeeze VM (no GUI), opened up the CUPS webinterface into the LAN, visited http://ip.addr.of.debian:631/ in a browser in a Win-XP and got the test page printed. I have now a printers.conf in the Debian box which goes like this:
<Printer hp_lj_on_deb> Info HP LaserJet .... MakeModel HP LaserJet 4250 Foomatic/Postscript DeviceURI socket://172.18.1.254:9100 ... Shared Yes ...
Now I install CUPS in #! VM, visited http://localhost:631/ in it and created a printer which is connected to hp_lj_on_deb above. The printers.conf says:
<Printer cb_printer_to_deb> AuthInfoRequired none Info HP LaserJet 4250 through deb Location office MakeModel HP LaserJet 4050 Series Postscript (recommended) DeviceURI http://172.18.1.241:631/printers/hp_lj_on_deb ... Shared No ....
Now I open the printer installation tool system-config-printer to find out _two_ new printers there. The new one shows under properties "ipp://172.18.1.241:631/printers/hp_lj_on_deb" and has a different driver, "HP LaserJet 4250 Foomatic/Postscript on ...".
Who installed that? Does is bypass CUPS? cups/printers.conf has no record of it.