Krazy Kubuntu Annoyances: Page 2

Posted February 16, 2008

Carla Schroder

Carla Schroder

(Page 2 of 2)

If you want to share your printers without hair loss and raised blood pressure, do it my way. Edit /etc/cups/cupsd.conf and forget all the GUI junk. This article tells how to share printers the right way in Linux. (This page lists more good Linux tutorials.)

The printer article has one error that I recently discovered the hard way, though I suspect that something changed during a routine update, because it worked fine before--get rid of all the policy junk in cupsd.conf. I had network printing working fine, then suddenly it stopped working. Deleting all the policy crud cured it. That's the directives between the <Policy> </Policy tags >. Blow it all away--it won't hurt a thing, and you'll be instantly happier. Moral: don't lard up configuration files with useless stuff, especially when it doesn't work.

I wonder if the various 'buntu teams ever talk to each other. The 'buntus have been weird about network printing from the beginning. It's disabled by default, and the graphical configurators don't work right. And yet Avahi-daemon, the Zeroconf network discovery daemon, runs by default even though there is nothing for it to auto-discover, so it's virtually useless. (Hey, how about discovering network printers? Except CUPS already broadcasts printers, when it's not handcuffed.) Not only that, but I find it interfering with all manner of functions. For one example, if there are no network interfaces configured, it will create a link-local address. This is a cute surprise when you don't want Ethernet enabled at all. You can disable Avahi, or even remove it if you wish; don't be scared when it wants to uninstall kde-desktop too. This is a meta-package, so it's safe to remove it.

Bluetooth is on by default, even though a minority of users need it. Way more users want to share printing than want to auto-discover nothing or use Bluetooth devices. Ubuntu boasts about being very secure, yet having unneeded services running violates the most fundamental security principle, which is "deny all, allow as needed". Managing services is easy, because both Ubuntu and Kubuntu have nice pointy-clicky graphical services configurators. In fact the first thing all Linux users should do after installation is turn off all unneeded services, and with the overly-helpful 'buntu families, you better check after every update too.

This article was first published on LinuxPlanet.

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