Re: [NTLK] I can't get netatalk talking - Oh yes I can...!

From: Karel Jansens (
Date: Thu Mar 14 2002 - 10:25:03 EST

On Thursday 14 March 2002 16:05, you wrote:
> Karel Jansens wrote:
> > Ladies and gentlemen,
> >
> > It gives me great pleasure to announce that I can now use the capacities
> > of my LaserJet 4 to the full, using Linux and Ghostscript as my
> > middlemen.
> >
> > Nice 600 dpi PostScript printouts are positively streaming from my Newt
> > and amaze both friend and foe.
> Congrats. I remeber the "fun" doing this on my old NetBSD system (only
> to a Canon BJC6000... Color PS is kind of fun from the Mac :-). Not easy.
> What did you have to do to get Ghostscript to work as a filter for lp
> (or is this CUPS?)?

This is all SuSE's YaST ("Yet another Setup Tool") doing I'm afraid. IMHO,
SuSE is one of the best distributions for setting up printers - as long as
you stick to YaST, that is. It even beats Mandrake in this respect.

> > The trick was a minor change to my /etc/atalk/papd.conf file:
> > the line which read
> >
> > :pr=|/usr/bin/lpr -Plp:\
> >
> > should have been
> >
> > :pr=|/usr/bin/lpr:\
> >
> > which sends the spool to the default printer (and in my case, the only
> > one). It seems that SuSE 7.2 does not install a Plp-queue (which, funnily
> > enough, S.u.S.E. 5.3 did by default).
> I thought that the '-P' parameter said what printer to print to. In this
> case, it seems more like lpr would not just default to the 'lp' queue.

Yes, my mistake. I should have said: "...does not install a lp-queue...".
There isn't one. In version 5.3, lp was a link to the default printer.

> > If there is anybody else with a SuSE box struggling with ethernet
> > printing (but I cannot imagine that there would be another living soul as
> > stupid as me), I'll be glad to give some pointers.
> >
> > One problem remains, and I cannot explain it:
> >
> > although netatalk announces itself as starting and running in the
> > background at bootup, I still have to activate it manually from a console
> > (or X-term) with the command
> >
> > /etc/rc.d/atalk start
> >
> > followed by _at_least_ five instances of
> >
> > nbpklup
> >
> > before all the netatalk services (AFPServer, netatalk, Workstation and
> > LaserWriter) announce their presence. Probably simply waiting for a
> > minute or so would have yielded the same result, but by now it should be
> > well understood that sitting still patiently is not one of my skills.
> >
> > I can live with that, but I'm not sure if this does not bode further doom
> > down the road.
> I wouldn't worry about it. This seems like the same behavior I've seen
> on every other platform where I've run Netatalk. I suspect that it has
> something to do with the way an AppleTalk network does network discovery.

I've got all sorts of replies to the nbplkup command: from nothing, over
"nbp_lookup: Cannot assign requested address" and partial services startup.

Maybe an Appletalk network is like an old Diesel: It'll start up eventually,
but you have to crank it till the battery is almost dead...

> > I would like to add one last comment about the Newton and Linux
> > mini-howto: the faq advises to reboot after every change to the config
> > files of netatalk, but I found that, on my box at least, a simple
> >
> > /etc/rc.d/atalk restart
> >
> > would do just fine. Maybe this advise is for older kernels. As usual,
> > YMMV.
> I can't speak for older Linux kernels, but I've run various versions of
> netatalk on Solaris (2.5.1?) and NetBSD. Depending on the platform, you
> *can't* restart netatalk. If you do, you'll end up having to reboot
> since the kernel will panic. (At least it used to on older versions of
> Solaris.)

I had a panick the very first time I did the restart thing, but in all
fairness, at that moment the netatalk config files were so scr*wed up that
just about _anything_ might have happened. Since then I've done the start,
restart and even stop routine many times over without so much as a hickup
(this is kernel 2.4.4).

Karel Jansens

"We're here to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and we're all out of gum." (Dr. Zulu of Team Diotoir on Robot Wars Extreme)

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