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Q: How do I configure Open Office to recognize a new printer on Athena?


Different distributions of Linux integrate printers and Open Office differently.
Instructions for Athena Linux are below. For other distributions, see the instructions for: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.

Athena Linux pre-configures Open Office for all the general use printers found on campus.

In the unlikely event that you need to configure in a printer of your own, you will need to use the spadmin utility. Getting hold of this utility is a little tricky if you are not familiar with how Athena has organized the various lockers to support the various versions of Open Office.

  1. Find out the version of OpenOffice you are running by issuing the menu command:
    Help -> About
  2. Look for the line of text below the pretty OpenOffice logo that gives a full version number, for example 2.2.1 or 2.2.
  3. In a terminal window, enable the spadmin by adding the appropriate locker
    substituting the version number for "VERS" in the command:
    add -f ooffice_v_VERS_
    for example:
    Prompt> add -f ooffice_v_2.2.1_
  4. Run the spadmin utility:
    Prompt> spadmin
  5. Select "New Printer", and "Add a printer" on the next screen.
  6. On next screen, pick the closest printer driver you can find from the list
    to the printer you have (an exact match is usually not critical).
  7. On following screen, set "print command-line" as follows:
    lpr -P_printername_
    where printername should be replaced by the actual name of your printer.
  8. On following screen, set "name" as the actual name of your printer
    (same as printername above).
  9. Enter Finish, then Close on the following screen.
    Result: Your printer will be visible as soon as you restart Open Office.

If you use Open Office on both Athena Suns and Athena Linux systems, you will need to run spadmin on both platforms because the configuration files are kept in separate for the separate platform types.

If using spadmin seems like too much trouble, you can always print to a file, and use the regular lpr command to print the PostScript file.

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Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

January 22, 2012

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