i thought i was going to quickly print off a pdf and get back to my netflix, but the pdf viewer was only giving me a print to file option. i popped open the printers applet to see what was up and noticed i had none installed (probably as a result of a recent DE upgrade to bodhi [ubuntu-based] was my guess). it was easy enough to find my epson xp-446 in the new printer setup window, but i hadn’t taken much notice of the settings which seemed automatic and worked well before.
the connection options provided were ipp via dns-sd, driverless ipp and lpd (aka lpr, which can be used to print from the command line interestingly enough). i figured i would start at the top with dns-sd, but that sent either blank pages or symbols instead of the regular test print. i have a 32-bit antiX (debian-based) install on the same network so i decided to look at that. it uses lpd, but that also failed to work with bodhi. in this instance the third time was indeed a charm and driverless ipp was what i needed.
i realized in the intermediate 90 minute test-reboot-adjust-retest process that i didn’t know much about cups or the different options so i decided to run a couple of duckducks after getting things sorted to increase my understanding. the cups.org doc i found was informative, but technical. the ask ubuntu answers were a bit dated (almost 6 years old: link below), but seemingly still relevant according to the cups doc and also a little easier to understand/written in less technical language.
my overall impression and takeaway was that ipp is the newest of the bunch (but doesn’t work with all printers) and driverless a newer addition to the ipp standard.
i still think it is cool that cups allows ipp printers to be controlled and modified through http://localhost:631/ in a web browser. a comment on the ask ubuntu page even suggested that epson-specific printer settings (possibly others too. mine just happened to be an epson also) could be viewed and modified by visiting the printer ip (which i found in my printer network settings). sure enough there are all kinds of network and hardware (even ink level) settings there for the viewing.