Most computer users either own a printer at home or use one at work. Printers have become a very popular PC peripheral due to their increasing quality and decreasing prices. Printer hardware manufacturers distribute CD-ROMs or diskettes with their printers, as most operating systems require these CD-ROMs because they contain printer drivers — software that communicates with both the printer and the operating system. Red Hat Linux provides drivers for most printer models, thus the drivers and software on the printer manufacturer's CD-ROM and diskettes are not needed. With few exceptions, all you need to do is attach the printer to your Red Hat Linux system, turn on the printer, and configure it with the useful tools provided by Red Hat Linux.
Red Hat Linux includes a graphical utility for configuring local and remote printers without the need to install additional drivers and applications. The Printer Configuration Tool uses a step-by-step process that can help you configure a printer faster than editing configuration files manually. This chapter shows you how to set up and test a printer directly connected to your Red Hat Linux system. For remote printer setup and more advanced printer configuration issues, refer to the chapter called Printer Configuration in the Red Hat Linux Customization Guide.