AFP printer-driver for Linux (where to get?)

2555 pts.
Tags:
AS/400 printing
Drivers
Linux
Linux printer drivers
Printer drivers
I just moved from WinNT to linux on my ThinkPad. I am now in lack of an APF printerdriver. (I need this driver to help me create printoverlays for my IBM Power System i). With WinNT I used the IBM AFP 300 driver. pls hint me where to find such driver. DanF

Software/Hardware used:
Linux(Ubuntu) on Lenovo Thinkpad T61 (connected to IBM Power System i)

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

As Koohiisan describes, I also have a VMware running with a WinNT, just to protect some of my old investments in sw, BUT I am still searching for a ‘clean’ Linux solution. Some people told me to look into something called CUPS, but untill now I have not found a solution.
Lots of IBM documentation with AFP driver for Windows is available, and so are descriptions on how to make *OVL objects.
Since we see more and more functions from IBM supported under Linux, I hope that they someday will make an AFP driver for Linux available.

I’ll come back to this thread if this case progresses..

DanF

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  • TomLiotta
    I am now in lack of an APF printerdriver. I'm not aware of any AFP printer drivers for Linux. I know this doesn't help. but a bump might catch someone's eye who does know of one. Tom
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  • DanTheDane
    [...] AFP printer-driver for Linux (where to get it?) [...]
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  • Koohiisan
    Unfortunately, IBM doesn't seem to provide nearly as many tools for the Linux environment as they do for Windows (Navigator, for instance). All I've seen in the past was just the 5250 emulator package. I know they now have ported some other software for program development, but I also have never seen the AFP drivers. So, I keep an older Windows version available in a virtual machine so that I can use it for those 'Windows-only' needs. Do you have support with IBM where you could ask them if this is something they have or are working on?
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  • DanTheDane
    [...] AFP printer-driver for Linux (where to get?) [...]
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  • Subhendu Sen
    I am not going to say more ! For ur kind information please link here: Linux helps to manage print workflow And InfoPrint Transform Manager I am not sure, but most probably, ZLM may help u to solve this....
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  • TomLiotta
    For ur kind information please link here: It's not clear if either of those provides an AFP print driver, especially one that can be used to capture the output in a form for the next steps back on the AS/400. However, if prices in the first link are indicative of both products, it might be cheaper to buy a second used AS/400 and code the solution natively. It's definitely cheaper just to keep a Windows PC around and use the free AFP driver there. If sites pay that much, it's odd that there isn't also enough demand for a migrated driver to replace Windows. Tom
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  • Subhendu Sen
    "It’s definitely cheaper just to keep a Windows PC around and use the free AFP driver there."..... The Q asker is not interested for Windows ! Look and observe his comments..... "I hope that they (IBM) someday will make an AFP driver for Linux available." :)
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  • Koohiisan
    @Rechil The Q asker is not interested for Windows ! True...but we are not offering him that as a solution...just acknowledging this as a valid workaround that he is currently using. So, if he wants to print to AFP, he *has* to use Windows...at this time. :)
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  • Subhendu Sen
    @Koohiisan, "he *has* to use Windows…at this time".... why should he ! Have u gone thru the URLs that I mentioned on Discussion Area. If not see it again Here and also Here I agree this is not a actual solution, but it can provide some clue for the Q asker. And for Windows, I think, the Q Asker is more aware than us ! :(
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  • Koohiisan
    @Rechil I don't think InfoPrint Transform Manager does what he is looking for at all. It looks like--among other things--it is a means of converting PCL/PS/etc to a common AFP-type format so that they can be transferred/printed on any AFP-capable printer. The OP is wanting a way to build a document or graphic in a standard program such as Word/Wordpad/whatever and generate an overlay or page segment AFP object which can be used on the System i. That's the job that the AFP printer drivers perform in Windows, much the same as a PDF printer would take normal output and craft it into a document. I know that because I *do* that. Often. So I am well aware of the Windows side of this. :) So, from at least everything that I've seen so far and researched (including years of personal experience in making use of the AFP printer driver), the method he is currently using is the only method that will get him from point A to B at all...at this time. Thankfully, IBM seems to be turning their attention towards Linux a bit nowadays, so perhaps if we submit a request for this driver functionality to them (through our IBM Business Partners), they may see it has some traction and work on it. That would be the ultimate solution.
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  • DanTheDane
    Thanks for all input in this case, especially to Koohiisan with his latest input, which clearly describes the situation. As also stated IBM is supporting more and more functions with Linux, which is good. I am a member of the CEAC (Common Europe Advisory Council) where we work together with IBM Rochester people. The CEAC-members are all appointed by Common Europe, and our obligation is to gather requirements regarding the IBM Power system i. Sometimes it is hard to argue for a requirement, but in this case I'll refer to this thread and pass it through the CEAC-proces so Rochester will recieve it, and hopefully be more aware of this and other requirements that may help shops that move towards Linux on client workstations. Pls support this requirement by 'drumming' through your Business Partners. Having investigated all recommandations I have not been able to find, nor put together a feasible solution. I simply need same solution as known with Windows. I wil get back to this thread as situation progresses. DanF
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  • TomLiotta
    “he *has* to use Windows…at this time“ …. why should he ! That's tricky to answer. It takes a little experience to see what DanTheDane is really asking for. What DanTheDane wants to do is use a program on Linux like maybe OpenOffice Draw to print his company logo into a file using an AFP printer driver. Then upload that file into his AS/400 so that the AS/400 can print that image on invoices. Or he wants to do the same thing with images of signatures or of products or of any number of things. The AS/400 will do the actual AFPDS output. He actually wants to create 'objects' for his AS/400 to use. These 'objects' will be graphical elements that will be inserted into printer data streams for AS/400 printers. Because the AS/400 line of systems is a server system line, it doesn't have a native GUI interface for graphical manipulation of those 'objects'. A Windows PC has been the standard GUI for AS/400 access for quite a few years. Only recently has IBM been supplying more and more Linux GUI support. So far, one necessary item for some sites is the AFP printer driver that can be installed on Windows. It isn't used to send output to AFP printers -- it's only used for an intermediate step of preparing some 'objects' for the AS/400 to use in the future by sending its output to a file that can be uploaded to the AS/400. IBM hasn't made the same AFP driver for Linux that's available from IBM for free for Windows. IMO, it's past time for IBM to make such a driver available, and it shouldn't require $5000 or more to get it for every Linux PC that needs it. The AS/400 does the document printing, not Windows and not Linux. This printer driver is only for preparation of some basic graphical elements into a format that can be imported into the AS/400 for later use. Tom
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