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Context
Using Debian 6.04 "Squeeze" as POS station. Needs to prints to receipt printer from web app.

There are two printers installed: Network printer [ default ] and a receipt printer.

It absolutely must be able to print by default to the receipt printer while in web app though the system default is a network printer. In Debian ...it doesn't. It's not honoring the "last used printer" in Firefox or Chrom(e|ium).

Problem
I've set up XP, 7, Ubuntu and even Mac OSX this way, so I'm no stranger to setting Firefox up this way ...same Iceweasel/Firefox settings ...complete fail. Always uses system default no matter what the settings, or, which printer you print from.

To get this to work on other systems you do this:

  1. Print a page in Firefox using desired printer.
  2. Ensure print.save_settings is true.
  3. Firefox remembers last printer used
  4. Set print.always_print_silent = true

TL;DR

Firefox and Chrome do not honor "last used printer" under certain configurations. Firefox does not honor print.print_printer, print command settings that deviate from default ...or any other potentially useful settings. In my recent experience anyway ....

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Update ~ This exists in Ubuntu as well and is an issue with Firefox ignoring last used printer ... –  Bubnoff Apr 5 '12 at 0:37
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

No one is taking this on in the multiple forums I've posted in -- well, here's a solution that works reliably. It's reliable owing to the fact that it bypasses browsers altogether and their various tics regarding the "last used printer". Due to the stress and fresh veins in my forehead caused by this -- I am reaping the points selfishly and without apology.

Do this:

Basics

1 Create a 'receipt' user.

adduser receipt

2 Create Desktop shortcut that launches browser as 'receipt' user Eg.,

gksu --su-mode -u receipt firefox

3 Configure default printer to be receipt printer in new account

lpoptions -d name-of-receipt-printer

[ optional - but possibly handy ]

Staff may be downloading attachments, pirated materials ...etc. This will put the downloads in a shared folder so that they can easily find it. [ If you don't, it will land in the new account's Downloads folder and be unavailable ]

  • Add 'receipt' to 'staff' group, or any other common group shared by your main user.
  • Create shared folder for browser downloads. Permissions given to both users.
  • Configure 'receipt''s browser to download to shared folder.

To sum up:

You're not going to use the new account -- you're going to run the web kiosk as this user in order to:

  1. Maintain more than one printer on your station
  2. Have the 'normal' printer set to system default for all other applications.
  3. Still be able to 'silent' print to a receipt printer in your web application.

Misc

This eliminates the need for separate profiles and ...the inevitable hating on Firefox's ignoring user.js, syspref.js and other things it claims to support for this kind of stuff. I'm not covering silent print as that is well covered in other places for chrome and firefox -- and it works.

That's the basics -- you're on your own as to the particulars, shared folder creation etc. The same concept would work in Windows I imagine -- a little 'runas' magic.

Hope you got here quicker than I did!

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