Since Ubuntu 7.10, a PDF printer has been installed by default. The behavior of this feature has changed from Ubuntu 7.10, instead of asking for a name and location for the PDF, Ubuntu 8.04 will guess a name for the document and place the file in a folder called PDF in your home directory.

I’d rather have PDFs just saved to my desktop. These are instructions for Ubuntu 8.04, previous versions of Ubuntu ignore this setting. Note that this is a system-wide setting.

  1. Open the file /etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf as the root user:
    gksu gedit /etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf
  2. The lines starting with the “#” character are comments. The first un-commented line, which specifies the output directory, should look something like this:
    Out ${HOME}/PDF
  3. Change this line to the path you want your PDFs saved to. This will save them to the current users’s desktop:
    Out ${HOME}/Desktop
  4. Save and close the text editor. Now you just need to restart CUPS for the change to take effect.
    sudo /etc/init.d/cupsys restart

The PDF printer can be very useful, I recently used it to print a single page of a multi-page PDF to a separate file. The latest version of Inkscape from the Ubuntu 8.04 repositories can even import and edit PDFs.

[update] If you’re wishing that you could have the print dialog prompt you for a location, there’s a bug report about this issue.


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