Barcode Label Solutions Blog

How to print from Linux barcode software and still have it your way

Posted by Susan Fields


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In a business today, practically every area can be managed or improved by the use of barcodes. From manufacturing through medical patient care, and accounting and auditing, barcodes generated by a company’s IT systems make information more accessible and management easier. Whatever information technology you use, the principles remain the same: you make sure every item you want to track has a unique barcode, you print a label with that barcode that you then attach to the item concerned, and you scan the barcode at certain intervals to link back in information about where it is, what’s happening to it, and so on.

When these IT systems are based on Linux, advantages include the freedom and flexibility to create new software programs and extensions for Linux barcode software to the original operating system. It’s also a fair bet that if you need to develop code or solve a Linux-related problem, then someone has already come up with a solution that you can get by tapping into the international Linux community. That means you can get good Linux software programs to let you design and manage barcodes. But will you also have the capability to easily and cost-effectively print the barcode labels?

Go open, but go standard as well 

Linux, unfortunately, can also be a victim of its own openness and flexibility. True, all the different variations of Linux operating systems available today (count over 10 basic “distributions” and over 100 further versions) are based on the original core operating system, but that’s not enough. It can be a nightmare trying to find standardized modules that manage peripherals in the same way. Will a printer manufacturer develop many different such Linux software modules for each type of barcode printer, modules that also have to be maintained and updated with every new release of each flavor of each operating system? Or will it leave it to you as the Linux end-user to find your own solution?

Luckily there’s a far better solution, the one used by IntelliBar printers. Here’s how it works. Within the whole Linux community, working groups exist to help different aspects of Linux develop to the satisfaction of Linux users. One of these working groups deals with the software modules for Linux to manage printers (software “drivers”), which are also part of the Linux barcode software chain. In particular, the group manages drivers that use the most common printer command language in existence today, which is PCL5. This was developed by Hewlett-Packard for its LaserJet printers and has since become a world de facto standard.


All the performance, none of the hassle

IntelliBar printers with networked models managing variable label size dimensions and printing at speeds as high as 12 inches per second have also standardized on the printer command language of PCL5. The result? Easy, fast and reliable installation of an IntelliBar printer into any Linux environment using PCL5 – or if you prefer, any Linux system that can print to a LaserJet, the most widely sold and used printer in the world. But that’s just the start of the good news. By providing this standardized software interface, IntelliBar printers also help you to drive down your total maintenance and update costs, both now and in the future.

So check out the barcode label printing quality, performance and cost-effectiveness of IntelliTech solutions that include IntelliBar printers and a full range of accessories, consumables and support services. Then make the most of Linux flexibility, with an application like open source Zint for encoding your barcode data in over 30 different ways (barcode “symbologies”) and queuing up to thousands of barcode labels per print run. Then use your Linux barcode software to print out what you want, when you want that, and have it all your way.

To learn more, download our new ebook on Linux

Tags: Linux and barcodes