Printbill calculates the amount of ink/toner and the number of pages used when printing a document. It uses ghostscript to convert postscript files into PNG bitmaps, then calls percentblack or percentcolour to determine the percentage coverage. Prices may be independently determined for for each printer, with set rates for black and colour ink/toner and per-page. Bill calculation is quite CPU intensive so printbill allows multiple concurrent billing processes to be executed - jobs may not be printed in the order in which they are sent to the queue. On SMP systems printbill will happily make use of all processors if so instructed. Printbill can bill before or after printing, or can be configured to only perform accounting. It is possible to bill based only on pagecount, but although it is much faster, it is easy to fool and is not recommended.

Users pre-pay a quota and this is automatically decremented as they print - alternatively one may just do per-user and per-printer accounting with no billing. Various mechanisms exist for generating a quote. Printbill also keeps detailed statistics on printing habits which may be of interest to administrators. The system may be managed via either a command-line application or via a convenient web interface (for non-tech people).
Interface: Command Line
Associated Programs
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Gnuplot Command-line driven interactive plotting program, version 5
Perl Larry Wall's Practical Extraction and Report Language
samba SMB/CIFS file, print, and login server for Unix
Available deb Repositories (how-to add a respository)
Ubuntu 32-bit

Rating: Good (5 votes)

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