Printing in Linux has always been a little more difficult than it should be. Things are better now, to be sure, but there's still room for improvement. It has always bothered me that Mac OSX has such great printing. It uses CUPS. CUPS was _designed_ for Linux, yet here we are in 2007 with Adobe Reader still falling back to old lpr commands - and with good reason. It's all they can assume!
Anyway, I digress. Things can be pretty good. KDE's print management has been outstanding for years. In fact, I prefer it to any other print system. Their CUPS front-ends are second to none. Not only that, you can use KDE's printing system from non-KDE apps.
- First, install kprinter: sudo apt-get install kdeprint
- Next, read this to set Thunderbird and Firefox up to use kprinter by default
- Now, do the same for acroread. (Or use a pdf viewer that doesn't take up 100+MB)
Unfortunately, I haven't found a way to make all Gnome applications use kprinter instead.