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I have an Ubuntu server in my apartment and I just got a printer, so it's time to share!

In the past I've used CUPS on my Desktop and I'd just point the browsers to localhost:631 to set things up. Can I used the web based admin tools remotely?

I've been playing with the /etc/cups/cupsd.conf file and am currently at the point where I can direct a browser on my LAN to server-ip:631 but I'm getting the 403 Forbidden error.

If it's not possible or it's a bad idea for security reasons to allow remote administrator of CUPS, would it be possible to accomplish this using an SSH tunnel to the sever?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Mission achomplished! This page helped me out a lot.

All I had to do was add "Allow all" to to the access to the server and the admin pages so that my configuration now looked like:

# Restrict access to the admin pages...
<Location /admin>
  Order allow,deny
  Allow all
</Location>

# Restrict access to configuration files...
<Location /admin/conf>
  AuthType Default
  Require user @SYSTEM
  Order allow,deny
</Location>

Now I just need to figure out to only allow those on my local network to access the admin pages and the configuration files :) (though it's probably not a big deal since I don't have port forwarding for 631 set up on the router?).

EDIT: To only allow a certain computer I could have done something like

<Location /admin>
      Order allow,deny
      Allow from 10.10.10.5
</Location>

Or for the whole 10.10.10 subnet,

<Location /admin>
      Order allow, deny
      Allow from 10.10.10.*
</Location>
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1  
See also: help.ubuntu.com/10.04/serverguide/C/cups.html –  Jorge Castro Jan 30 '11 at 5:33

The way I normally achieve this is to tunnel over ssh via an arbitrary port:

ssh admin@10.36.8.43 -T -L 3631:localhost:631

Secure, and allows remote access. Won't solve all problems but useful for irregular access.

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+1 -- handy tips –  Felipe Alvarez Apr 30 '13 at 7:04
    
This tip is awesome: without changing anything on the cups configuration, you can securely administrate cups. –  gerlos Feb 27 at 17:46

I found this way to be simpler.

# cupsctl --remote-admin

It will update the /etc/cups/cupsd.conf file and restart cups for you, saving a backup of the previous configuration in the same folder.

It's the similar to the method presented in the official CUPS guide to printer sharing. I found the options --remote-admin in man cupsctl.

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It's sad to see many people browsing/referencing distribution-specific docs, blogs, and other sources rather than CUPS online help. :/ –  spaceCamel Oct 4 at 11:54

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