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The title tells you all, except that it's about sharing printers.

How do I connect to a shared printer on the network through CUPS or terminal?

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3 Answers

This answer covers 3 sections:

  1. What is CUPS
  2. How to share a USB Printer with other computers (Windows, Linux, Mac...)
  3. How to share a Wireless Printer with other computers

Apart from something to drink off CUPS in Linux is: Common Unix Printing System

CUPS is responsible in general for making you connect a printer to Ubuntu and not needing to install any drivers. You can say that CUPS is the one responsible for making almost all printers into a Out of the Box experience. No need for additional drivers, Printer CDs/DVDs or in most cases having to compile and do a lot of work to have it working instantly.

The following image is a GUI interface for cups. CUPS also has a web interface. enter image description here

The other acronym that stands out as CUPS is HPLIP which is HP Linux Imaging and Printing. This one gives some enhancements over HP printers and all-in-one. If you are the 1% that has problems with detecting your HP printer with CUPS then try HPLIP. It covers that extra 1%. And it shows stuff like ink level and some other specific HP variables.

enter image description here

To SHARE A PRINTER in Ubuntu is really easy. Assuming you are using the default Ubuntu which comes with CUPS go to the Cog symbol in the top right part of the screen (Looks like a Gear). Click on it and select from the menu Printers (This is for 12.04 and below). If you are using 13.04 and Above you can click on System Settings since Printers will not be there. Then on the System Settings options click on Printers.

You can also open the Dash and type print, printer, printing, prin and so on (Any word that resembles printer) if you are using 12.04 and above. The printers icon will appear.

Once inside the Printers Window follow the steps below to share it in a network:

Step 1

Go to the Settings Option in the Server Menu in the Main Menu above:

enter image description here

Step 2

Activate the first 2 options so that the CUPS server knows that you will be sharing a printer in the network and looking for shared printers. This will solve two problems, one problem is when clicking on the sharing option inside the printer's configuration window will message an error saying "Not Published. See Server Settings". Since the server is not configured for sharing, this is the reason why it is not published in the network and even if you have it marked as shared, it will not appear on the network. The other problem it will also solve is the problem of other network connected PCs not finding the printer.

enter image description here

Step 3

Right click the printer in the Printer icon you wish you share and select SHARED. Also remember to ENABLE it in the same context menu. In my case I have it disabled. You can not share a printer if you have it disabled (Obviously ^^).

enter image description here

Step 4

Go inside the Settings for that Printer and in the Policies verify that Shared is enabled. If you did the Step 2 correctly, this option will not mention any sort of problem.

enter image description here

So there you have it. You have just shared your printer, have given it access for other network PCs and they can also add it to their PC as a shared printer and print on it. Nice!.

How to Share a Wireless Printer in Ubuntu in a LAN with Windows XP

The answer is mainly part of a detecting problem Windows XP has with shared printers (With Windows 7 and newer the problem is not there. But if it appears this is the same solution). The solution is the following:

  1. On the Wireless Printer you wish you share deselect the option SHARED. The CREATE CLASS option should appear in the context menu. Click on it.

    enter image description here

  2. On the Class creation window put the name as you want other computers to see the shared printer.

    enter image description here

    enter image description here

  3. Select which printers will be available in this class (You can have several printers assigned to a class so when a printer in that class does not work the class can move the printing queue to another printer).

    enter image description here

  4. After the last step you should see the new "Class Printer" shared which makes reference to the original Wireless Printer. In the image below the printer EPSONL555 is actually the Class created. Click on this class and select SHARED. That is it. Your new class should be seen by all Windows XP clients.

    enter image description here

For an added bonus you can configure Samba to make it so it shows all printer publicly. To do this, simply open up the terminal and type sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.cfg as seen in the image:

enter image description here

Then go to the part that talks about printers (which are [printers] and [print$]) and change them to what the image shows, specially the part about browseable saying yes.

enter image description here

After editing both sections save the file and close it. Then restart the samba service:

 sudo service samba restart

You should now have browseable shared printers for all Ubuntu and Windows computers on that lan network. This last part can also be seeing in Sharing Printer with CUPS

Note that Wireless or USB printers work out of the box when shared to other Ubuntu computers. There are some cases where you will need to look for specific drivers. For the following makers you can look in the links provided:

HP - Driver Package

EPSON - Driver Search & Download (Remember to Download the correct .DEB packages)

Others - Ubuntu Printer Section

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CUPS is an acronym for Common Unix Printing System.

Here's a good blog post about it: http://www.debianadmin.com/setup-cups-common-unix-printing-system-server-and-client-in-debian.html

from the post:

The Common UNIX Printing SystemTM, or CUPS, is the software you use to print from applications like the web browser you are using to read this page. It converts the page descriptions produced by your application (put a paragraph here, draw a line there, and so forth) into something your printer can understand and then sends the information to the printer for printing.

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from a web browser go to http://localhost:631/ log in with your username password and add the printer that way

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forgot to write, that will not do all the job, but for me it added the printer and then I edited cups conf file by sudo nano /etc/cups/printers.conf adding username and password for the printer which didn't help. So print anything first and the from the printer job queue list , right click on that print job and choose authenticate –  TheNano May 21 '13 at 12:47
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