David R Newman

Setting a Printer on Linux (Debian)

  1. Make sure you have CUPS (Common Unix Printer Server) and all the relevant associated packages installed on your system. With Debian this can be done by typing:
    apt-get install cupsys cups-pdf cupsys-bsd cupsys-client
    libcupsimage2 libcupsys2-gnutls10 libgnomecups1.0-1
    at the command line, make you are su-ed as root.
  2. Load a web browser and enter the following address:
    If CUPS has been installed properly then a page with six main option should appear, select "Manage Printers".
  3. Click on "Administration" the first option in the toolbar at the the top of the new page. If prompted for a username and password enter username as root and the root password.
  4. Click on "Add Printer" option under "Printers".
  5. Fill in the details required for each of the three text field. All of these fields are purely for human and identification, so whatever you type in will not affect whether you can setup the printer. Below is a set of example details:
    Name: myPrinter
    Location: atHome
    Description: HP Laserjet 8150 Series
    After completing these details click "Continue".
  6. Select "LPD/LPR Host or Printer" and click "Continue".
  7. Set "Device URI" to "lpd://hostname/queue".
    Then click "Continue".
  8. Select the make of printer you are trying to set up, then click "Continue".
  9. Select the model of printer you are trying to set up. E.g. If you were trying to set up a HP Laserjet 8150 PS then you would select "HP Laserjet Series PCL 6 CUPS". If you were trying to set up a HP Colorjet 4550N, then you would choose "HP Color LaserJet Series PCL 6 CUPS". Then click on "Continue".
  10. The latest version of CUPS (v1.2.1) has a few bugs with it, when using it on Debian. This can be resolved by clicking on "Edit Configuration File" on the main CUPS admin page.Where the config file reads:
    Listen /var/run/cups/cups.sock
    Change to:
    Listen localhost:631
    # Listen /var/run/cups/cups.sock
    The click save changes.
  11. Also with the new version (v1.2.1) of CUPS if you are using an application that uses a CUPS plugin e.g. KPDF you may also need to edit some options.
    1. In the plugin window, that come up when you go to print, make sure CUPS is your selected print system then click on "System Options."
    2. Scroll down the list on the left and select "CUPS Server."
    3. In the field for host make sure it is set to "localhost" (no quotes), then click OK.
    You should only need to do this once for each application.
  12. Once the printers are set up you may need to configure them. This can be done by clicking on "Configure Printer" or "Set Printer Options" from the http://localhost:631/printers/ page. The main things that will need to be configured are the resolution, 600dpi, should be more than enough. Also make sure the media size is set to A4. If you want to print double-sided make sure the duplexer is set to install before selecting double-sided.
  13. Your printer should now be set up and you should be able to select it from any application that allows you select a printer to print to. If you click on link given to you in the success message, this will allow you to configure and manage the printer, or possibly set it as default.

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Page written by David R Newman (drn[at]ecs.soton.ac.uk). Last updated June 27 2018 14:44:07.