Among the recommended packages to be installed when performing a new installation, is cups y cups-pdf.
CUPS: "Common UNIX Printing System" or Common Printing System for UNIX, is a powerful software that is used to print from the different installed applications such as the browser that you are using now to read this post.
Normally, if we select the complete installation of the GNOME Desktop Environment, an application is installed by default to manage the printers through a graphical interface written in Python using in GTK +: system-config-printer for the GNOME and system-config-printer-kde for the KDE.
We do not recommend initially selecting that package because the installation of the CUPS is accompanied by a truly powerful web interface and on which this post will be about. We are not going to write an article at all to replace the help that comes with it, but to introduce you to the fascinating world of Linux printing via CUPS.
It's a real shame that the Online help is almost entirely in English. I think that in the CUPS official site a Spanish version can be found. To those who know enough English to translate it, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND
read the online help and discover the power of this software, which can be used to print from a home work station, until installing a multi platform print server.
For those who only know Spanish, the few introductory paragraphs on each page will help them to start using this interface. CUPS requires many items like this.
We point our browser to the address of our localhost through port 631 and we are shown the home page of the CUPS.
Table of Contents
Let's say we have a printer HP LaserJet 1100 connected to our team. I'm pretty sure it was already detected by the CUPS, but suppose it is not connected yet and they are going to lend us a similar one and we want to be prepared. Let's go to the page Administration and we click on the button
Add Printer. Initially CUPS looks for a printer connected. In case of not finding it, the following dialog page will be shown:
Suppose we have it connected to parallel port LPT # 1. After selecting it, we click Next and we are shown another dialog page in which
We will fill in the data that they ask us and we will determine if we want to share it or not:
When pressing Next, we are shown another dialog page through which we can select the manufacturer of our printer or provide a file PPD (Postscript Printer Definition).
The files * .ppd found on most printer installation discs. They are simple text files that describe the characteristics and capabilities of one or more printers. The online help in the documentation is very explicit about the use of these files and the compiler ppdc.
After we select the manufacturer HP and click on Next, we are shown another dialog page for us to select the specific model:
In that box we select HP LaserJet 1100 - CUPS + Gutenprint v5.2.6 (en) and after pressing Add printer, we are shown a page where we can configure it according to our needs:
and finally we press Change default options.
After CUPS confirms the changes, a few seconds later the status page of the newly added printer is displayed, or if we are in a hurry we press the HP-1100 link.
and if we select in the upper tabs the one titled Printers, we will see the following:
Notice how the printer also appears cups-pdf with the name PDF.
Share our printer.
We want to share the newly installed HP-110 not yet connected. In fact, we selected that we wanted to share it when we added it, but it is necessary to take one more step.
We have to go to the page Administration, and in the part of Server configuration select options Share printers connected to this system and if we want to print using a URL (recomendado) we also select the option Allow Internet Printing.
We only have to click on the button Change settings so that the changes on the server are permanent. This operation will restart CUPS and return to the login page. Administration.
To check the shared printer,
I tried with a peer-to-peer network configured as follows:
- CUPS server: Desktop machine. gandalf.amigos.cu.
- CUPS client: Laptop. xeon-pc.amigos.cu. IP 10.1.1.100
I opened a browser on the laptop with the address http: // localhost: 631, I went to the page Printers, and there was the HP-1100 printer shared with the URL http://10.1.1.1:631/printers/HP-1100.
We can find out the URL by placing the cursor over the link HP-1100 of the page. For the record, the process of finding and installing the printer on the laptop was almost immediate.
Install it on a Windows XP client
If we want to install it on a Windows XP client for example, we will Home -> Printers and Faxes -> Add Printer -> Next. We select the option "A network printer or a printer connected to another computer" -> Next. We select "Connect to a printer on the Internet or in your home network or organization", and in the URL address we enter:
The dialog box “Choose the manufacturer and model of your printer. If you have…". We selected the manufacturer HP and the model HP LaserJet 1100 (MS) which is the closest.
After connecting our printer, we printed a test page and tested our entire installation in Windows.
Also if we go to the web interface of our server CUPS we will see on the page Jobs how our test page was printed or not. Just add that to cancel a print job you need the user name and password rootunless we have other users to manage print jobs.
Each printer manufacturer has its own book, and printing can become a very difficult task. One of the "classics" in this regard according to my own experience, is Hewlett Packard, which lately seems to stick to the maxim: "Why make things easy if we can make them very difficult."
CUPS does its best to hide both the difficulties inherent to the printer and those related to the application from which we want to print, so that we can concentrate more on the fact of Print itself, and not in the How to Print. As a general rule, the only time we need to get to know any aspect of our printer is when we use it for the first time. Even so and very often, CUPS imagine the "how-to" for yourself.
Magic? Not at all. This is the world of Debian
GNU / Linux.