Print Server

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Contents

Introduction

The printing engine in MEPIS, CUPS (Common Unix Printing System), is a powerful print service which can provide print service by many different methods; two popular ones are IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) and SAMBA (Mostly used with Windows clients). The steps below detail setting up MEPIS to serve out a locally-installed printer to other computers on your network.

For a higher level of printer control and to enable the advanced features available with some printers like multiple paper trays, Duplexing, Direct CD Printing and ICC Color profiles, you will need to use iPP printing on the networked Linux workstations. See the section entitled Linux Clients using iPP


Linux-only clients

If all your other computers are running MEPIS, Linux or OSX, setting up MEPIS as a print server is very simple. Follow these steps directly below to allow simple printer sharing. This should be sufficient for most users.

  1. On your MEPIS computer with the local printer connected (meaning this computer will act as the print server), install your printer as with any local printer. Consult the Users Manual for your MEPIS version if you need help.
  2. Open up http://localhost:631 in a web browser.
  3. Go to the "Administration" tab.
  4. Under "Basic Servers Settings":
    1. Uncheck "Show printers shared by other systems"
    2. Check "Share published printers connected to this system"
    3. Check "Allow remote administration"
  5. Click "Change Settings" When prompted for login, enter "root" and your root password.
  6. On one of the other computers on your network (these computers would be called clients), try to print something and check that the printer is showing as available. CUPS on your server will automatically communicate with CUPS on the client computers and your server will be set up on all your clients without any effort from you!
  7. If you are not seeing the printer on the client computer, make sure your firewall on all the clients allow incoming UDP traffic on port 631.

Linux Clients using iPP

Follow the instructions for both Linux only clients and Windows clients: using Samba to set up the server. For this setup, it is best to use a fixed IP addresses for the MEPIS print server. On the client machine, do the following:

  1. K-Menu > Print System > Add Printer and click Next at the welcome page
  2. Choose the option Network printer w/iPP (iPP/HTTP) and click Next
  3. In the Printer URl: box, type the url to your printer and click on Next
    1. hint: It may be helpful to scan the network first
    2. Under Network scan, click on Settings and type in the first 3 blocks of your ipv4 network address, e.g. 192.168.1 and click OK, then click on Scan and again on Scan when the warning message appears.
    3. All shared printers will be displayed after ~10 seconds and will be identified by their IP Address. Click the icon and wait a few seconds, the Printer URl: will be filled in. Delete the trailing /ipp and replace it with /printers/printer-queue-name so that it looks like the example below and click the Next button
ipp://<IP address>:631/printers/printer-queue-name
  1. Follow the prompts to finish installing your printer.

Mac clients

Set up the Linux machine as a print server as described above.

To use the Linux printer on the Mac, open CUPS in your browser by entering localhost:631 or, if necessary, https://localhost:631. Click "Manage Printers" then "Add Printer," and after assigning the printer a local name, identify it as using "Internet Printing Protocol (IPP)." On the next screen, enter the printer's URI. It can have one of two forms:

ipp://<IP address>:631/printers/printer-queue-name

Or

ipp://<ThePrintServerName>.local:631/printers/printer-queue-name

On the final two screens, select "Raw" as the printer type. The printer is now ready to go on your Mac. (Borrowing material with thanks from this helpful page).

Windows clients: using Samba

If you have Windows machines on your network, things get slightly more complex (but of course Mepis makes it much easier!). You should use Samba, which is installed by default, to share your printer.

Linux machine

KDE 4.x

  1. Install smbclient in the usual manner if it is not already installed (not default in M 8.5)
  2. Install a new printer using System Settings > Printer Configuration > New Printer > New Network Printer. Then select Windows Printer via SAMBA in the dialog box and carry on with the configuration.
  3. Alternatively, use the CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) configuration interface. Open up http://localhost:631. Configure via Add Printer. After filling in the name of the printer on the first screen, the second screen will offer a pull down for Device. Select Windows Printer via SAMBA and continue on with the configuration.
  4. Fill in the blanks when requested, ie:location of the printer, etc
  5. Select an appropriate driver (e.g., hplip for HP printers)


In MEPIS 11, the following configuration was found to work with Windows XP:

smb://workgroup/computer_name/printer (e.g., smb://MSHOME/Dell/Canoni99)
Workgroup=your workgroup 
computer_name=the name of the computer where the printer is attached  
printer=the name given to the shared printer in Windows.

KDE 3.5

  • Make sure your printer is installed
  • Open control center(or "Settings:/") => Internet and Network => Samba
  • Click "administrator mode" and enter the root password
  • Now go over to the printers tab and click "add printer"
  • Select a printer (if you only have one, it'll be selected by default)
  • Give the printer a name and check "public". Click OK
  • Be sure to "apply" changes in the Samba window.

Windows machine

  • Download the latest driver for your printer from the manufacturer's website
  • Open an explorer window and put "\\servername" into the address bar, where servername is the name of your Mepis box. If you don't have local DNS or hosts files, you might need to use the IP address instead.
    • Your Linux box's name can be found under the "Base Settings" tab of the Samba window in the field "NetBIOS name"
  • You should see any samba shares on your MEPIS computer, plus the shared printer.
  • Double-click the printer. Windows will install it. If necessary, it will prompt you for a driver.

Windows clients: no SAMBA

If you are using Windows 2000 or later, you can skip setting up Samba and just use the IPP (internet printing protocol) support built in to CUPS. Simply follow these steps:

On the (MEPIS) server

  • Follow the steps for "Linux only clients" above.
  • Be sure to set the firewall (Guarddog default) to allow traffic on port 631 for Cups. I have had to allow both TCP and UDP for reliability:

CUPS TCP 631 and CUPS UDP 631

On the (Windows) clients

NOTE: this procedure was tested on Windows XP professional. Other versions of Windows may be slightly different.

  • Open "Printers and Faxes" on the control panel
  • Launch the "Add new Printer" wizard. Click "Next" on the first screen.
  • Select "A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer", and click "Next"
  • Select "Connect to a printer on the Internet or on a home or office network:". In the URL field, enter:
    http://myserver:631/printers/printername
    Where "myserver" is the hostname or (if you cannot connect to it with the hostname) ip address of your MEPIS computer
    http://<ip address>:631/printers/printername
    "printername" is the name which you gave the printer during setup. You can see this name on the "printers" tab of the cups web interface.
  • Click "Next". You need to provide the print driver for windows for your printer. Once you've selected this, click "OK".
  • Your printer should be ready to use.
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