Ubuntu – Windows 7 can’t find CUPS printer shared from Ubuntu


I have Ubuntu 11.10 on one computer and Windows 7 on another. The Ubuntu computer has a printer attached, and I want to add this printer to the Windows 7 computer. Printing locally works. The problem is that Windows is not able to see the shared printer, so I cannot add it.

I am guessing that some Ubuntu setting / software is still missing, but what exactly?
How can I make Windows add this printer?

  • In the CUPS web front-end, the checkbox Share printers connected to this system is checked. I'm not sure whether the checkbox Allow printing from the Internet needs to be checked also; I've tried both settings, and neither worked.

  • On Windows, I can connect to the CUPS web front-end and see the printer listed (see screenshot below). And yet, when I add that printer URL, Windows complains that it cannot connect to the printer.

  • The Ubuntu computer is a fresh install. I already have full write access on Windows shares, so something of this kind must be preconfigured out-of-the-box. I have not installed or changed any applications or settings regarding Samba or smb.conf. Do I need to do anything in this regard (on Ubuntu 11.10!) or is that obsolete or already included and fully configured?

  • Googling for this problem gives me plenty of material dated 2005-2009 but nothing newer. I don't think that's still valid in 2012 and I don't want to mess up my new installation with outdated instructions. Via one of the comments I came to this page about network printing from Windows but it does not specify whether Samba is already installed — or which Samba to install, because searching in the Ubuntu Software Center yields several results.

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Best Answer

  • Well, I finally got it working. It turns out there are several parts that need to work together (of course). But here's a way that requires zero work in terminal:

    1) Setup Samba:

    • Install "system-config-samba".
    • Launch "Samba" from the launcher.
    • Open "Preferences" > "Server Settings" and enter the workgroup name used in Windows.

    2) Share printer:

    3) Connect the printer:

    Do either of these steps:

    • On the Windows computer, open Windows Explorer and go to the "Network" item. There's an icon for the Ubuntu computer; open it. There's an icon for the printer shared from Ubuntu. Right-click that one and select "Connect...".
    • On the Windows computer, select "Add new printer" then "Connect to a printer on the Internet or network" and specify the full path of "http://{computername}:631/printers/{printername}"

    Then go to the printer properties and set it up with the desired defaults.