by October 11, 2003 0 comments

With CUPS (Common UNIX Printing Services), you can print from UNIX and Linux-based systems without having to install separate drivers for all the printers located on your network. The software will automatically detect them and let you use them.

This basically makes CUPS a standard printing solution for your UNIX and Linux systems. CUPS uses the IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) for managing all your print jobs as well as the printers themselves. It is very convenient to set up as it automatically hunts for all print servers and network printers on your network and configures them . 

We used PCQLinux 8.0 to use CUPS, which has built-in support to help you fully install the software. If it is not installed, then place your PCQLinux CD1 into your CD-drive and install CUPS as follows: 

#mount /mnt/cdrom
#cd /mnt/cdrom/PCQuest/RPMS
#rpm —ivh cups*
#cd /

Web interface for managing and configuring printers running on networks

Now put the PCQLinux CD 2 in the drive and enter the following commands:

#cd /mnt/cdrom/PCQuest/RPMS
#rpm —ivh cups*

After installing CUPS, you need to start its service like this:

#service cups start

To check whether it is running, issue this command:

#service cups status

Once CUPS is running, it immediately detects all the printers on your network. You can then configure those you want to use from a Web interface by firing up your browser and entering the URL Now click on the Do Administration Tasks link, which will prompt you for a username and password. Use your root username and password. Now click on the printers link, which will then display all the printers detected by CUPS. 

You can deactivate the printers you don’t want. For others, you can change the printer settings as per your requirements. You can also fire test prints to check whether the printers are working. You can even change printer settings using the Print Manager in KDE. You can set any printer as the default printer . 

If you’re using another flavor of UNIX, then you can download the appropriate version of CUPS for it from You’ll find the source file in .gz format. After downloading, issue the following commands : 

# tar —zxvf cups-xxxxx.gz (xxxxxx will be replaced by the version you have downloaded)
# cd cups-1xxxxx
# make
#make install

Configuring CUPS is similar on all UNIX and Linux platforms. 

Sanjay Majumder

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