Printing via Network

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guide needed

Linux & Mac OSX

Sharing printers between these environments should generally work, because both use same CUPS printing sub-system. CUPS is a newer printing sub-system, for which the key advantages include:

  • supports a wide range of printers dating back to before 1990
    • regardless of Operating System version
  • when printing via network, printers are automatically discovered
    • does not require any printer driver or configuration on the desktop/laptop PC
    • substantially simplifies printing configuration for networked PC
    • facilitates printing from a laptop/netbook/tablet computer being used away from its home location
    • might permit printing from a computer where the administrator password (which may be required to install drivers) is unknown.

CUPS admin is accessed via the URL https://localhost:631 - which does not require active Internet connection. Alternatively, an applet "Print Settings" may be used - if not installed, obtain from package "system-config-printer"

  • to share a printer via a Linux/OSX server or another Linux/OSX machine see Sharing Printers via CUPS
  • to use a printer via a NAS, see the documentation for the NAS, which varies widely
  • alternatively, to print to a printer that is directly attached to the wired or wireless network, set it up via Control Panel or CUPS admin on the PC/laptop
    • consider setting up one PC & printer this way as a contingency for failure of the print server/NAS.
  • to print via Samba to a printer attached to a Windows machine – use the Samba option via Ctl Panel or CUPS admin on the PC/laptop
    • this option requires CUPS printer driver available for and installed on PC/laptop


Windows 8

Windows 8 and later should automatically discover any network printers. If not, then printing can be done directly to most printers that are attached to a wired or WiFi network , without the need for a print server, after the following manual configuration:

Manual Configuration

  1. install relevant printer driver on PC
    • drivers from the manufacturer's CD or web-site often provide better functionality than inbuilt Windows drivers
  2. go to Control Panel -> Hardware & Sound -> Device & Printers -> Add a Printer
  3. click -> the Printer that I want is not Listed
  4. select Add a Printer using TCP/IP address or hostname
  5. on next screen
    • enter IP address of the printer
    • enter (arbitrary) port name
  6. on next screen select relevant printer driver
  7. after installation completes, right click on printer icon and select "Printing Preferences" -> "Advanced"
    • set paper to A4 or A3, as appropriate

Printer Attached to non-Windows Computer

Low Cost Alternatives

A lower tech solution for small LAN, having Windows as well as other OS, is long "USB" cables

  • the limit of length to 5 metres for USB cables can be overcome by using a pair of USB-Ethernet/RJ45 converters, which enable a USB printer to be accessed from up to 100 metres over Cat 5 cabling.
    • sets of these converters are available from specialisist computer hardware suppliers
    • might variously be described as "printer extenders" "USB extenders" etc
  • although this is not network printing, it can suffice.

--Rod (talk) 09:24, 13 March 2015 (AEDT) --