austin adams

Using a Remote CUPS Printer from Windows and GNU/Linux

August 21, 2016

In my college dorm, my roommate and I have three machines on the same network:

  1. My laptop (GNU/Linux)
  2. My roommate’s laptop (Windows)
  3. My desktop, a headless GNU/Linux server with my printer connected

Because my roommate doesn’t have a printer and I often take my laptop places, I wanted my desktop to act as a print server.

Server Setup

  1. Install CUPS and if you’re on systemd, and make sure org.cups.cupsd.service is enabled and started.
  2. Add printers as needed.

Connecting from Windows with Samba


Install samba and start+enable smbd.service and nmbd.service. Uncomment the [printers] section in /etc/samba/smb.conf and set it to something along the lines of:

   comment = All Printers
   path = /var/spool/samba
   browseable = no
   public = yes
   guest ok = yes
   writable = no
   printable = yes
   printing = CUPS

Run systemctl reload smbd. CUPS printers on the server should show up to Windows guests automatically under the same name they have in CUPS.

Adding a User

In my case, Windows wanted a username+password, so I added an account named bob:

# useradd -U bob
# smbpasswd -a bob

But I think this is because I’ve misconfigured Samba. If I get around to it, I’ll fix my configuration and update this post.

Client (Windows)

I found the server in Windows Explorer, found my printer, and entered the credentials for the account I created earlier.

Connecting from GNU/Linux with IPP


To allow other machines to reach the CUPS server hosting the printer, /etc/cups/cupsd.conf needs some modifications.

First, to tell CUPS not to bind on localhost, change

Listen localhost:631


Listen *:631

Then, so I don’t get a 403 (Forbidden) response, add Allow from 192.168.1.* to each <Location> section as follows:

# Restrict access to the server...
<Location />
  Order allow,deny
  Allow from 192.168.1.*

# Restrict access to the admin pages...
<Location /admin>
  Order allow,deny
  Allow from 192.168.1.*


Client (GNU/Linux)

At the local CUPS web interface at http://localhost:631/, add a printer with an IPP URL of ipp://192.168.1.X/printers/d1660. Be sure to choose the raw driver; otherwise (in my case) I got a “Filter failed” error message whenever I tried to print something.