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Unix Services

CUPS - Common Unix Printing System

Top of Page Introduction

CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) is the standards-based, open source printing system developed by Apple Inc. for Mac OS® X and other UNIX®-like operating systems.  This page describes the use of CUPS made available by the Information Technology Division.

CUPS is the defacto Linux/Unix printing system.  In ITD, it is being used to consolidate access to the myriad of printers owned by different groups.  In addition to centralizing printer management, our implementation of CUPS allows visitors that do not have access to the internal network to print to internal printers without compromising the security of the perimeter.

Most modern Linux/Unix based operating systems (including Apple's OS X) come with CUPS installed as part of the base operating system distribution.  Older operating systems may still using the older Linux/Unix print system, lp/lpr.  ITD recommends those systems be upgraded to use CUPS.

Top of Page CUPS for users

Most users will never need to know the particulars off how to get a printer added to CUPS.  They want to add a printer to their computer.  It's something that is done once and then forgotten about.  Below are the general instructions for setting up a printer on a desktop or workstation.  The first step is to find a printer, and then set up that printer on their Windows or Linux workstation.

Top of Page Accessing CUPS - Finding a printer

From within the Brookhaven National Laboratory internal network, CUPS is accessible by pointing a web browser to http://cups.bnl.gov/.  If looking for a specific printer, click on the "Printers" tab at the top of the page.  That page will list all available printers in the CUPS system in addition to a search window to locate specific printers.

Most printer listings in the CUPS system will list the location in either the "Description" or "Location" field, which are both search by the CUPS search function.  The search may be narrowed by entering building, room, or printer model information into the search field.

Once the specific name of the printer is already known, the printer queue may be accessed via web page with the URL based upon the host name or queue name of the printer.  For example, in the case of "515HPCLJ", the URL is:

http://cups.bnl.gov/printers/515HPCLJ

Top of Page Printing from Windows

The printer queue that a workstation will use to send print jobs to the printer is the same as the URL of the printer queue itself.  To connect this printer queue on a workstation, follow the process to add a new printer on that workstation's operating system.  For Windows  the process is as follows:

Windows 7

  1. From the Start Menu, select  "Devices and Printers".
  2. Select "Add a Printer" and then select "Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer"
  3. After the search for printers is completed. Open a web browser to cups.bnl.gov
  4. Select Printers tab and then search for the desired printer in the "Search in Printers: box."
  5. Right click on the name of the printer and copy link address
  6. Click on "The printer that I want isn't listed"
  7. Click on the "Select a shared printer by name" button and paste saved link location in the box.
  8. Click next.
  9. The "Add Printer Wizard" should appear.  Once it does, select the appropriate drivers.  If the drivers are not listed you can try using the generic drivers or manually install drivers on your own.

 

Top of Page Printing from Linux: Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora and Scientific Linux

Please note, these instructions assume that the user is running in the graphic user environment.

  1. In the console, as root, enter the command "system-config-printer"
  2. From the window that pops up, click "New Printer"
    1. In the resulting window, name the printer something familiar, as well as where the printer is physically located and include a general description such as the model number of the printer.
  3. On the next window, choose "Internet Printing Protocol" from the Devices list.
  4. On the right side of that window, type in "cups.bnl.gov" as the hostname, and the name of the printer underneath it.
    • For example, if the full queue is http://cups.bnl.gov/printers/515HPCLJ, the printer name would be just "515HPCLJ"
  5. For the printer driver, choose "Raw" as the manufacturer, and "Local Raw" as the device.  This passes unformatted raw printer jobs to the cups server, where the cups server will handle the device driver formatting.
  6. Click Finish.  The window should disappear leaving the new printer available in the printer pool. 
  7. (Optional) Right click on it and choose "Set as Default" to make this printer the default printer.

Top of Page Printing from Linux: Ubuntu

Please note, these instructions assume that the user is running in the Gnome graphic user environment.

  1. Go to printer administration for the system:
    1. If using Gnome: [System] > [Administration] > [Printing]
    2. If using KDE: [Ubuntu Icon] > [System] > [Printing]
  2. From the resulting window, click "New" and let it search for printers
  3. Under the devices list, under "Network Printer" choose "Internet Printing Protocol"
    1. After clicking on "Internet Printing Protocol," the right side of this window will print configuration input boxes.
    2. Let "Host" be: cups.bnl.gov
    3. Let "Queue" be "/printers/name.of.the.printer"
    4. For example, if the full queue is http://cups.bnl.gov/printers/515HPCLJ, the printer name would be just "515HPCLJ"
    5. If you click on "Find Queue," a list of available printers will appear from cups.bnl.gov.
  4. Name the printer something familiar, as well as where the printer is physically located and include a general description such as the model number of the printer.
  5. Click Apply. The window should disappear leaving the new printer available in the printer pool.
  6. (Optional) Right click on it and choose "Set As Default" to make this printer the default printer.

Top of Page Printing from Linux: Debian

Please note, these instructions assume that the user is running in the Gnome graphic user environment.

  1. Go to: Desktop > Administration > Printing
  2. From the resulting window, double click on "New Printer."
  3. In the new dialog, choose "Network Printer" and "CUPS Printer (IPP)"
    1. The bottom part of the dialog will ask for a URI.
    2. The URI should be: http://cups.bnl.gov/printers/name.of.the.printer
    3. For example, if the full queue is http://cups.bnl.gov/printers/515HPCLJ, the printer name would be just "515HPCLJ"
    4. Click Forward
  4. In the next window, under Manufacturer, Choose "Raw" -- let the Model be "Local Raw"
  5. Click Apply. The window should disappear leaving the new printer available in the printer pool. Right click on it and choose "Set As Default" to make this printer the default printer.

Top of Page Compatibility

CUPS provides backward compatible lp/lpr programs.  In most cases, there is no difference from the user's point of view.  For details refer to the relevant man pages on the client system.

Top of Page CUPS for printer owners

If the owner or administrator of a printer with network access requires or would like to engage in any of the following services, then they should contact the ITD Help desk at x5522 or send an email to itdhelp@bnl.gov, including printer make and model as well as any relevant network information associated with that printer.

  • ITD can centrally manage the printer from a main server providing correct drivers for that printer.
  • Allow visitors to have ability to print to this printer without giving those visitors access to the internal network.
  • Review logs of print jobs made to this printer.

If the owner of a printer want to have that printer added to, removed from or modified from what is listed at http://cups.bnl.gov/printers/, then contact the ITD Help .

Top of Page Visitor Network Printing

Laptops or other computers connected to the Visitor Networks at Brookhaven National Laboratory do not have access to the same printers as those connected to the internal network.  The procedures for adding a printer while connected to the Visitor Network are the same as for the internal network.  The host names are all the same as well.  The difference is that http://cups.bnl.gov/ on the Visitor Network does not have the same selection of printers as http://cups.bnl.gov/ on the internal network.

If the owner or administrator of a printer with network access requires that printer to be available via the Visitor Network, then they should contact the ITD Help desk at x5522 or send an email to itdhelp@bnl.gov, including printer make and model as well as any relevant network information associated with that printer.  When contacting ITD, specify the printer should be available on the Visitor Network.

Top of PageLast Modified: December 6, 2013

To reach ITD Unix Services for any support issues, please contact the ITD Helpdesk via email (itdhelp@bnl.gov) or call x5522.  In any communications, please include the name of the machine(s) in question, as well as their operating system, software package and other relevant information which will allow ITD to help you more effectively.