[clug] Printer sharing problem update

Ian Bardsley ifb777 at tpg.com.au
Tue Jul 25 11:48:04 GMT 2006

A couple of weeks ago, I mailed the list with a request  for help with 
setting up printer sharing on a 2 computer linux wireless network.  My 
thanks again to those who responded with  advice.  I thought I would 
provide a brief overview of the outcome  of that advice.

I have selected Ubuntu as my linux distro having  tried all of the other 
options because it worked, it is  fairly user friendly to a novice such 
as myself  and the support forums that I have visited to try and solve 
issues that I did not or do not understand  are well structured and in 
general  easy to comprehend

The advice that I received from the list  suggested that I use 
"localhost:631 to set up printer sharing.  This proved to be sound 
advice once I realised that ubuntu packagers  had disabled all of the 
editing functions of this service and unless re-enabled, the service was 
useless.  Having found out how to make this service editable, I next 
discovered that Ubuntus' default configuration file for Cups renders it 
impossible to set up printer sharing based on what I now know to be the 
false premise that ports are left open on the network.  As soon as I 
changed to the standard Cups configuration, printer sharing worked.  I 
think that this lesson cost me about 10 hours of reading and fiddling 
including 1 clean install.

Anyone needing to share a printer on a simple network will need to do 
the following to make localhost:631 editable:

"sudo adduser cupsys shadow"  and "sudo adduser <username> lpadmin"

To make localhost:631 actually set up printer sharing it is necessary to 
to got to "http://localhost:631/admin and select "use default 
configuration"  and then in my case, manually restart Cups by issuing 
"sudo /etc/init.d/cupsys restart" on the command line as the "Save 
Changes" option didn't work.

In conclusion, this was a painful exercise for a novice such as I and I 
am sure that many in a similar situations would have reverted to Windows 
for their network needs pretty quickly because it is simple to set up.   
There is little doubt in my mind that a lot needs to be done in the 
"Printing" area before Linux is ready for  use on the average home 

Since completing the printer sharing project, I have successfully set up 
file sharing using NFS  and I now have a simple home wireless network 
with two fully functional computers able to talk to one another when 
needed, able to access the net and to share a printer.  I have all the 
software that I could possibly need to perform any task that may need 
completing.  For me this is an achievement and I will now run with 
Ubuntu Linux Dapper Drake for the next 6 months for all of my computing 
needs with the possible exception of photo printing as the linux drivers 
for my Brother multi function printer are average to say the least.

Regards to all

Ian Bardsley

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