Question: Setting up printing in Sarge

Posted by nathanbullock on Sun 6 Nov 2005 at 16:38

I have been using Debian (Sarge) for about a year as a webserver. Recently though our family has moved the main computer into the main room, and so we would like to keep the printer down in the utility room where the server is. I can't figure out to get my parallel port printer working though.

I plugged the printer into the parallel port, turned on the printer, rebooted, and then tried to print a tiny text file by typing "lpr testprint". Text came up that basically said, parport, Samsung ML-1740, and a little bit of other stuff. The following was logged by syslog :

localhost kernel: parport0: PC-style at 0x378 (0x778) [PCSPP,TRISTATE]
localhost kernel: parport0: irq 7 detected
localhost kernel: parport0: Printer, Samsung ML-1740
localhost kernel: lp0: using parport0 (polling).

Then when I typed lpq nothing was there and nothing was printing.

So basically where do I start, I have tried searching Google for information, nothing very informative comes up, I am used to using RedHat for printing, and normally I just plug in the printer, a message comes up when I boot the machine saying printer found, and then it just works.

What is the default printing system in Sarge? Is CUPS the proper system to be using? Is there some command line auto-configure tool? What packages do I need to install? I don't have X-windows on the server, so a graphical configure tool isn't going to help me.

I only need to be able to print locally on the machine and from other linux boxes around the house, no windows support is really needed.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Posted by Anonymous (83.131.xx.xx) on Sun 6 Nov 2005 at 17:07
To set up printer you need to install printer, configure CUPS and Samba share. I don't use GUI very often, but that was one moment I had to. There is some Control Center in KDE or Gnome. There is so easy to do it(!). If you need some conf files, just let me know.


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Posted by Anonymous (65.78.xx.xx) on Sun 6 Nov 2005 at 22:15
First off, you do NOT need samba. (Well, *I* don't have it installed. :)
I have 2 sarge boxes sharing one parallel port HP5L laserprinter. These are installed on both boxes, but I'm not sure they're all needed:
cups-pdf 1.7.0a-1 PDF printer for CUPS
cupsys 1.1.23-10 Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - server
cupsys-bsd 1.1.23-10 Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - BSD comman
cupsys-client 1.1.23-10 Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - client pro
libcupsimage2 1.1.23-10 Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - image libs
libcupsys2-gnu 1.1.23-10 Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - libs
libgnomecups1. 0.1.14-1 GNOME library for CUPS interaction
You will need to edit on each box:
/etc/cups/cupsd.conf to set the BrowseAddress and Allow From to match your local ip addresses to enable network printing.
cups-pdf is not necessary, but it's really useful to create a pdf file by just "printing" to the pdf "printer."
I also didn't need any additional driver packages as the cups packages have the common ones already.
You can install the printer from your browser.
Have fun!

[ Parent | Reply to this comment ]

Posted by Anonymous (65.78.xx.xx) on Sun 6 Nov 2005 at 22:24
Ack... you didn't want a gui!

The command line tools are extensive; no browser needed for cups.
lpadmin - configure cups printers and classes
lpstat - print cups status information

[ Parent | Reply to this comment ]

Posted by Anonymous (84.226.xx.xx) on Sun 6 Nov 2005 at 17:45

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Posted by Anonymous (84.188.xx.xx) on Sun 6 Nov 2005 at 18:50
you can use the cups web-front-end located on localhost:631 with w3m
w3m http://localhost:631 to configure all printers for cups.
cu Chris

[ Parent | Reply to this comment ]

Posted by nathanbullock (68.148.xx.xx) on Wed 9 Nov 2005 at 04:41
[ View Weblogs ]

I wanted to say thanks for all the help. I have got my printer working from my Debian server and I can print to it from my Fedora Desktop.

In case anyone is interested here is what I did: First 'apt-get install printconf', this grabbed a number of packages, and then asked me a couple of questions and tried to auto-configure my printer. The auto-configure said that it didn't recognize my Samsung ML-1740. printconf directed my to

Now that cups was installed I went to the web based configuration page with w3m at http://localhost:631/. It didn't seem to have any drivers for my printer.

I then found my printer (I actually found the Samsung ML-1710 but they are supposed to be very similar) in the database at and went to the cups setup instructions. It said that this printer uses a GDI driver which is part of Ghostscript. Running 'gs -h' told me that the version of ghostscript on my server had this driver compiled in. Next I downloaded the supplied ppd file and put it in /usr/share/cups/model and then restarted CUPS '/etc/init.d/cupsys restart'.

Went back to the web configuration, added my printer, (gave it the name 'printer'), selected the Samsung ML-1710 driver. Tried printing a test page from the web interface, it worked. Tried printing a test text file with lp and that worked as well.

Now to get it working from other machines. I opened cupsd.conf edited BrowseAddress to Set location /> to Allow from All. Set location /admin> to Allow from All.

Went to my Fedora box and added a cups printer at (server:631) /printers/printer. Printed test page. PERFECT. Well almost, it could probably be centered on the page better but I don't feel like fiddling with it.

Hopefully I didn't forget any of the steps I took.

[ Parent | Reply to this comment ]

Posted by derekw (70.126.xx.xx) on Sat 8 Apr 2006 at 15:39
I installed Sarge last month and had a tough time getting printing to work. It didn't work out of the box. My printer is a Samsung ML-1210 which was perfectly happy with the previous OS, Redhat 7.

Following some advice, I installed cups and managed to get printing working, but only partially. From KDE applications, it seems to be working OK. But from other apps, e.g. Adobe Reader and Mozilla, it does not. I have to print to a file and then open that file up in KGhostview to print.

When I try to print from the non-KDE apps, sometimes I get an error, and sometimes nothing. Either way, the job doesn't appear to make it into the print queue.

One observation that could be a clue: when I'm Adobe Reader and try to print, the printer status in the print dialog says "lqp: ml1210: unknown printer."

Could the problem be that these non-KDE apps aren't aware that we're using cups and have the wrong print command configured? If so, how do I fix this?

I'd like to rectify this but don't know what to do next. Any help would be appreciated.

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Posted by Anonymous (64.164.xx.xx) on Thu 11 May 2006 at 18:05
Hi nathanbullock:

Can you be more details on the remote / client printer setup? It is where I have a problem.



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Posted by Anonymous (152.2.xx.xx) on Thu 10 Aug 2006 at 01:58
Bless your heart, you wonderful person! Your post saved my sanity. After banging my head against all the implicit assumptions of Lixux and CUPS documentation for a week or so, I came across your post, followed your instructions (the where to put the drivers thing was particularly helpful) and now have working printers.

Can roses be faxed?

KH - Rejoining the Debian fold in Chapel Hill

[ Parent | Reply to this comment ]

Posted by Anonymous (152.2.xx.xx) on Thu 10 Aug 2006 at 02:03
I should clarify that the post from a very grateful KH in Chapel Hill was addressed to nathanbullock.

Thanks again!

[ Parent | Reply to this comment ]

Posted by Anonymous (84.63.xx.xx) on Mon 14 Nov 2005 at 02:43
cups is the right address, but setting up a printer on debian is no fun...good luck

[ Parent | Reply to this comment ]

Posted by Anonymous (69.210.xx.xx) on Sun 23 Mar 2008 at 03:39
You might want to take a look at this manual/ howto

Its as easy as add printer -> make -> model -> done.

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