Adding a local printer under Linux

printer

This page applies to Linux machines within the School which have been installed by Support and are running a version of Linux which uses CUPS for the local printer software. The steps needed to be taken to add a local printer require root access on the machine.

By default, the machines are configured to use the central CUPS server, this means that using the printing tools (lpr, lpq etc) from /usr/bin will normally only see centrally managed printers. Once a local printer has been added, the tools in /usr/bin will only be able to see the local printer and you will need to use the printing tools in /bham/pd/bin to access networked printers.

First, you need to configure the local CUPS client so that it will use the local print queues rather than the centrally provided queues. To do this, you need to edit the file /etc/cups/client.conf. This file will contain a line
ServerName printhost.cs.bham.ac.uk
Comment out this line by placing a # at the start of the line. The local printing tools will now no longer look at the central print server for printers to use.

You now need to configure a local queue for the printer. The easiest way to do this is to run the command redhat-config-printer. Click the "New Printer" icon to start the wizard and follow the on screen prompts.

Next you will need to enable CUPS so that is starts automatically when the system is booted, type the following command to do this: /sbin/chkconfig cups on. The chkconfig command automatically controls which daemons are started at boot time manages entries in the /etc/rc.X directories.

To check that cups will start at boot, run /sbin/chkconfig --list cups, you should see output similar to the following:
cups             0:off   1:off   2:on    3:on    4:on    5:on    6:off
This indicates that CUPS will start for init states 2 to 5 (init state 5 is normally used under Linux for a full graphical login).

You will need to start the CUPS daemon, run /etc/init.d/cups restart
If CUPS is not already running, you may be informed that stopping CUPS failed - this is normal.

You may also find that since the re-introduction of print quotas, the username on your local machine will need to match your School username - or let us know and we may be able to set up an alias.

Remember: To use your local printer you will need to use the printing tools in /usr/bin and not the ones in /bham/pd/bin.