Connecting to a shared printer on a Mac using CUPS from Linux using Backtrack 4 running KDE.

The title says it all.  Being able to print through the wireless network I have at home was no straightforward task… but this guide should make it seem pretty strait forward!

This guide isn’t just for someone with the exact same situations as it should help you get started on the right track with a similar scenario, but it is not intended to be a generic guide for setting up shared printing.

Macintosh computers seem to set up shared printing using CUPS, at least that’s how my network was set up without doing anything special.  Now, the computer in my household that is hosting the printer I don’t have access to, but I needed to know a couple important details to set up printing.  Namely the Queue Name and Network Address of the computer hosting the printer.

Luckily backtrack 4 comes with a handy little utility called AutoScan Network.  I simply started this up and the computer I needed to connect to came up after waiting a little bit.  I thought it would do this.  It turned out to be even better though.  In the summary tab you should see ipp and when you click on that you should see a firefox box.  This will pull up the CUPS server in your browser and the URI should look something like this http://<Network Address>::631/.  Now you should have a nice UI and be able to to navigate to printers then to the printer you want to print from.  You final address should look like http://<Network Address>:631/printers/<Queue Name>.

Yay, now we’re done right?  Nope.  Turns out this information was the easy part for me… I spent the next hour or so trying to figure out how to connect KDE to it…

Go to Control Center->Peripherals->Printers. You now want to change your current print system to CUPS.  Problem is this gave me an error…

What finally enabled me to start CUPS was the following two commands.

  • apt-get install –reinstall ssl-cert
  • /etc/init.d/cups start

I had tried several times to get the server to start earlier without running the first command only to receive the following message:

Starting Common Unix Printing System: cupsdcupsd: Child exited with status 1!

After all of this FINALLY I went back to the Printers – Control Center and clicked the magic wand in the upper left then Add Printer/Class… next choose Network Printer w/IPP (IPP/HTTP).  Enter the full URI you found above, then click next.. Check Raw Printer, then click next.  Test it to see if it works and the rest is self explanatory.

Good Luck!