Friday, 26 August 2011

Mac OS X Lion and CUPS printing

When I originally setup my Mac Mini a few years ago (with Leopard), I had some issues getting the printer setup on my network using CUPS. Having upgraded to Lion a couple of weeks ago, the printing problems returned.

The first problem I had was that my printer, an HP Deskjet 5150, was not on the supported list of Apple printer drivers. HP were similarly useless in not providing a driver.

The answer was found in the open source community. A quick download and install of Ghostscript, Foomatic-RIP and HPIJS make the correct driver available (along with many other printer drivers).

This allowed me to add my printer, but upon trying to print, the print queue window would report that it was "Unable to get printer status". Not helpful.

The remote printer is connected to my Netgear ReadyNAS Duo which runs an embedded Linux distribution and uses CUPS as the print server. Despite trying to dig into the debug options, I was not able to fix the printing error.

The default method of setting up a printer on a Mac is to use Bonjour for auto discovery. This uses the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) under the hood but was failing. Attempts to setup the IPP queue manually also failed.

The fix that worked for me was to set up the printer as an SMB (Windows) printer. This uses the ReadyNAS's Samba install and printing now works! Not ideal, but does the job.


Johan said...

How did you set up the printer as a SMB-printer? I do not find any such settings in Frontview. Many thanks in advance for help.

JR said...

Hi Johan

To setup a printer through SMB, open the System Preferences application on the Mac, Print & Scan, click the "+" button and select "Add other printer or scanner", click the Windows icon at the top of the Add Printer window, navigate to your workgroup and then your readynas device. The printer should appear here. Select it and then select the appropriate driver for your model of printer.

Hope this helps.


MSPhotography said...

I also had IPP failing but I went into CUPS and made a class and then dropped my printer into the new class. I also enabled printing for the internet. Between these two change, I can now print on my Snow Leopard laptop which up to now refused to install the drivers correctly or print in any fashion to the Lion Mac.

JR said...

Thanks for the feedback MSPhotography. The workaround you used makes me think there's a bug in the CUPS build.

Bob Lieberman said...

The HP 5400 driver works fine and you don't have to go through all these shenanigans.

JR said...

Thanks for the heads up Bob.

JROD said...

Same issues with the LJ 1200 here. going the Windows route kind of fixed it, only for a few workstations, all run Lion.