Hi to every one, I would like to know if I can connect a printer so that a network users can print via the TKL server.  If that is possible, how do I get around to install it... Thanks for reading.

Jeremy Davis's picture

It will really depend on the printer and how well it is supported under Linux. My experience is somewhat limited, but I have had really good experience with larger, more commercial/enterprise aimed models, especially with brands like Konica. I have also had a good run with HP printers, they seem to make a bit of effort to support Linux. I have heard Cannon support can be quite good too. Some of the more consumer grade stuff can be extremely painful (if not impossible) to get going. I have heard that Lexmark are a brand to steer clear of (although I have nothing to base that on...).

You'll want/need to install CUPS and find specific drivers for your printer. YMMV but support for some is better than others.

Obviously you'll need to start with an appliance that includes Samba (Fileserver or PDC) or install that yourself too.

Good luck with it. Let us know how you go.

Hi Jeremy,I have a file server appliance running samba providing service to users on a lan. I would like to attach a printer to the same server. My actual printer is running from another pc which is running as a print server. Sometimes that particular pc is off and it is a nuisance to print, as it means powering on and wait... etc...

The actual printer is an hp laserjet p2055dn and the driver would be quite easier compared to other manufacturers...Now, is the installation the same principle as installing on any linux based ? I have the file server running and I cannot afford to mess with if I am unsure.

I have a guest it would be like : wget ...., then xyvf .... and and install , correct me if I am wrong.

Thanks for reading...

Jeremy Davis's picture

And it seems that it will be particularly straightforward for your printer. According to HP their HPLIP (HP Linux Imaging and Printing) software supports your printer since v2.8.10 and Ubuntu 10.04 (basis of TKL v11.x) has v3.10.2 in the repos.

It looks like you have 2 options:

hplip-cups - A minimal sharable printing setup.


hplip - the full package; this may pull down a heap of GUI dependancies but from what I can see they are 'recommends' (as opposed to 'depends') which theoretically means that they aren't required, although by default Ubuntu 10.04 (and theefore TKL) will install them.

I'd be inclined to install hplip-cups first and see if it is adequite for your needs.

apt-get update
apt-get install hplip-cups

If that still doesn't cut it, you then install hplip without it's recommended packages (in fact in further consideration, this may be the best way to go - but not sure...)

apt-get update # not req'd if soon after above
apt-get install --no-install-recommends hplip

Then either way you need to configure your printer via CUPS. HP have a good walkthrough on their website (assuming that you're using USB cable).

Hopefully that should get you going.

PS there is also an Ubuntu wiki page that may be of some use. AFAIK you then jsut install drivers on teh client systems as per usual.

Jeremy Davis's picture

Personally I have found google to be the best resource for learning about Linux. Generally my learning has revolved around resolving issues, rather than trying to learn (I learn best by doing rather than reading...)

In my travels i have found that Linux (in relation to TKL anyway) info falls into 3 catagories; generic Linux info (that applies generally to all/most distros inc TKL); generic Debian/Ubuntu info (which mostly applies to TKL) and specific Ubuntu info (which applies directly to Ubuntu and derivatives inc TKL). The tricky bit can sometimes be working out which is which and for me that has just taken time. For example Apache2 info; most general info falls into the first catagory but when it comes to config, while the theory remains the same, specific files etc are in different places and called different things (so falls into the 2nd cat).

The Ubuntu Server guide is quite an invaluable piece of documentation. 

If you want to learn more about Linux I suggest that you ditch Webmin and start using the command line. It's a bit of a learning curve but if you are doing it for your own interest then it's a good way to go IMO.

Anyway... As for you current plan to install your printer, my suggestion is that you first find out what drivers you'll need (sounds like you've done that bit). Now see if they are available already from the Ubuntu repos (internet repositories of installable files aka packages). You can do that with the 'apt-cache search' command (after updating your local package database by running 'apt-get update'). The other (and easier IMO) way is to use the web to search for the package, namely packages.ubuntu.com. If you scroll down you can do a keyword search of packages. Defaults are fine to start with except you'll want to change the distro to 'Lucid' (TKL v11.x is based on Ubuntu 10.04 aka Lucid). If nothing shows up, click the radio button to search 'Descriptions'. Once you have the package name you want (assuming that it's there) then you can install it with 'apt-get install <packagename>' (if you haven't recently updated your local package DB then run 'apt-get update' first).

If it isn't in the repo then you'll need to download and install manually. The .deb would be preferable (the .rpm is for Red Hat based systems so generally no good to us with TKL and the tar.gz/.tgz is a generic Linux archive (ie like a zip file) which will probably work but will be more involved). So once you have downloaded the .deb install it with 'dpkg -i <packagename>.deb'. Sometimes that will fail because of missing dependancies (ie packages that are required by what you are trying to install) but it should list what it missing in the error message so just try installing them with 'apt-get install <packagename>' and try installing again with dpkg.

Any other questions don't be scared to ask, although if they aren't related to network printing probably best to start a new thread.

William's picture

Thank you. that post had alot of the info I needed, now knowing about the repositories, and the file extensions.... I'll be able to take care of alot of stuff myself. I know the post was slightly off topic getting into general linux stuff, but at the same time I was asking to learn so i could install the printer, if I have any other issues or questions if there isnt a post already on that topic ill be sure to create a new one.

Jeremy Davis's picture

Sounds good and good luck with it! :)

William's picture

Ok I think I have come a long way on learning linux and how to install a network printer, but still some things I cant figure out. I got CUPS installed, got my printer driver installed, can see it in the shared root from my windows machine, can log into cups and print a test page, but can not seem to get anything to print from my laptop (running windows 7) I am going to guess its a permission issue somewhere, but ive spent the last few days racking my brain, tinkering, and reading and I havent seen anything online or I did and just didnt realize thats what I needed to do. any ideas?

Jeremy Davis's picture

I suspect you are right and it is a permission issue and/or Samba config issue.

TBH I've never actually done it so from here on in it's blind leading the blind...

What I'd be inclined to do it make the permissions as promiscuous as possible (I'd use Webmin if you're not already) and see if you can get it working. Then try and screw down permissions until it doesn't work. Sorry that's probably not very useful, but it's all I got...

William's picture

Thanks for the info. I am not exactly sure what it was that made it start working but I re-installed the File server, re-installed cups, re-installed the print driver, and now all of a sudden I can print. although I cant write to my 2 drives in the server anymore....Ive posted a new thread for that since its not related to this thread topic though

Jeremy Davis's picture

Glad you got it sorted. Sounds a bit strange though!

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