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Thread: Old ubuntu laptop as print server

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    23

    Old ubuntu laptop as print server

    Hello everyone,

    I have an old ubuntu laptop that I would like to set up as a print server.

    Here's the scenario: I have two printers which not wireless (Cat45/USB only) that I would like to make available wirelessly to the home network (two windows, one mac) by connecting them by USB to my old Ubuntu laptop and using that laptop for the computers to access the printers.

    Is it the correct thing to do to try and set up the laptop as the printer server and will that work? I'd like to just be able to print to either of those two printers from any of the laptops via wifi.

    Any help is most appreciated.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Squidbilly-Land
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    21,322
    Distro
    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Old ubuntu laptop as print server

    Networking is networking. Wired or wifi should work fine, provided the laptop has a static IP, runs CUPs, and the laptop can print to the printers. I have a desktop doing the same thing. I just point any client machines at the CUPS server (631/tcp) on that desktop, choose the correct printer driver, choose IPP as the protocol and printing works. I only have 1 printer setup that way, but can't see why CUPs can't handle 500 printers provided they have a unique identifier/name.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Metro Boston
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    15,286
    Distro
    Kubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Old ubuntu laptop as print server

    Attach one printer to the laptop and install it. I often choose to use the web-based management tool that comes with CUPS by pointing a browser at http://127.0.0.1:631/. Go to a client and see if you can connect to and install the remote printer. On a Linux client, you can use that same web-based client. In Windows, install the printer using IPP as TheFu suggests. I'd also give the laptop a static IP address rather than letting it be assigned by DHCP. Anything that operates as a server should have a static address.

    If all this works, attach the other printer, rinse and repeat.
    If you ask for help, do not abandon your request. Please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Squidbilly-Land
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    21,322
    Distro
    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Old ubuntu laptop as print server

    Server guide how to: https://ubuntu.com/server/docs/service-cups
    There is almost always some step that I forget. Common things like setting up printers are covered in the desktop and server guides.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Beans
    23

    Re: Old ubuntu laptop as print server

    This is great, thank you! I will give it try and report back!

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