Using the CUPS web interface on Ubuntu

I’m building a new file and print server using Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy), so I’ve installed CUPS to take care of the printing. Being a server there is no GUI environment installed, so I need to use the CUPS web interface from my laptop to configure the printer queues. This was pretty easy to achieve:

  1. Install the cupsys package and its dependencies.
  2. Edit /etc/cups/cupsd.conf.
  3. Find the lines that begin Listen and add one for the machine’s IP address, e.g.
    Listen 192.168.0.10:631
  4. I enabled browsing because it helps other computers find printers. Look for
    Browsing Off
  5. I added @LOCAL to the definition of the <Location /admin> stanza. This means any host on the network can reach and use the admin section of the web interface. This is fine for home, but might not be appropriate for the workplace.
  6. Saved and restarted cupsd.
  7. Added the user cupsys to the group shadow.

The last step is necessary to allow CUPS to authenticate users. CUPS requires a username and password when adding printers etc. Having completed the above step you should be able to authenticate using the username and password of the first user you set up on the machine.

One of the first things I noticed is that the web interface in CUPS 1.2.x has been vastly improved over the older version I’m used to on my Debian Sarge server. As well as aesthetic tweaks it’s now possible to do things like moving jobs between queues. CUPS is still quite a way from a full print server environment as it lacks a rich quota and billing system.

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