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documentation.suse.com / SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Documentation / Administration Guide / Hardware configuration / Setting up a printer
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP4

34 Setting up a printer

YaST can be used to configure a local printer connected to your machine via USB and to set up printing with network printers. It is also possible to share printers over the network. Further information about printing (general information, technical details, and troubleshooting) is available in Chapter 24, Printer operation.

In YaST, click Hardware / Printer to start the printer module. By default it opens in the Printer Configurations view, displaying a list of all printers that are available and configured. This is especially useful when having access to a lot of printers via the network. From here you can also Print a Test Page and configure printers.

Note
Note: Starting CUPS

To print from your system, CUPS must be running. In case it is not running, you are asked to start it. Answer with Yes, or you cannot configure printing. In case CUPS is not started at boot time, you will also be asked to enable this feature. It is recommended to say Yes, otherwise CUPS would need to be started manually after each reboot.

34.1 Configuring printers

Usually a USB printer is automatically detected. There are two possible reasons it is not automatically detected:

  • The USB printer is switched off.

  • Communication between printer and computer is not possible. Check the cable and the plugs to make sure that the printer is properly connected. If this is the case, the problem may not be printer-related, but rather a USB-related problem.

Configuring a printer is a three-step process: specify the connection type, choose a driver, and name the print queue for this setup.

For many printer models, several drivers are available. When configuring the printer, YaST defaults to those marked recommended as a general rule. Normally it is not necessary to change the driver. However, if you want a color printer to print only in black and white, you can use a driver that does not support color printing. If you experience performance problems with a PostScript printer when printing graphics, try to switch from a PostScript driver to a PCL driver (provided your printer understands PCL).

If no driver for your printer is listed, try to select a generic driver with an appropriate standard language from the list. Refer to your printer's documentation to find out which language (the set of commands controlling the printer) your printer understands. If this does not work, refer to Section 34.1.1, “Adding drivers with YaST” for another possible solution.

A printer is never used directly, but always through a print queue. This ensures that simultaneous jobs can be queued and processed one after the other. Each print queue is assigned to a specific driver, and a printer can have multiple queues. This makes it possible to set up a second queue on a color printer that prints black and white only, for example. Refer to Section 24.1, “The CUPS workflow” for more information about print queues.

Procedure 34.1: Adding a new printer
  1. Start the YaST printer module with Hardware / Printer.

  2. In the Printer Configurations screen click Add.

  3. If your printer is already listed under Specify the Connection, proceed with the next step. Otherwise, try to Detect More or start the Connection Wizard.

  4. In the text box under Find and Assign a Driver enter the vendor name and the model name and click Search for.

  5. Choose a driver that matches your printer. It is recommended to choose the driver listed first. If no suitable driver is displayed:

    1. Check your search term.

    2. Broaden your search by clicking Find More.

    3. Add a driver as described in Section 34.1.1, “Adding drivers with YaST”.

  6. Specify the Default paper size.

  7. In the Set Arbitrary Name field, enter a unique name for the print queue.

  8. The printer is now configured with the default settings and ready to use. Click OK to return to the Printer Configurations view. The newly configured printer is now visible in the list of printers.

34.1.1 Adding drivers with YaST

Not all printer drivers available for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server are installed by default. If no suitable driver is available in the Find and Assign a Driver dialog when adding a new printer install a driver package containing drivers for your printers:

Procedure 34.2: Installing additional driver packages
  1. Start the YaST printer module with Hardware / Printer.

  2. In the Printer Configurations screen, click Add.

  3. In the Find and Assign a Driver section, click Driver Packages.

  4. Choose one or more suitable driver packages from the list. Do not specify the path to a printer description file.

  5. Choose OK and confirm the package installation.

  6. To directly use these drivers, proceed as described in Procedure 34.1, “Adding a new printer”.

PostScript printers do not need printer driver software. PostScript printers need only a PostScript Printer Description (PPD) file which matches the particular model. PPD files are provided by the printer manufacturer.

If no suitable PPD file is available in the Find and Assign a Driver dialog when adding a PostScript printer, install a PPD file for your printer:

Several sources for PPD files are available. It is recommended to first try additional driver packages that are shipped with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server but not installed by default (see below for installation instructions). If these packages do not contain suitable drivers for your printer, get PPD files directly from your printer vendor or from the driver CD of a PostScript printer. For details, see Section 24.8.2, “No suitable PPD file available for a PostScript printer”. Alternatively, find PPD files at http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/openprinting/database/databaseintro, the OpenPrinting.org printer database. When downloading PPD files from OpenPrinting, keep in mind that it always shows the latest Linux support status, which is not necessarily met by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Procedure 34.3: Adding a PPD file for PostScript printers
  1. Start the YaST printer module with Hardware / Printer.

  2. In the Printer Configurations screen, click Add.

  3. In the Find and Assign a Driver section, click Driver Packages.

  4. Enter the full path to the PPD file into the text box under Make a Printer Description File Available.

  5. Click OK to return to the Add New Printer Configuration screen.

  6. To directly use this PPD file, proceed as described in Procedure 34.1, “Adding a new printer”.

34.1.2 Editing a local printer configuration

By editing an existing configuration for a printer you can change basic settings such as connection type and driver. It is also possible to adjust the default settings for paper size, resolution, media source, etc. You can change identifiers of the printer by altering the printer description or location.

  1. Start the YaST printer module with Hardware / Printer.

  2. In the Printer Configurations screen, choose a local printer configuration from the list and click Edit.

  3. Change the connection type or the driver as described in Procedure 34.1, “Adding a new printer”. This should only be necessary in case you have problems with the current configuration.

  4. Optionally, make this printer the default by checking Default Printer.

  5. Adjust the default settings by clicking All Options for the Current Driver. To change a setting, expand the list of options by clicking the relative + sign. Change the default by clicking an option. Apply your changes with OK.

34.2 Configuring printing via the network with YaST

Network printers are not detected automatically. They must be configured manually using the YaST printer module. Depending on your network setup, you can print to a print server (CUPS, LPD, SMB, or IPX) or directly to a network printer (preferably via TCP). Access the configuration view for network printing by choosing Printing via Network from the left pane in the YaST printer module.

34.2.1 Using CUPS

In a Linux environment CUPS is usually used to print via the network. The simplest setup is to only print via a single CUPS server which can directly be accessed by all clients. Printing via more than one CUPS server requires a running local CUPS daemon that communicates with the remote CUPS servers.

Important
Important: Browsing network print queues

CUPS servers announce their print queues over the network either via the traditional CUPS browsing protocol or via Bonjour/DNS-SD. Clients need to browse these lists so users can select specific printers to send their print jobs to. To browse network print queues, the service cups-browsed provided by the package cups-filters-cups-browsed must run on all clients that print via CUPS servers. cups-browsed is started automatically when configuring network printing with YaST.

In case browsing does not work after having started cups-browsed, the CUPS server(s) probably announce the network print queues via Bonjour/DNS-SD. In this case you need to additionally install the package avahi and start the associated service with sudo systemctl start avahi-daemon on all clients.

Procedure 34.4: Printing via a single CUPS server
  1. Start the YaST printer module with Hardware / Printer.

  2. From the left pane, launch the Print via Network screen.

  3. Check Do All Your Printing Directly via One Single CUPS Server and specify the name or IP address of the server.

  4. Click Test Server to make sure you have chosen the correct name or IP address.

  5. Click OK to return to the Printer Configurations screen. All printers available via the CUPS server are now listed.

Procedure 34.5: Printing via multiple CUPS servers
  1. Start the YaST printer module with Hardware / Printer.

  2. From the left pane, launch the Print via Network screen.

  3. Check Accept Printer Announcements from CUPS Servers.

  4. Under General Settings specify which servers to use. You may accept connections from all networks available or from specific hosts. If you choose the latter option, you need to specify the host names or IP addresses.

  5. Confirm by clicking OK and then Yes when asked to start a local CUPS server. After the server has started YaST will return to the Printer Configurations screen. Click Refresh list to see the printers detected so far. Click this button again, in case more printers are available.

34.2.2 Using print servers other than CUPS

If your network offers print services via print servers other than CUPS, start the YaST printer module with Hardware / Printer and launch the Print via Network screen from the left pane. Start the Connection Wizard and choose the appropriate Connection Type. Ask your network administrator for details on configuring a network printer in your environment.

34.3 Sharing printers over the network

Printers managed by a local CUPS daemon can be shared over the network and so turn your machine into a CUPS server. Usually you share a printer by enabling so-called browsing mode in CUPS. If browsing is enabled, the local print queues are made available on the network for listening to remote CUPS daemons. It is also possible to set up a dedicated CUPS server that manages all print queues and can directly be accessed by remote clients. In this case it is not necessary to enable browsing.

Procedure 34.6: Sharing printers
  1. Start the YaST printer module with Hardware / Printer.

  2. Launch the Share Printers screen from the left pane.

  3. Select Allow Remote Access. Also check For computers within the local network and enable browsing mode by also checking Publish printers by default within the local network.

  4. Click OK to restart the CUPS server and to return to the Printer Configurations screen.

  5. Regarding CUPS and firewall settings, see https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:CUPS_and_SANE_Firewall_settings.