Printing Service
Written by Scott Ostrander   
Thursday, 02 February 2006 08:54

The School of Computing uses a Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) server to manage printing, using the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP). CUPS provides both lpr and lp style client commands under Unix.

The main public printer is csps for single sided printing, and csduplex for double sided. The printer is located in MEB 3153.

Various research groups, labs and grad student areas have printers available for their use. You can find out more than you probably want to know using the printer web page ( Only accessible from machines within the School of Computing ) or the lpstat command:

lpstat -t

Ignore the bogus date fields. The lpstat man page explains more options. Various printer options, defaults and such can be set using the lpoptions command. For example, to make grduplex your default printer, you would run the command:

lpoptions -d grduplex

With a default destination printer set, you can just do "lpr filename" instead of "lpr -Pgrduplex filename"

Documentation for the CUPS system is available via the web.


On systems running Windows, the printers are available through cups using the form

You may need someone with admin privleges to add the printer and share it before regular users can make use of it.


On Macintosh systems, open the Print & Fax preference pane.  In the dialog set the protocol to "IPP" and in the Address (Printer on older Macs) field enter:

In the Queue (Spool on older Macs) field enter:


In the Name field, you can name this printer entry to anything you'd like.

Configuring a Self Administrated UNIX System Using CUPS

There are two quick methods to allow a UNIX system within the SoC network to access the CUPS server.  If you wish to make the change globally for all users of the system, edit the/etc/cups/client.conf file and add the line:


If you only wish to make the change for your user account on a UNIX system, simply set the $CUPS_SERVER environment variable to "".

Cups documentation.

Printer Status
       [ Only available from machines within School of Computing ] 

If you have troubles with printing, first make sure it isn't something obvious like the printer out of paper, jammed, offline or the network cable unplugged. If there is a non-obvious problem, send a message describing the trouble in detail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..