Computer Laboratory

Information for Windows users

Installing Printers using CUPS

What is CUPS?

The Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) is a modular computer printing system for Unix-like operating systems that allows a computer to act as a powerful printer server.

It's advantage is the ability for administrators to monitor the printing of jobs, and install, update or maintain printers remotely, making a much more efficient system for users, and causing less disruption when work on printers is required.

A computer running CUPS is a host which can accept jobs from a client computer and send them to the appropriate printer.

CUPS has a web-based user interface that runs on port 631 (IPP - Internet Printing Protocol).

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Finding a printer to use from the CUPS website

In a web browser, navigate to the CUPS printers home page: https://cups-serv.cl.cam.ac.uk:631/printers/

CUPS printer homepage

All available printers are listed here in alphabetical order.
Information for each printer includes:

  • printer name
  • make and model
  • room location

All these can be used with the Search facility.
Each printer description includes its current state of use.

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The following demonstrates a few search options:

Searching a printer by name

Search for printers

In the example above, the required printer is called Spruce.
By typing the printer name in the search box, the results show: the printers location, the make and model details, and the printer state - i.e on- or offline, idle and accepting jobs, or experiencing printing errors.

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Searching a printer by location

Search For Room

In this example, the search for room GC18 presents two available printers: Hazel and Redwood

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Searching a printer by make

For this example, a colour laserject printer is required.
You can see that when "laserjet" is entered into the Search facility, numerous printers are displayed (the scroll bar on the right hand side of the image indicates that many more printers can be viewed on this webpage).

Search for Laserjet Printers

Instead, a more specific search for Color printers can be made.  (Note: the American spelling of color.

Search for Color Printers

Now the list is much shorter showing only 2 available colour printers.
(Note: It is coincidence that they are both laserjet. If other makes of colour printers were available (i.e Epson), these would also be displayed)

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Installing a printer

As mentioned in the What is CUPS section, remote administration means that much of the installation and configuration process for a printer has already been done. All that is needed is for your computer to ask the server to install the required printer onto your PC.

For this example, I am going to be installing the printer Spruce.

  • Click on \\filer\INSTALL\localinstall\CUPS\
    If this link doesn't work, click on Start, Run, and copy and paste \\filer\INSTALL\localinstall\CUPS\ into the box.
  • Run Setup.exe.
  • Adobe Postscript Driver window

    Adobe Setup window

    The following windows will appear, and will show for about a minute before setup proceeds, depending on the speed of your PC:

  • Click on Next.
  • Click on Accept to accept the Terms and Conditions.
  • In the next window, select the bottom option:

    It is connected to your network (Network Printer)

    and click Next.
  • The next window should show one single box.
    In here, type (or copy and paste) the following:

    http://cups-serv.cl.cam.ac.uk:631/printers/"printer_name"

    (or use https if not on a lab managed VLAN) where "printer_name" is replaced by the required printer, in this example Spruce.
      i.e http://cups-serv.cl.cam.ac.uk:631/printers/spruce

    Network Printer Path

  • If the following Error window appears:

    Error Message

    Click Yes

  • In the next window, click on the Browse button, and navigate to \\filer\INSTALL\LocalInstall\CUPS, and select your desired printer.
    (in this example, I selected >Spruce

    Choose printer

  • Click OK
  • In the next window, you should see your printer selected in the list of printer models:

    Printer Model

  • Click Next to continue.
  • In the PrinterInformation window, select Yes if you want this printer to be your default
    and select Yes or NO to the request to print a test page, depending on your preference.
    (If you have printing to do anyway,then a test page is a waste of paper).

    Printer Information

  • Click Next.
  • Click Install.
  • In the next window, you are asked if you want to reconfigure the printer. Click No. (This has been done already).

    Printer Configurations

  • Click Next. (If you have selected, Yes by mistake, just click on OK to continue, without making any changes.)
  • Untick the box requesting to view the ReadMe file, and click Finish.
  • If you are asked to restart your computer, do so if it is convenient, if not select:

    No, I will restart my computer later

    The printer should work without the need to restart.

You can check the printer has installed by clicking on:  Start, Printers and Faxes

Your new printer should be listed. If you made it your default printer, a small tick should be displayed as part of the icon:

List of available printers

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