Printer configuration

Getting your printer to work on Xubuntu may require some work. Most likely, your printer will be auto-detected by Xubuntu. However, you will still need to configure it by hand. You can either do this in your browser, or in a terminal:


You will need super-user privileges to configure a printer. See the section called “Root And Sudo”.

Printer Configuration with the Browser

First, you will need to enable the web administration interface of CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System).

  1. Launch Applications->System->Users and Groups, click on the tab Groups, and check Show all users and groups

  2. Select the group shadow and click Properties.

  3. Add the user cupsys to the group.

  4. Restart CUPS with this command:

    $sudo /etc/init.d/cupsys restart

Next, visit the web interface by entering http://localhost:631/admin in your browser's location bar. Once there, you will be able to see, install, and configure the detected printers on your system.

Printer Configuration with the Terminal (Advanced Users)

To manage printers in the terminal, CUPS provides the commands lpadmin, lpinfo, lpoptions. Please refer to the CUPS online manual Managing Printers from the Command-Line for detailed information on how to use these commands.

To check if your printer has been detected correctly, do:

lpinfo -v

To add a printer, do something similar to:

lpadmin -p DeskJet -E -v parallel:/dev/lp1 -m deskjet.ppd


If you experience problems getting your printer to work, you may consider installing gnome-cups-manager. It is available by the usual manner described in the section called “Adding, Removing and Updating Applications” and will offer a nice graphical tool to set up your printer. WARNING: installing gnome-cups-manager will bring in many dependencies to the Gnome desktop, thus increasing the size of your system, while making it slower. It is therefore not recommended to install gnome-cups-manager on Xubuntu. In some cases, however, it may be worth the trade-off to get your printer working.