Do you have an old printer that you want to enable for network printing? It's easy and quick when you use a Raspberry Pi and open-source print tools.
You'll be able to enjoy printing without being tethered to painful cables or a single computer. As an added bonus, you will also be able to set your new printer up on Google Cloud print, so you can share it with your friends, or print from your Android smartphone.
This article is a work in progress and is not complete as of yet. Please check back later for a complete article.
Table of Contents:
You don't need much to get your own network printer, but there are a few things that you need before you can get started:
1 x Raspberry Pi
You can use any Raspberry Pi except the Zero (models A, A+, B, B+ or 2B), although the B+ or 2B are recommended because of their superior performance. If you opt for a A or A+ model, you will also need a USB hub to allow you to connect both the printer and WiFi adapter at the same time.
This tutorial has only been tested for the Raspberry Pi, but there is no reason why it shouldn't work on other single board computers (Banana Pi, Lemon Pi, Orange Pi, etc.). If you get a print server working on another board, please let me know via the feedback form and I can update the list.
1 x Power Supply
Use a approved power supply with sufficient power (1A or more should do for this use).
1 x Network Cable or WiFi Adapter
I recommend that you use a wired network connection, as it is much more reliable, but if one is unavailable the Pi can be connected by WiFi.
1 x SD Card
The exact type of card you need depends on the model of Pi that you have. Running a print server doesn't need that much space or speed, so a class 4 8GB card from a reputable brand would be all you need.
1 x Printer
It should be fine to use what you have already. Just make sure that you can connect via USB (that means you can't use your old parallel port printer from the 90s).
1 x USB Cable
Use this to connect the printer to the Raspberry Pi. You should make sure that the cable actually reaches from the printer to the Pi.
Operating System Setup
The first task on the list is to install the operating system (you should use Raspbian) and secure the system from attackers.
This will be part of another tutorial, which is not yet produced, but will be arriving soon.
Memory Split Settings
Set the memory split so that the amount of memory allocated to the graphics processor is the minimum allowed.
Follow instructions in this upcoming tutorial (link not yet produced.)
CUPS is the print server that connects to the printer and allows users to send a print job to it.
To install CUPS, you need to run this command:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install cups
By default, the
pi user does not have permission to use the CUPS installation. You can rectify this by adding
pi to the
usermod -a -G lpadmin pi
Now you need to enable remote access to the administration panel:
sudo cupsctl --remote-any
Now you should make sure that the CUPS daemon is started:
sudo service cups restart
Now you have the print server set up, it's time to plug in the printer and get it set up as well.
You need to plug your printer into the Pi using the USB cable, and then turn on the printer, so the Pi will be able to recognise it.