Purpose: In this post we will learn how to install and configure a printer that is attached to your home or office network on your Debian machine. Basically by the end of this post, you should be able to print from your Debian machine to any of those network printers. We will learn how to do it graphically rather than command line because it is very easy to do it that way.

Step 1: Install the package

# apt-get install system-config-printer

Note: This will automatically CUPS and a GNOME and X server if you already haven’t installed them. Depending on your Internet connection this may take quite a while.

Step 2: Launch the program

# system-config-printer

You will get a the following screen:

Linux Printing

Linux Printing

Step 3: Start Adding and Configuring your printers

Click on “New” Button:

Adding a Network Printer

Adding a Network Printer

Then select the printer that you would like to install. I selected “HP color Laserjet 4600..” as follow:

Select Network Printer

Select Network Printer

This is an important part where it asks you to install a PPD file for your printer. A PPD file is something equivalent to a driver file. Without a proper PPD file your printer won’t work. You have three options at this point of time:

  1. You can “Select a printer from database” (recommended)
  2. You can manually provide a PPD file from your Printer’s manufacturer (least recommended)
  3. You can “Search for a printer driver to download” from Internet (If (a) does not work). I will use this option just for fun.
Select a PPD (driver) file

Select a PPD (driver) file

Search for PPD file

Search for PPD file

Hit “Forward” button:

Select the PPD file

Select the PPD file

Just leave the default settings as shown above.

Hit “Forward” button:

Select PPD's properties

Select PPD's properties

Again just leave the default settings as shown above.

Hit “Forward” button:

Enter General Information

Enter General Information

Here you can enter any meaningful names, location, description, etc as shown above. This is will not affect your printer settings.

Hit “Apply”.

Step 4: Get ready for Printing

We are almost there. Our printer has been successfully installed and we can verify that by going to “System->Administration->Printing”:

Confirm Printer

Confirm Printer

Now open a Graphical Text Editor:

# gedit

and type something like this:

Open a File in text editor

Open a File in text editor

Now go to “File->Print->Print”:

Printing

Printing

Hurry up! Go to your printer and you will see a page with your text in it…:)

Congratulations! You have successfully printed from your Debian Linux machine.

Happy Printing!

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