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Printing to a Windows XP printer share from Linux or OS-X.

Author: Nick Bembridge | Files under OS X, Windows, linux

Network printers can be fairly expensive and are not usually something a normal home user will consider buying. Hopefully this simple guide will enable you to print over the network from your Linux or OS-X machine to that cheap inkjet printer you have connected locally (either USB or Parallel) to your PC running Windows XP.

For this tutorial we will assume that you already have your printer connected to your Windows XP machine and that you are able to print to it from Windows.

You will need to make a note of the IP address of the Windows the machine that the printer is connected to, to do this click “START” then “RUN”, type in CMD to launch the command prompt. Once you are in the command prompt type IPCONFIG/ALL, this will display your current IP address and should start 192.168 (this should be on the 6th line or so down), make a note of this as we will need it later.

The first step we will need to take is to install the “Print Services for Unix” to do this go to the Control Panel and select “Add or Remove Programs” then select “Add/Remove Windows Components” on the left hand side, once this has opened you will be presented with a list of components that you can install. Scroll down this list until you see “Other Network File and Print Services” (Click the thumbnail to the right for details

Click the Details button and select “Print Services for Unix”, click OK then next you may be prompted to insert your Windows CD and restart the computer.

We now need to go into the “Printers and Faxes” folder and right click the printer you wish to share and choose “Sharing” from the drop down menu. On the page that appears next click the link that says that you want to turn on printer sharing without running the wizard. This will open up the “Sharing” tab, tick the “Share this printer” box and enter a Share name below. Try to keep this as short as possible and without any unusual characters, make a note of it for later.


Now to access the share in Linux (I’m currently using Ubuntu 7.10 but these steps should be fairly similar for different distributions). Open up “Printer Configuration” from the “System -> Administration” menu.

Click on “New Printer” then select “LDP/LPR Host or Printer” then fill in the hostname with the IP address of the Windows Machine, fill in the printer name with the Share name that we created earlier.


Click forward and select the manufacturer of your printer, after that select forward again and choose the model number. Next you will need to give the printer a unique name and description. Click Apply and print a test page to make sure that the paper settings and print settings are correct.

If you are using Mac OS-X the procedure is nearly identical to what we have done in Linux (just a few of the terms used differ slightly).
From within “Print & Fax” wizard click the plus (+) icon in the bottom left, then on the following screen click IP, on the screen that follows choose “Line Printer Daemon - LPD” as the protocol to use. Fill the address box in with the IP address of the windows machine and in the Queue field change this to the name we used to share the printer in windows (in my example I used HPPhotos). Fill the name and location in as before and select the printer driver to use.

OSX Printer Settings

Since both Linux and Mac OS-X both use CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) you can also add the printer via the CUPS web interface by typing into your web browser, CUPS will be covered more in depth at a later date along with sharing a printer between Linux & OS-X.

Well hopefully everything went as smooth for you as it did for me, if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to leave a comment.

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  1. May 25, 2008: connect parallel windows xp

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