Working with the CUPS Print Server

1.5 hours
  • 3 Learning Objectives

About this Hands-on Lab

A Linux system administrator should have a basic understanding of the CUPS print server. Even though computers were supposed to usher in the “paperless society,” printing is still an important function of many businesses for record-keeping and government compliance. In this hands-on lab, we will practice with a newly installed print server that will send jobs to PDF files. We will use the `lpd` (line print daemon) toolset provided by a CUPS installation.

Learning Objectives

Successfully complete this lab by achieving the following learning objectives:

Install a PDF printer.

Run the following command to see what you printers you have installed (there should not be any at this point):

lpstat -s

Next, run the following command to see what types of printer connections you have available to you. To set up the PDF print server, you will need the cups-pdf:/ available:

sudo lpinfo -v

Install a PDF printer to use with CUPS (we will use the -p option to set the name of the printer to CUPS-PDF and the -v option for the connection type):

sudo lpadmin -p CUPS-PDF -v cups-pdf:/

We now need to determine what driver files we can use with this printer. Run the following command to query the CUPS database for files that contain the term "PDF":

lpinfo --make-and-model "PDF" -m

We will want to use the first option as our driver file.

sudo lpadmin -p CUPS-PDF -m "CUPS-PDF.ppd"

Run the following command, and note that we do not have a default printer yet:

lpstat -s

Check on the status of the printer we just installed:

lpc status

We will need to enable this printer so that it can accept jobs, and we should set it as the system default as well:

sudo lpadmin -d CUPS-PDF -E
sudo cupsenable CUPS-PDF
sudo cupsaccept CUPS-PDF

Check its status again:

lpc status
Print a test page.

Run the following command to print a copy of the /etc/passwd file to a PDF file in your home directory:

lpr /etc/passwd

Verify that there is a passwd.pdf file within your home directory:

ls
Modify the printer and work with the print queue.

Configure the printer so that it will not accept new print jobs at this time:

sudo cupsreject CUPS-PDF

Verify the status of the printer (look for the line queuing is disabled):

lpc status

Attempt to print the /etc/group file to your printer:

lpr /etc/group

You should have seen the following when you tried to print the file: lpr: Destination "CUPS-PDF" is not accepting jobs.

Instruct your printer to accept incoming print jobs again:

sudo cupsaccept CUPS-PDF

Verify that your printer can accept jobs again (look for the line queuing is enabled):

lpc status

Configure your printer so that it can accept print jobs in its queue, but it will not print them:

sudo cupsdisable CUPS-PDF

Verify that your printer can accept jobs, but not print them (look for the lines queuing is enabled and printing is disabled):

lpc status

Attempt to print the /etc/group file again:

lpr /etc/group

Running the ls command on your home directory should not show a new PDF file.

Check the printer’s queue:

lpq

Note that your print job is still in the queue. Your printer can accept new jobs, but not print them at this time (as noted by the CUPS-PDF is not ready line in your lpq output). Run the following command, and substitute the JobID with the Job ID listed in your lpq command’s output:

lprm JobID

Verify that the job has been removed from your queue. Note that your printer is still not ready to print new jobs:

lpq

Re-enable your printer’s ability to print new jobs:

sudo cupsenable CUPS-PDF

Verify that your printer is ready:

lpq

Additional Resources

You just started a new job where you will be managing a print server for a small company. This company uses a centralized print server that will send all jobs to PDF files that they can email to their various business contacts and accounting services. You will configure a PDF printer on this server and send test jobs through the print queue to practice with the line print daemon commands from a terminal.

What are Hands-on Labs

Hands-on Labs are real environments created by industry experts to help you learn. These environments help you gain knowledge and experience, practice without compromising your system, test without risk, destroy without fear, and let you learn from your mistakes. Hands-on Labs: practice your skills before delivering in the real world.

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