Using CUPS for DeskJet Printing with a Netgear Print Server


For some time, I've used a Netgear PS110 print server to connect printers with just a parallel port to my home network so that my printers can sit in a more convinient location. Now that I'm using OS X, I was a little worried that it might not work. Turns out it works just fine using CUPS. Here's what I did:

  1. Connect the DeskJet to the PS110
  2. Go to http://127.0.0.1:631 to access the built-in CUPS administration tool. Its already running---you don't need to start it.
  3. Select "Add Printer"
  4. Select a name, etc. This isn't critical.
  5. The PS110 speaks LPD, so select LPD printing and enter the URL as lpd://192.168.1.10/P2 where 192.168.1.10 is replaced with the IP number or DNS name of the PS110 and P2 is the name of the queue on the PS110 that the DeskJet is connected to.
  6. I was using a DeskJet 882C, so I selected New DeskJet when asked. You may need to select something else depending on your printer.
  7. Print a test page. For some reason, I couldn't print the test page from CUPS, but I printed a test page from Mozilla just fine.

I like this solution because I don't have any other computer in the loop, just a simple appliance. The PS110 has two ports, so you could have two printers. I happen to have a Brother MFC4500 on the other one and, alas, there doesn't appear to be a driver for OS X, so its just faxing at this point.

This wasn't as easy to get going as many things on OS X have been. Over all, I'd say printing is the weakest thing I've seen so far in OS X administration. Everything else has been dirt simple. There are two different ways to configure printers: the Print Center and CUPS. I tried in vain to get the Print Center to work (driver issues). Finding CUPS took some work and searching. The good news is that CUPS is fairly substantial and has some great tools, so better intergration with CUPS (so that there's only one way to configure a printer) could solve this problem.