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The Linux Print2Win mini-HOWTO

Marcelo Pereira da Silva

Jan 2002
Revision History                                                             
Revision 1.1            2002-07-19             Revised by: ms                
Revision 1.0            2002-01-01             Revised by: ms                

  This howto contains the general configuration to get Linux printing to a
Windows print share.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Server (Windows)
3. Client (Linux)
    3.1. Standard lpr
4. /etc/printcap Tips
5. License
6. Credits

1. Introduction

  As we want the print service running, we'll set up all the environment step
by step, to avoid mistakes or bad configurations.

  First, set up the server; when you have the server running, configure the

2. Server (Windows)

There is no special rules when configuring the server. Just install the
printer driver in the Windows server, test it to verify that the printer is
running properly, and share the printer.

3. Client (Linux)

  The client configuration is similar to Linux to Linux printing.

3.1. Standard lpr

  The simplest way to do it is to add an entry to /etc/printcap. As a quick
example, the entry for a generic matrix printer would be:
# EPSON LX300                                                                

Note Make sure you are using the correct filter, or the right generic one.   

  Be sure you have created the directory /var/spool/lpd/epson, and the users
you wish to use the printer have the right access to this.

  For example, assume the Windows print server is named meriadoc, with an IP
address of, and the printer is shared from Windows as epsonLX.

  So, you have to configure /var/spool/lpd/epson/.config like this:



  Once your /etc/printcap is configured, you have to enable the print share:
[localhost]$ lpc up epson                                                    
[localhost]$ lpc enable epson                                                

  If everything is ok, you can send jobs to the queue:
[localhost]$ lpr -Pepson file                                                

4. /etc/printcap Tips

  I have used the entry below in the first example, but this is not a
particularly good idea:

  Because lpr does an "exclusive" open on the file you specify as lp=. It
does this in order to prevent multiple processes from trying to print to the
same printer at the same time.

  The side effect of this is that in your case, eng and colour can't print at
the same time, (usually more or less transparent since they probably print
quickly and since they queue you probably don't notice) but any other process
that tries to write to /dev/null will break!

  On a single user system, probably not a big problem. I have a system with
over 50 printers. It would be a problem there.

  The solution is to create a dummy printer for each. Eg: touch /dev/eng.

[localhost]$ touch /dev/eng                                                  
[localhost]$ touch /dev/colour                                               

5. License

  This document, Print2Win-HOWTO, is copyrighted (c) 2001-2002 by Marcelo
Pereira da Silva. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify
this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version
1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
A copy of the license is available at []

6. Credits

  Thanks to all those who sent opinions about this document, to everybody who
told me some printing tips, to Rick Bressler, and a special thanks to Harish
Pillay, who wrote the first version of this document.

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