Cups vs Avahi vs Mac

I have an old HP Laser Jet 6L as my primary printer at home. It’s a trooper – I got it new years ago, and I have never had a problem with it. A few years ago, I got an APC Parallel Port to USB converter. That works great, until I tried to plug it unto my new Airport Express 802.11n. Woops. Lucky me I have a Linux box right next to the printer..

So the box was running Debian Etch and a Half. I had Netatalk and Avahi running on it with a custom compiled netatalk including SSL support for DHX authentication.

I plugged the printer in, CUPS saw it, and presto. But when I went to add it to my mac, I could not browse for it. No problem, right? add it to Avahi. No sweat.

Not so much. Total PITA. However in my searching, I found this article.

First you need to install CUPS 1.3 or higher on your print server and setup the printer (the web interface makes this task dead easy)

Ug, Etch is running at CUPS 1.2.x. With a little research, however I find that Debian Lenny has CUPS 1.3.x. Lenny was also released as stable a few days ago, so it might be a good time to upgrade my server.

Did I mention how much I love debian?

So here are the steps to upgrade:

1) Edit /etc/apt/sources.list. Take all of the instanced of etch and replace with lenny

2) Run sudo apt-get install apt dpkg aptitude to upgrade apt and aptitude.

3) Run aptitude full-upgrade. I ran it three times (until it did not pick up any new packages). You’ll need to keep an eye on this, as it will ask you several questions, and some of them are quite important (do you want to revert importantconfigfile.conf to the maintainers version or keep your own?)

So after all of that, I restarted CUPS and presto – printer showed up in my Mac’s printer browser.

Leave a Reply