Make a Non HP printer Airprint compatible (ver 2.0)

*** As of IOS 6.1 , CUPS airprint functionality is broken. There is a lot of stuff on the web on how to make it work but I am not gonna use it. I’m just gonna wait for either Apple or CUPS fix it. ***  -rafiks

***** I found a solution to the IOS 6 problem with Linux Cups. Basically, the source of the problem is that IOS 6 changes the output of the print file from PDF to URF . I found this howto from this blog http://thepoch.com/post/32724116678/get-linux-airprint-working-again-for-ios-6 . .Thanks to the author.  The only difference is I did a /etc/init.d/cups restart and /etc/init.d/avahi-daemon since I use Debian. *****

**** Good news! As of today 2-28-13, CUPS 1.5.3-2.15 from debian fixes the problem. No need to do the hack mentioned above. I love Debian! ****

This is a followup to this post . Thanks to one of my readers I had to revisit this and make a few changes because it wasn’t really very clear. I will add some screenshots to make this easier. First off the,the original article was for a stand alone cups printer server which I installed on my sturdy Linux Box. For this how to,I am using my Macbook Air as my Cups server.

Ok . Here’s the recipe. I tried this one on a:

  • Macbook Air OSX 10.8.2
  • Ipad 3
  • Brother HL-2270DW

I connected all of them via wifi. So obviously they need to be all on the same local network. Airprint or CUPS still doesn’t work over the internet which would have been fantastic.

1.Turn on the printer and go to System Preferences > Print and Scan

2. Add a new printer . The printer should appear like so :

3. Add the printer that was discovered and choose a generic PCL driver.

 

 

4. Save the new printer

 

 

 

 

 

5. Go to the Terminal app and edit the ppd file of the printer you just created . It is found at the /etc/cups/ppd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Your PPD file should look like this. I only edited the highlighted parts. I use that HP model because that’s the one working for me. It really doesn’t matter as long as it’s an HP because that’s the only brand that works for the Coupon app.

 

 

 

 

7.Open your Iphone/Ipad/Ipod, check your Safari and Coupon’s app. Your printer should appear on the choices. 

Howto make your ordinary printer an (HP) Airprint printer

I wanted our brother laser printer to work on my wife’s iphone , it turns out it’s fairly easy to do.

First one needs to install CUPS,which is the only printer server that I use. It just works period.
Then I had to add the printer. I set it up using socket://ip address per the CUPS manual. It says there socket or otherwise known as the jetdirect protocol is the fastest way to connect one’s printer so try that first. For me it worked right out of the box.

Now,in order for the printer to appear on an Iphone or an Ipad,one just needs to check off that box that says “share this printer”. That’s it! Voila! Instant Airprinting! Take note though that one must be using the latest CUPS version so if its not working try updating.

Now, there are certain apps that I notice that asks for a specific brand of printer eg coupons.com ,so when one tries to use print it doesn’t show on the list of available printer. I found a hack to make it work. It’s kinda trivial really. This is how you do it. Let’s say if I wanted my Brother to show up as an HP printer all I need to do is edit the ppd file for that printer. So go ahead and add a new printer and choose the same settings for the one you already have and just change the name and description. Now we have to find that ppd for that new printer we just added and edit that file to make it appear that its an HP printer. The PPD is really just a text file so just edit the manufacturer and model fields and it should work.

If it still doesn’t show,wait a few minutes. If not,restart CUPS and AVahi or your Iphone/Ipad.

Now if only I could print remotely,like through a VPN. . . .