CUPS stands for Common Unix Printing System. Since CUPS is the underlying technology for the printing system; it is usually the best way to add and manage a Networked Printer. For our example we hook up an Epson WorkForce printer.

If Your System Doesn't Include CUPS:
Install CUPS by going to Menu --> System Tools --> LXTerminal or [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[T]
and type (or copy and paste):
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install cups

has a web browser interface. Simply type, copy and paste (or click) http://localhost:631/ in Firefox (or any web browser) and hit [Enter].


Under the "Administration" tab, click the "Add Printer" or "Find New Printers" button.

 Add Printer

CUPS automatically detects most network printers.

Add Printer

Describe the printer in "human-readable" text. Whatever will make you / your family / your lab / office personnel recognize this printer and it's location.

Choose a Print Driver

Select a print driver from CUPS' large database.

Set Default Options

Select the default options for the printer (cover sheet, header, footer, color, black and white, greyscale, single-sided, duplex, Letter, Legal, etc.).

CUPS Network Printer

PostScript Printer Description files describes all the capabilities and features of a PostScript printer. A PPD file is the "printer driver." PPD files are used by CUPS for all PostScript printers.

For this example; we'll install an Epson WorkForce 645 Network Printer via CUPS and download the PPD for it from the Epson website.

Epson PPD Download 1

1. Go to the Epson website on the Download drivers and Software page. Type in the name of the printer, "WorkForce 645" and choose the Linux operating system.

Epson PPD Download 2

2. Choose the "latest" print driver there and click the "Download" button.

Epson PPD Download 3

3. Accept Epson's License Agreement.

Epson PPD Download 4

4. Download the .deb i386 (or AMD64) file.

Install PPD with gDebi

5. Choose to open (and install) with gDebi.


6. Type, or copy and paste (or click the link below to go to) the following address in a web browser: http://localhost:631/

CUPS Install PPD 1

7. Click the "Adding Printers and Classes" link under CUPS for Administrators.

CUPS Install PPD 2

8. Click the "Add Printer" button and click the Internet Printing Protocol (ipp) radio button.

CUPS Install PPD

9. Type: socket://your.printer.ip.address

CUPS Install PPD 4

10. Describe the printer in "human-readable" text. The "Name" field cannot have spaces, but the "Description" field can.

CUPS Install PPD 5

11. Click the "Browse" button to navigate to your PPD file. Alternatively, choose the Manufacturer from the list above to use an open source Foomatic print driver.

CUPS Install PPD 6

12. gDebi will have installed all the PPD files provided in the downloaded package (for several printers) somewhere in /usr/share/ppd

CUPS Install PPD 7

13. Navigate to /usr/share/ppd/epson-inkjet-printer-201106w/Epson and choose the Epson WorkForce 645 PPD file

Set Default Options

14. Select the default options you want for your printer (there are many more options than what is shown in the screenshot above)

CUPS Install PPD 9

15. The printer is now installed.

Network Printer in Printers

16. And is available in Menu --> System Tools --> Printers

Set as Default Printer Set as Default

More Information
See Configure a Static IP in Ubuntu at SpiceWorks, Configuring Network WiFi Printer from Ubuntu with DHCP at superuser, Copying a Printer Defenition File Between Systems from Hacker Public Radio, CUPS Homepage, CUPS Documentation, Have Ubuntu Server hand out “static” or “fixed” addresses via DHCP at aaron-kelly.net, FTP Home Computer Network at Linux LXDE Guide, Linux DHCP Server Configuration at YoLinux.com, InternetAndNetworking [Ubuntu Community Help Wiki] and Network Sharing, Printers & Wireless [Linux LXDE Guide].