Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sometimes I think I understand computers ... sometimes not

I spent 4 hours trying to set things up so that my Windows 7 laptop could print to a USB-attached printer on my Ubuntu Linux desktop.

Most of it went pretty easily: ensure that CUPS and Samba were installed and configured on the Linux machine, and verify that the Samba configuration allowed printer sharing.

But then, no amount of fiddling with the Add Printer wizard on the Windows 7 machine was finding success.

Finally, this weird sequence worked:

  • Choose Add Printer
  • Choose Add a local printer. Ignore all the warnings about how you should only do this if you have a locally-attached, non-USB cabled printer. :)
  • Choose Create a new port.
  • Choose Local Port. Click Next.
  • When prompted to enter a port name, type in \\computername\printername

It is so weird that in order to print to a printer on another machine, you have to (a) tell Windows to define a locally-attached printer, and then stuff a remote machine network address into the 'local port' field.

But hey, it worked...

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