Are you trying to install a printer on your Ubuntu system? Fortunately, Ubuntu now recognizes printers from most manufacturers and automatically installs the appropriate drivers when connected.
Many printer manufacturers such as Brother and HP support Linux distributions and release their own printer drivers. But before installing another manufacturer’s printer, you should check their website to see if they support Linux.
Keep in mind that the desktop environment determines the configuration tool you need to use to set up the printer, not the Linux distribution.
Is he already there?
Does it really exist?
Many modern printers have powerful networking capabilities. This means that when you go to the add printer area, your printer will already be listed.
How do you know if it is? Please note that you will need administrator rights on the system to set the default printer.
- Enter Printers in the action overview. By moving your mouse to the upper left corner of the screen, you will see Actions.
- Or you can press the Super key on your keyboard. The superkey is the one that looks like the Windows logo on most computers.
- Go to system settings. You can find it in the toolbar or in the Ubuntu Dock.
- Click Printers to see a list of printers, if any.
Your printer is listed
Your printer is listed
If you see your printer in the list of devices, the following steps will help you complete the printer setup.
- If your printer is listed, it is because you have a network printer. Select it and then click Properties.
As you can see in the image above, you can:
- change the printer name.
- Print a test page to make sure it works as expected.
- Please troubleshoot if you have a problem.
You should also check the printer settings to ensure that the default settings match the capabilities and functions of your printer.
Please be aware that each printer will be slightly different. However, the basic principles are the same for all printers.
Note the output mode in the image above. If you want to save some money because cartridges can be expensive, you can only use color when needed.
If you don’t want a color copy, you can change this setting to Black and White or Grayscale.
What if your printer is not listed?
What if your printer isn’t listed?
There are times when your Ubuntu OS cannot find a connected printer. There are various reasons for this, from simple to complex.
You can view the documentation of the printer manufacturer or follow these steps.
Check your printer hardware
One of the easiest things to check is the connection. Have you connected the power and USB cables correctly (if your printer is not wireless)?
If you have an old printer or have moved it from one location to another, you may have a loose connection. Check both ends of the USB cable to make sure the connection is secure.
Some older printers are not designed to work with the open source operating system or the latest Ubuntu.
Alternatively, if your printer is very new, it may not have been added to the Ubuntu database yet. So what can you do?
You can go to the official website of the printer manufacturer to find and download the appropriate driver depending on the model number.
Each printer has a different brand of installation, so follow the instructions carefully.
Use the Additional Drivers tool
Some printer manufacturers have their own proprietary, closed source drivers. This means that Linux distributions will not be able to automatically enable them for you.
- Ubuntu-based distributions have an add-on driver tool to install proprietary drivers. Open the dashboard first.
- Then search for additional drivers and run it.
- Your system will detect the proprietary drivers required for your printer and allow you to install them.
Configure manually with CUPS (Common Unix Printing System)
CUPS, developed by Apple, allows your system to detect your printer if it is not automatically detected. You can use it with one computer or a group of networked computers.
- If you don’t have CUPS installed yet, you can install it from Terminal with the following command:
- Now you need to enable CUPS:
- Use the following command to start CUPS:
- After authenticating with the user’s password, the CUPS server will start automatically.
- Now that you have enabled and started the CUPS service, exit Terminal. Run CUPS on localhost:
- Add your printer from CUPS for administrators.
- In the Administration section under Printers, click Add Printer.
- Find your printer on a locally installed printer.
sudo apt install cups
sudo systemctl enable cups
sudo systemctl start cups pre>
Configure CUPS – localhost: 631
Please note that CUPS is specifically designed for printing and not for scanning or other functions that some printers may perform.
Unless your printer is very new or old, setting up a printer in Ubuntu is not that hard in most cases.