How to Connect to a Network Printer if Running Ubuntu

By Allen Bethea

CUPs enables you to manage printers from your desktop or over the Internet.
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Like other versions of Linux, Ubuntu is a network-based operating system through and through. It has built-in tools to help you quickly locate and utilize your company's network resources like printers, databases or file servers. For instance, you can use Ubuntu's Printers utility or its Web-based CUPs utility to locate, connect to, configure and manage networked printers.

Ubuntu Printers Utility

Launch Ubuntu's "Printers" utility.

Select the "Add" button.

Select "Network Printer" under "Devices," then select "Find Network Printer."

Type in the network printer's IP address into the input box labeled "Host," then select the "Find" button. If another Ubuntu or Windows PC on your network is already connected to the printer, the device may already be on the Devices list before you perform the search.

Select the printer you want to connect to from the list under "Devices."

Select the "Forward" button.

Select the "Forward" button on the "Choose Driver" dialog to install the Gutenprint drivers.

Type in your password, then click the "Authenticate" button.

Select the printer's manufacturer from the drop-down list, then press "Forward."

Select the printer's model from the drop-down list, then press "Forward."

Press the "Apply" button.

Press the "Print Test Page" button to test you printer or press "Cancel."

Connecting With CUPS

Launch your Web browser, type "localhost:631" in the browser navigation or address bar, then press "Enter."

Select the "Administration" menu.

Select the "Add Printer" button.

Type in your user name and password, then press "OK."

Select the printer you want to add under the list of "Discovered Network Printers," then press "Continue."

Type in the location of the printer, then press "Continue."

Select the correct manufacturer for the printer, if necessary, then select the printer's driver.

Press the "Add Printer" button.

Press the "Set Default Options" button to connect to the printer.


If your network printer's driver is not on the list shipped with Ubuntu, check the manufacturer's website. You may find a DEB file you can install using the Software Center or a text PPD or Postscript Printer Description file you can use with the Printers utility or CUPS.