Alan Hargreaves' Blog

The ramblings of a former Australian SaND TSC* Principal Field Technologist

Nevada to OpenSolaris Sun Ray on SPARC (part 7 – printing)

OK, I find myself needing to print something so let’s get CUPS configured.

Oh, it’s not in the default install, …

$ pfexec pkg install print/cups
DOWNLOAD                                  PKGS       FILES    XFER (MB)
Completed                                  2/2     856/856      3.9/3.9

PHASE                                        ACTIONS
Install Phase                              1037/1037
PHASE                                          ITEMS
Reading Existing Index                           8/8
Indexing Packages                                2/2

Now before we can do anything we need to enable the services.

$ pfexec svcadm enable cups/scheduler
$ pfexec svcadm enable cups/in-lpd
$ pfexec print-service -s cups

The last one above is vitally important, or you will find that the web interface gives you “500 Internal Error”, which is not helpful and /var/log/cups
contains a line like:

E [07/Aug/2010:12:08:52 -1000] [CGI] Unable to connect to cupsd: No such file or directory

Which is equally unhelpful.

Update: Looks like you only need to run the pfexec print-service -s cups, as it does the appropriate svcadm commands. Thanks Ghee Teo for that.

Now the rest is in the web, specifically http://localhost:631 and following the pretty intuitive interface.

To get a relatively generic ppd file I went to the postscript printers at and downloaded the ppd for the Apple 12/640ps. This will do as my generic until I can find someone with a mac who has installed the mac “drivers” for the Xerox Docucentre-II 2055 and the ApeosPort-II C4300.

Don’t forget to go set the printing defaults, like duplexing and paper size.

Interestingly, while under my previous install (nv128) the printers showed up in my print menus, they are not doing so here. That’s a problem for another day as at least I can print using lp(1).

Update #1

Actually the ppd file I selected above gave me problems with the Docucentre printer, so I removed it (for some reason I couldn’t select a different make of printer from the web interface, well I could select it but it wouldn’t have any effect), and reinstalled it as the Generic Postscript. Now that one has the issue that it will only do single sided, so I went in and edited the ppd file in /etc/cups/ppd and changed

*UIConstraints: *Duplex *Option1 False
*UIConstraints: *Option1 False *Duplex


*UIConstraints: *Duplex *Option1 True
*UIConstraints: *Option1 True *Duplex

which seems to make it happy now when I try to set the default to double sided/Long edge, and it even actually now prints double sided.

Update #2

For the ApeosPort-II I set up the configuration and modified it as above as well as changing

*DefaultColorSpace: Gray


*DefaultColorSpace: RGB

which also seems to do the right thing for this printer.

Now the only niggle I have to deal with is that some of the fonts print absolutely awfully, although it’s still more than readable.

Update #4

The fonts was easy. I had just chosen a crappy looking font. Choosing another improved things immensely.

Getting the full printing functionality took installation of a few more packages that were not installed automatically.

library/desktop/gtk2/gtk-backend-cups Used by the GNOME Apps print dialog
print/cups/system-config-printer Print manager for CUPS
print/cups/hal-cups-utils local USB printer auto-detection daemon

Now my applications are coming up with the queues I defined.


Written by Alan

August 8, 2010 at 11:40 am

Posted in OpenSolaris, Work

3 Responses

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  1. pfexec print-service -s cups

    do the svcadm for you already.
    So not need to run 3 commands, one is enough.

    Ghee Teo

    August 11, 2010 at 12:12 am

  2. The rest needn’t be “in the web”, there’s a full GNOME print manager for CUPS in OpenSolaris.


    August 22, 2010 at 7:56 am

  3. @Ghee, thanks I’ll update the entry.

    @Ed, I’ll have a look at that but I do have to say the web interface is simple to use.


    August 22, 2010 at 9:58 am

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