Sadly there are still various Windows-only printers (usually: GDI printers) available. This also applies to older printers without 64bit drivers for Windows. In general you should try hard to keep this kind of headaches away from you.

The following recipe describes a setup that makes even these printers usable in a mixed windows/linux/mac environment. The following steps are involved:

This tutorial is based on Robert Harder's article Share a Windows Printer with a Mac.

Setup the real printer

Install and test

This should be really simple:

Optional: virtual USB handling

If your host is a virtual instance then you may need to pass through the USB device.

For KVM with libvirt you would do the following:

Setup a virtual postscript printer

Sadly the Windows printer spooler sends all incoming jobs directly to the printer. Thus it is not possible to transfer a postscript job to a remote shared Windows printer and let the Windows driver handle the conversion.

The virtual postscript printer will take for this. All clients will be configured to send nice postscript data. The virtual printer redirects this input to the driver of the real printer.

Install the virtual printer software

Configure the virtual printer

Now you are ready to print a test page on your shiny new postscript-like printer.

Configure the printer in the network

If you enabled printer sharing as described above then you can use this new postscript-like printer everywhere in your network. Possible clients are desktop computers of any kind or also print servers (e.g. CUPS).

Do not forget that you always need to configure the driver that you selected above (e.g. HP LaserJet 4100 PS). On Linux/Mac (any CUPS-based system) this should simply be the Generic -> Postscript printer driver.

Windows-only printer on Linux (zuletzt geändert am 2012-12-07 17:06:36 durch lars)

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