Is there a way to print to a Samba printer requiring authentication by providing the credentials on the command line (e.g., with lpr)?

I managed to store the credentials in GNOME Keyring and when I am logged with a desktop session I can print with lpr.

Is there a way to either:

  • supply the credentials to lpr
  • authenticate the jobs in the queue

when logging in remotely (SSH)?


I know that it is possible to store a set of credentials for all the users (directly in CUPS in the printer URI), but we need each user to authenticate with his/her own credentials.

  • It doesn't ue pritcap? – mikeserv Mar 20 '14 at 12:59
  • @mikeserv printcap to do what? – Matteo Mar 20 '14 at 13:03
  • you can start keyring without gnome or display manager. to do this: eval $(/usr/bin/gnome-keyring-daemon --start --components=gpg,pkcs11,secrets,ssh) # You probably need to do this too: export GNOME_KEYRING_CONTROL GNOME_KEYRING_PID GPG_AGENT_INFO SSH_AUTH_SOCK – phoops Mar 22 '14 at 13:01
  • @edvinas.me The keyring gets started but still no improvement – Matteo Mar 25 '14 at 11:48


You can use smbclient to print files. I'm able to print via Samba to one of my printers like so:

$ smbclient -U <user> //server/printer -c "print <filename>"


$ smbclient -U sam //bart/mfc-8480dn -c "print hello_printer.txt"
Enter sam's password: 
Domain=[BUBBA] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.0.33-3.39.el5_8]
putting file hello_printer.txt as hello_printer.txt (0.2 kb/s) (average 0.2 kb/s)


I also found this example here in a thread titled: Lion Kerberos printing. There are 2 methods.

Method #1 - Printers already installed

$ sudo lpadmin -p PRINTERNAME -o auth-info-required=negotiate

Method #2 - Adding printer

$ sudo lpadmin -p PRINTERNAME -E -v smb://PRINTSERVER/PRINTQUEUE \
    -m Generic.ppd -L "LOCATION" -o auth-info-required=negotiate

In either case once you've run one of the above commands you should be able to do lpr -P PRINTERNAME after configuring the SMB printer.

NOTE1: You may be able to add usernames & domains to the smb:// line if needed. I did not test that facility however. Also the -U <username> switch allows for overriding your username.

NOTE2: This method will create a printer with the credentials cached, which may not be what you want, but will allow lpr to send prints to a SMB printer, just without the credentials included.


  • This will allow to setup authentication from the command line but the problem is that when printing from the command line lpr has no way to authenticate. The jobs will just remain stuck in the queue. – Matteo Mar 25 '14 at 11:45
  • @Matteo - see updates. – slm Mar 26 '14 at 4:14
  • smbclient works like a charm. Thanks for the update. – Matteo Mar 26 '14 at 6:56
  • @Matteo - I flipped the methods around so that smbclient is 1st since that's really the A to your Q, but left the lpadmin details in in case someone wants to create a more permanent SMB printer entry. – slm Mar 26 '14 at 14:41
  • NOTE! The smbclient version given above prints assuming the file is a text file. If you print a PDF with this, your printer will spew out page after page after page of PDF source code. – user133769 Sep 11 '15 at 16:33

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