I have a wireless printer set up on my Windows host, and I want to use it from my Linux guest. I got a "add a printer" window open, but when I click on "New", I get a few options, e.g. set up via Samba. What would be the easiest way to be able to set up my environment so that I can seamlessly print from my Linux guest?

I'm using Windows 7 and SLED 11 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop).

2 Answers 2


There're two possibilities here:

  1. Pretend not to be a virtual machine, i.e. since your printer is a wireless one, your virtual machine Linux installation as far as your printer is concerned is just another computer in your network. To access the wireless printer from Linux, you probably need to follow vendor-specific instructions (e.g. there's hplip and some tools for HP wireless printers...)
  2. Use the host, i.e. set up printer sharing on the Windows host (somehow) and then add the printer shared by the Windows computer to your Linux installation. (There're probably many HowTo's for this, but CUPS should make it easy once the Samba stuff this depends on is installed, which seems to be the case.)

It really depends on your wireless printer which way is easier. I'd suggest trying the first one first, since there's one hop less (by not going through Windows) for your documents.

(Edit: There's also Google CloudPrint, which might be useful here, but I really can't tell...It's probably one giant hop more for your documents.)


In your Windows host

  • From the Start Menu or Control Panel, open Devices and Printers.
  • Right click the printer in question and select Printer Properties (not just "Properties").
  • Under the Sharing tab, click "Change Sharing Options" and share the printer.
  • Copy the printer's Share name.

In your Linux Guest

  • Tell Linux that you want to add a new printer. On a typical distro, you will have a Printers applet with an Add button.
  • If prompted, indicate that you are adding a network printer.
  • Add the printer lpd://SHARENAME, where "SHARENAME" is what you copied from Windows.

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