1

If I point my browser to http://localhost:631/admin and click on the Find New Printers button, the page that comes up reports

No printers found.

My (wired, wide-area) internet connection works fine (I'm posting this question through it), and I know that there are many printers on my network, including a couple that I can see from my desk.

How can I troubleshoot this problem systematically?

  • what specific logs should I be examining for this?
  • are there printing-specific kernel modules that should be loaded before available printers can be detected?
  • anything else I should be looking at?

FWIW, I'm using

% uname -ar
Linux myhost 4.9.0-3-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.30-2+deb9u3 (2017-08-06) x86_64 \
GNU/Linux

...and have the following CUPS-related packages installed:

% dpkg-query -l | grep -i cups
ii  cups            2.2.1-8      amd64        Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - P
ii  cups-browsed    1.11.6-3     amd64        OpenPrinting CUPS Filters - cups-br
ii  cups-bsd        2.2.1-8      amd64        Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - B
ii  cups-client     2.2.1-8      amd64        Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - c
ii  cups-common     2.2.1-8      all          Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - c
ii  cups-core-drive 2.2.1-8      amd64        Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - P
ii  cups-daemon     2.2.1-8      amd64        Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - d
ii  cups-filters    1.11.6-3     amd64        OpenPrinting CUPS Filters - Main Pa
ii  cups-filters-co 1.11.6-3     amd64        OpenPrinting CUPS Filters - PPD-les
ii  cups-ppdc       2.2.1-8      amd64        Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - P
ii  cups-server-com 2.2.1-8      all          Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - s
ii  libcups2:amd64  2.2.1-8      amd64        Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - C
ii  libcupscgi1:amd 2.2.1-8      amd64        Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - C
ii  libcupsfilters1 1.11.6-3     amd64        OpenPrinting CUPS Filters - Shared 
ii  libcupsimage2:a 2.2.1-8      amd64        Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - R
ii  libcupsmime1:am 2.2.1-8      amd64        Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - M
ii  libcupsppdc1:am 2.2.1-8      amd64        Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - P
ii  libfontembed1:a 1.11.6-3     amd64        OpenPrinting CUPS Filters - Font Em
ii  printer-driver- 5.2.11-1+b2  amd64        printer drivers for CUPS

(In fact, I installed the task-print-server meta package.)

  • the fact that there are many printers nearby doesn't mean much. they could be in separate subnet which your machine doesn't have a route to. I assume you are at work. Can you get the ip off nearest printer and try to ping it from your computer? is it reachable? – Gnudiff Sep 7 '17 at 15:25
  • @Gnudiff: good points; yes, I can ping the nearest printer from the host in question. – kjo Sep 7 '17 at 16:32
  • local printer auto discovery relies on mdns which is provided by avahi. Check if you can avahi-browse -a for example. – meuh Sep 7 '17 at 18:01
2

There may be nothing wrong with the printers or CUPS, but the printers may not advertise themselves or maybe the advertising protocol is disabled in switches/routers.

Your best bet is to try to Add Printer instead of Find, and if it is not found in Add printer list either, try to add it via "Other printers" and specify protocol and IP by hand -- if this works, it will mean that the main problem is printer discovery only.

Protocols may vary, but my best experience with HP printers and CUPS has been ipp, see my own answer to my question at Serverfault

Note that your sysadmin, unless that is you, may have shared printers via Windows Print Server or CUPS already, possibly using non-IP or non-advertising protocol, and may expect everyone to use printers via Printserver shares for accounting and other purposes. Unless you are certain of what you are doing, your best bet is to resolve this via sysadmin.

  • 1
    Thanks. Your answer led me to the source of the problem. It turns out that, only after I clicked on Add Printer was I prompted for authentication (i.e. root password), and once I gave it, Find New Printers began showing a non-empty list of printers. – kjo Sep 8 '17 at 12:31
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    @kjo Ok, I assumed you were already in admin mode. Note that eg on Ubuntu, you can add any user to lpadmin group and should be able to use that user and pass for cups administration instead of root. – Gnudiff Sep 8 '17 at 13:10

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