Printing from iPad or iPhone via AirPrint and CUPS

Printing on Air

Article from Issue 154/2013
Author(s):

If your home network includes a Linux machine, you have access to everything you need to share your printers on the network as AirPrint-enabled devices.

Version 4.2 of iOS was the first to give the Apple iPad and iPhone the ability to print – but only on printers that support the technology known as AirPrint [1]. AirPrint devices are now available from all major manufacturers in every price and performance class, but many users are still wary of having to buy a new printer just to put something from their iPhone or iPad onto paper.

Luckily, if your home network includes a Linux machine, you have access to all the tools you need to share your printers on the network as AirPrint-enabled devices. AirPrint is based on the zero-configuration (Zeroconf) networking standard [2], which Apple markets under the brand name Bonjour. Linux has its own implementation of Zeroconf known as Avahi [3].

As early as 2011, Till Kamppeter modified the Common Unix Printer System (CUPS) implementation for the Ubuntu "Natty" and "Oneiric" versions so that connected AirPrint printers are directly available [4]. If your distro doesn't support direct configuration, it pays to know how to set up AirPrint support manually. In this article, I take a look at AirPrint with Linux.

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