Sharing a USB printer from Mac OS X to Windows

In: Mac|Operating Systems

5 Feb 2007

Not too long ago I was asked to use hook up the Mac Mini that was collecting dust in our office to our HP Deskjet printer (HP Deskjet 1280 to be exact) and have it function as a “print server” of sorts (we have since replaced it with a NAS with print server functionality, which subsequently broke – that’s how long this post has been sitting in my drafts folder). While setting it up to be shared with Mac machines was a cinch (we have a grand total of 3 Mac machines in the office, including the Mac Mini and my treasured MacBook Pro), sharing the printer from the Mac (Mini) to Windows machines was significantly more difficult. After some trial and error, first with what made the most sense, and then with stuff I could glean off the Internet, I finally arrived at something that works. Maybe this would be useful for the next unfortunate bloke that needs to do this sharing of printers from Mac to Windows machines without a print server.

First point of reference: Print from Windows XP to a shared Mac printer tip on Mac OS X Hints. The tip suggests you select a PostScript driver in Windows after finding it on the network (which requires you to do several things first, but we will come to that later). This worked, but it was sub-optimal because you couldn’t use the printer driver software to do stuff like 2-up printing (i.e. print 2 pages per side per sheet). This post will show you how to share a USB printer from Mac OS X to Windows PCs with full driver capability.

  1. On the Mac (the one that the USB printer that you want to share is connected to), go to the Sharing preferences pane and ensure Printer Sharing and Windows Sharing are both turned on.
  2. Fire up your browser and go to – this is the web interface to CUPS. When asked to enter a password, login with your Mac OS X user account (it has to be an administrator account).
  3. Go to the Printers tab and add a new printer (yes, in addition to any existing printer configuration that already exist for the same printer). Choose a name that’s short and descriptive (no spaces). For the purposes of this guide, let’s call it ‘uberprinter’. Best to keep it under 12 characters since Windows is finicky.
  4. When asked to select a device, select USB printer.
  5. You’ll be asked for a Device URI. To find out, open up a terminal and type lpinfo -v. You should see your USB printer coming up. Mine came up as ‘direct usb://HP/Deskjet%201280?serial=CN516851RPUN’. Copy and paste this (without the ‘direct’ part – i.e., I’d have copied ‘usb://HP/Deskjet%201280?serial=CN516851RPUN’) into the ‘Device URI’ field.
  6. Select a ‘Make’ of ‘Raw‘. Keep going until the printer is added.
  7. You’re done configuring from the Mac. But before you go, determine your Mac’s IP address (do a ‘ifconfig’ in a shell or fire up System Profiler and check out the ‘Network’ item) – note it down somewhere. Now it’s time to hook up your Windows machine to use the shared printer.
  8. OK now go to your Windows machine and add a new printer (Control Panel -> Printers and Faxes). Select ‘A network printer… blah blah’. Don’t browse for the printer, you will enter its IP address directly in the ‘URL’ field. Enter ‘http://your.macs.ip.address:631/printers/uberprinter’ (replacing ‘your.macs.ip.address’ with your Mac’s IP address and ‘uberprinter’ with the short name you gave your printer). If you can’t remember your printer’s name, just scurry back to the Mac and browse to You should be able to see the printer you added listed there – its name is linked there.
  9. Now, all that’s left is to install the correct Windows printer driver on the Windows machine. If you’re lucky Windows already has your driver, if not do whatever you need to get the proper driver – after all, the purpose of jumping through all these hoops is to get full printer driver functionality off the shared Mac printer.

That’s it. That’ll teach you for not getting a print server or one of those new printers with network functionality.


Some readers wrote in with their own difficulties and have kindly allowed me to share their solutions. First off, Patrick McKrell who had a solution for cases where you still are just not able to print from the Windows machine (it involves killing a daemon so it’s pretty sweet).

Thank you for making available your instructions for sharing a USB printer connected to a Mac using OS X with a Windows PC. All of your points worked flawlessly on the Mac. My Mac is a B&W G3 running OS X 10.2.8. The printer is an HP PSC 1510.

Back to Windows Add Printer. Is my driver there? No. I browsed the Windows file system to Program Files/HP/. No luck. Couldn’t find or add my driver. Next I unplugged the printer’s USB cable from the Mac and into the PC. Windows detected the new hardware, created whatever files it needed, and automatically created the USB-connected PSC 1500 series printer in Printers and Faxes. Well, that’s pretty darn close. I opened the printer’s properties, changed the port from USB to Internet Port (as per your configuration guidance), sent a print job….and nothing. Hmmm.

Finally, I recalled seeing someone’s web post –thanks to your point of reference. I followed the poster’s instructions, and, yeah, it prints, and in color. Thanks again, Chu, for your post. It was easy to follow, and importantly, it worked with my setup (despite the color issue).

Patrick McKrell

The solution? Change your CUPS configuration to allow raw printing:

Basically, I saw that every job on the windows side had “error”.

After looking at the error logs for cups on the mac box (/var/log/cups/), I noticed this line repeatedly:

print_job: Unsupported format ‘application/octet-stream’!

Did some googling, and found a post with the answer:

> You probably need to uncomment the following lines in
> /etc/cups/mime.types and /etc/cups/mime.convs:
> /etc/cups/mime.types:
> #application/octet-stream
> /etc/cups/mime.convs:
> #application/octet-stream application/vnd.cups-raw 0
> -
> That will allow raw printing.

Then, kill -HUP the cups daemon, and you’re good to go.

108 Responses to Sharing a USB printer from Mac OS X to Windows


Neil T.

February 7th, 2007 at 5am

That’s a cool method – I’d previously tried using the native drivers on Windows for my Mac-connected printer and having it not work.

The method I used was actually different – install Rendez-Vous for Windows on the Windows machine and then use its printer wizard, selecting a PostScript driver. It works, but you don’t get all the snazzy features of this method.

But then again, the PostScript driver supports printing 2 pages on one sheet (reducing the pages 50%) and the normal Windows driver does not, so it’s much of muchness really.


Nem W Schlecht

February 19th, 2007 at 2pm

I’ve been getting by for some time now by attaching my HP Deskjet D2334 to one of my Windows boxes and just saving a PDF on my Mac Mini (or iBook or MacBook) and then copying that PDF over to the Win box to print.

Today I got sick of that, attached the printer to my Mac Mini and try as I could, I couldn’t get it to print from Windows. Until I came across this – and I get to keep my driver specific features – very nice.

I’m new printing like a fool from wherever to my printer. Thanks much!

– Nem


Luke Tarver

February 21st, 2007 at 8am

That’s the most simple and effective method I’ve seen and I tried a few. The only caveat is the inability to rename the printer from within Windows, so you have the full IP address of the printer to look at all the time. Anyway, you’re a genius and I owe you lunch ;)




February 24th, 2007 at 4am

Mate, you ROCK. Thanks!


Matt Huddie

February 27th, 2007 at 6pm

Thanks, this is really helpful. I am now able to print from a Windows laptop with a flakey USB port to my Samsung ML-1750 laser by plugging it into my Mac Mini.

When I first tried this I made the mistake of copying the entire output line for the device URI from the output of the lpinfo -v command, including the leading ‘direct’. This produced the error: ‘client-error-not-possible’.

In other words, in the example use


and not

direct usb://HP/Deskjet%201280?serial=CN516851RPUN


Chu Yeow

February 27th, 2007 at 6pm

@Matt (Huddle): Ahh thanks for pointing that out Matt, I did most of this mostly from memory so I was sure I’d have left something out or did something wrong ;). I’ve changed the original post.



February 28th, 2007 at 3am

I join to the comments of the previous posts.

Great useful hint!




March 5th, 2007 at 12am

Many, many thanks for posting this solution. I’m not a Mac guy, so setting up my in-laws’ Mac Mini for printer sharing from my XP laptop would have easily taken me all day. I followed your steps verbatim, and… Voila!


Adam Butler

March 7th, 2007 at 1pm

Hey there,

I used and loved this solution for a few days, but then it all stopped working. We’d hit print, it would go in a queue and then never make it to the printer.

Is there something I am doing wrong? It all worked a treat, then stopped. I know it’s hard to diagnose anything from that description but I am sure there’s a silly little thing that I missed … surely I am not the only guy this is happening to!

Any suggestions would be most appreciated!




Adam Butler

March 7th, 2007 at 1pm

And now it’s working again … sorry – not sure how to delete my post. I think the problem is with the USB connection on the iMac, not the AMAZING setup provided here! When I changed ports and unplugged a USB external hard drive I was back in action.


QT Luong

March 11th, 2007 at 7am

At first I was not able to go past the CUPS identification.
I had to edit /private/etc/cups/cupsd.conf
by changing the last
# AuthType Basic
# AuthClass System
AuthType None

Even after doing the whole set-up as described on this page, there was still a problem. When I try to print from Windows XP, at first everything looks OK, but nothing happens. Looking into the queue for the printer, the job is there, but the status is “Error”. This printer is working fine. For instance I am able to share that printer with another mac.



March 15th, 2007 at 12pm

Thanks a million. This saved me some research. Gotta Love The Power of the Internet. :)



March 20th, 2007 at 3pm

I have a Canon IP4000 USB printer but I can’t find my Device URI. lpinfo -v in Terminal shows my Acrobat Distiller (direct pdf700://distiller) but not my USB printer. CUPs shows Device URI: file:///dev/null. I’ve tried using usb://Canon/iP4000 but that doesn’t work.



March 21st, 2007 at 12am

Thanks, this was the only method I could get to work. Great find.



April 30th, 2007 at 4am

Thank you so much! Worked like a charm. Love you, man ;)


Tim Lance

May 6th, 2007 at 4am

I know a lot, way more than just enough to be dangerous, but this was giving me fits. I had found all sorts of hints but this is THE ONE! Plus I get the drivers. (Well, my wife and the Windows daughter, do. Me and the Mac daughter now get to gloat.)



May 7th, 2007 at 9am

hey can some1 help me when i add the printer from windows it says cannot find the printer and im 110% sure ive one evreyhing rite…thanks



May 13th, 2007 at 4am

I’m with the guy above – printer set up OK in CUPS (can do a test print to it from the MAC). But, try as I might the Windows machines just can’t find the URL when you enter it into the Add Printer Wizard. One strange things is that I cannot ping my Mac from any of the Windows machines – all the Windows machines can ping each other and they all (including the Mac) have DHCP addresses from the same Linksys router. At first I thought that the problem was that the first Windows machine was connected via WiFi (perhaps some problem with gatewaying between wired and wireless network on my router) but, when moved my windows Laptop to wired connection and it doesn’t help.

I’d appreciate some help if you’ve got time – I’m a real Mac newbie. I’m certain that I’ve got windows and printer sharing on but I can’t get my windows machines to connect (even to fileshares) – please help me!




Bill Wilson

May 17th, 2007 at 4am

I setup the printer as a shared print from my windows terminal server. When I print from windows it sends the job to the mac, and the mac even says the job completed but nothing comes out the printer. Which is what brought me to this site.

for the person that gets the error “can’t find printer” he is an easy quick method of setting up a windows printer – just open my computer, or even internet explorer and type in \\ip.address.of.mac – of course use the actual IP address of the mac so something like this \\ that will browse the mac, and you will see your shared printer in the list just double click on it, and windows will offer to install everything you need.


Stephanie Giovannini

May 18th, 2007 at 4am

I am unable to login to CUPS administrator site. Every user name and password is “incorrect” even though they’re all administrators. I tried changing the cupsd.conf file but it made no difference. Any ideas?



May 19th, 2007 at 5am

Why on earth does these have to be so convaluted?? Shouldn’t apple have all this crap going on behind the scenes for the user? What’s more insulting is that Apple documentation makes it sound so easy and breezy to get this going, but it’s all wrong!

Anyway, that god/ala/buddha that there are people who can figure this stuff out AND those people have blogs for the rest of us to read.



Fiona Scott

May 25th, 2007 at 1am

I’m a technologically useless and your instructions are brilliant! thanks a million



August 5th, 2007 at 4am

thanks for this post – this really helps.

but i needed to use the \\server\printer port, using the cups http printer port did not work. the print jobs just got spooled but never printed.

however, i can now print from the windows box on my iP4000 on the mac mini. but only 1 job…after that the printer “locks up” and i need to restart it by pull the power plug.

someone got a hint whats going wrong?


Marcin Jagodzi?ski

September 1st, 2007 at 10pm

I tried many, many solutions (Bonjour, native drivers, Gutenprint…) nothing worked (jobs were just passing thru the queque but not printing). Now it works, many thanks.



September 25th, 2007 at 1am

I used the same process to set up a Mac as a printer server (and like you, found the Apple directions vague at best).

Since you have to reference the print server with an IP address, you must make sure your router does not dynamically assign an IP address to the Mac. If it does, the Mac IP depends on the order you computers are turned on.

Your router should allow you to assign a fixed address (and then set up your Mac to use a fixed address).

I had a problem when I assigned the Mac an IP address outside the routers dynamic IP assignment area (1 to 200), so I just assigned an address inside the dynamic area, but higher than the router would ever need (i.e. higher than the max number of computers I’d ever have networked).


Barry Resnik

September 27th, 2007 at 11am

I followed the instructions, was printing flawlessly for 4 days. Now, when i send the file from the win laptop, it spools, prints 1 sheet, starts the second, and hangs in the middle of the second sheet. It will show “sending data” forever on the imac dual core 1g. i delete the job, but have to unplug the printer to get it to reset. It is a Canon i860. Anyone having similar probs?



October 2nd, 2007 at 11pm

I am having the EXACT SAME problem on my Canon MP500.



November 14th, 2007 at 10pm

You are the MAN! I spent literally days on trying to figure this out… and your post came to the rescue!



December 6th, 2007 at 12am

Thanks for the guidance – saved me at least a day of tinkering and frustration!



December 10th, 2007 at 8pm

Thanks! Perfect description! Have a Brother printer.



December 28th, 2007 at 4am

After hours of googling and gleaning through various websites, I stumbled upon yours with instructions that weren’t difficult to understand. The only problem I had was authenticating with CUPS. After googling and trying various methods, I ran into a website that said cups would not authenticate if the admin account didn’t have a password (go figure). Gave myself a password and within a few minutes I was printing from my Windows laptop. Thank you very much for this information.


John Arany

January 21st, 2008 at 11pm

This is great info which works with Tiger or before probably.. However, for the life of me I can’t find the “add a new printer” button under the printers tab in Leopard.. Any ideas?



February 6th, 2008 at 1pm

I have a number of windows xp machines and an iMac. I needed to network a Lexmark E230 laser printer and found that Bonjour worked quite well but didn’t have a printer driver in its list for this specific printer. I ended up printing a ‘cover’ page with every print job and didn’t have the printer specific controls.

To cure this I installed the windows driver for the Lexmark on the windows machine with the Bonjour printer and then used that driver in the Bonjour printer by just selecting the new driver I installed for the ‘Windows Lexmark’ printer. I did this simply by opening the preferences for the Bonjour printer (called Lexmark @ iMac) and selected the new driver. All functions worked fine after that.

When I went to windows machine2, I didn’t install the Windows printer software directly from the CD but added the Windows printer from machine1 by sharing it on machine1. This automatically added the driver to machine2. Then I added a new Bonjour printer on machine2 (by installing Bonjour and adding the Lexmark @ iMac). Then I changed the Lexmark @iMac printer driver on machine2 to the Windows driver for the Lexmark. This was dead easy and worked well. It also made installation on my other computers really easy too. Bonjour is available for download from the Apple website. You can also Google ‘bonjour printer’ to get the link.




March 2nd, 2008 at 5am

I accidently deleted the original printer in the cups list (lack of attention) and now when I try to start the instructions from scratch, lpinfo -v won’t even show a direct usb link !

What am I supposed to do now ? How can I have my usb link ?
Printing from Mac does work.



August 31st, 2008 at 10am

Amazing. Thank you.

I have just installed Windows on a partition on a new Mac, and trying to figure out how to network it (safely, if at all) is really a PIA. Your directions worked perfectly…..


Paul Pollock

September 1st, 2008 at 4am

I just got finished enabling the Windows XP machine to print using the HP printer hooked up to my OS X Mac. Works great.

I gotta wonder though as to why it was that the many other schemes for doing the same thing failed so miserably?

Thanks muchly!


Rupert Pfaff

September 15th, 2008 at 8pm

Fantastic – exactly what I was looking for and worked first time with my Epson Stylus Photo 1290S.



Derick Schaefer

September 26th, 2008 at 10am

Everything about my Mac is so stable (it’s brand new) but twice in the past several months I have gotten updates from HP that have completely wrecked my printer and I have had to un-install and re-install my drivers to get it to work. The last go around messed up printing in my browser. For example, I was printing out some work on a PHP site I was working on and now the fonts are all messed up. The site can be found at click here.

Anyway, I have another printer I am using but I guess I wonder how HP can ship two driver updates in a row that wreck everything! Ugggg.



October 5th, 2008 at 6am

Help please.. after specifying my IP address and printer name off step 8 instead of going to the drivers part (step 9) it ask me for “user and password”.
Which ones should i type in??


Compartir impresora USB desde Mac « Debido a mi prerrogativa…

October 9th, 2008 at 1am

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paul gotel

October 13th, 2008 at 8pm

Thank you , I had it working with vista setup then failed , so had it working with Bonjour then failed finally got it up and running like this very cool indeed master Yoda!
All working fine after 3 hours of web searching thank you so much you make the whole Computer thing a place to always be provided with answers !
Aloha Paul



October 23rd, 2008 at 12pm

I got all the way to the last step. I’ve entered my Mac’s IP address, along with the correct following string. I keep getting an error that says “Windows cannot connect…either the printer name was typed incorrectly or the connection has been lost..” I’ve double checked and triple checked everything! I’m running Vista though, any help there at all???


Jeff C

November 9th, 2008 at 4am

I cannot get past Step 1. I have OSX but there is no option called Windows Sharing that can be turned on. Where did you see that?



November 10th, 2008 at 5am

It took me about an hour to get this going, thanks to some overly helpful software. I won’t swear this is the easiest way to go, but in case you get stuck like I did:

. my hp printer was recognizable to the mac. so, it never gave me the “usb” option, instead it said something like “HP990 USB (HP Deskjet 990C)”. there were no other usb options
. when I went with that, it gave me no “raw” option, only a choice of various hp drivers
. no amount of meddling in the CUPS interface or even in the cups conf/ppd directories gave a clue (I could perceive) how to set up a raw printer. docs weren’t a help (searching for “raw” got some tangents, but no help)


. choosing, “modify printer”
. leaving HP USB… as the device
. then, in the “manufacturer” it starts with the default of HP but you can choose “Raw”
. then, it gives you the “Raw queue (en)”
. and you are done

Other things I learned in my wasted hour:

. if the printer is not plugged in, it gives you no HP USB… choice when you are adding the printer
. you can choose the “internet printing protocol (http)” and enter the usb://… URI, then choose Raw as an alternate path
. when your printer runs out of paper, it can look a *lot* like it is malfunctioning, causing you to waste *even more* time



November 10th, 2008 at 5am

jeffc: the security settings have changed in the OS.

in the System Preferences, make sure your firewall will allow printer connections through (allow all incoming connections is easiest and least secure, etc. google/help can give insight to the more secure options)

then, in Sharing, allow Printer Sharing.

it’s *possible* that turning on printer sharing will fix the firewall, also. I don’t remember for sure.



November 21st, 2008 at 8am

Thanks heaps, worked like a charm!!!!



November 28th, 2008 at 4am

I am close but no cigar yet.

I sent about 5 documents from Vista to the USB printer on the Mac. On the Windows side they are all marked as Error. I looked at the two /etc. files. the specified lines are already commented out.



November 28th, 2008 at 4am

On the Mac, in /private/var/log/cups/access_log, I see a number of lines like these: – - [27/Nov/2008:15:42:17 -0500] “POST /printers/deskjet HTTP/1.1″ 200 132

The time above is when I was printing.


More Questions -

November 28th, 2008 at 4am

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November 28th, 2008 at 5am

Made some more progress.

I am getting this error:

print_job: Unsupported format ‘application/octet-stream’!

The files mime.type and mime.convs in /private/etc/cups are read only. How do I uncomment the two lines specified? Also, how do I kill the daemon?

I have not used unix in several years.



November 28th, 2008 at 7am

-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 2810 Jul 21 2002 mime.convs
-rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 5671 Jul 21 2002 mime.types

I don’t know the root password on this machine.



November 28th, 2008 at 8am

It worked, it worked. I am so happy.

I used sudo -s to change to root. Uncommented a line each in mime.types and mime.convs. Rebooted the Mac. Worked like a charm.

Thanks for the great post Chu Yeow.

I have problems booting up my Mac sometimes. Is this a place to ask for help on this?


Printing to a Network Printer - Microsoft Windows Vista Community Forums - Vistaheads

November 28th, 2008 at 10pm

[...] Re: Printing to a Network Printer I was able to resolve this problem using the advice provided here: Sharing a USB printer from Mac OS X to Windows | redemption in a blog [...]



December 27th, 2008 at 8am

I have the same problem Patrick had. However, I know very little unix, only enough to do something stupid. I can get into root and find the log files, but that is it. Is there another way to make this printing work? Or could someone post more complete commands in unix to do this?

Thanks for your help



January 8th, 2009 at 3pm

this was just what the doctor ordered, except now i have 2 printers listed in the print & fax system preference pane. no biggy though because it works!!!!! THANKS!!


Bob Nielsen

January 26th, 2009 at 11am

I followed the directions (the mime octet stream lines were already uncommented), but got the following error:

Unable to install printer. Operation could not be completed (error 0x000006be).


Bob Nielsen

January 29th, 2009 at 1am

I couldn’t get around that error, but decided Bonjour, which I had seen mentioned elsewhere. I installed it and ran the printer setup. Bonjour recognized the printer connected to my Mac and selected a postscript driver. Printing was up and running in less than a minute.


Bob Nielsen

January 29th, 2009 at 1am

That should have read “I decided to try Bonjour”.


Tim Brazer

April 28th, 2009 at 7am

This helped me out a lot here.

For some reason Windows 7 build 7057 x64 doesn’t see Printers being shared by a Mac.




April 30th, 2009 at 1am

Thanks for sorting this out. I couldn’t get the built-in printer sharing to work between Leopard and Vista. This worked like a charm.



June 16th, 2009 at 6pm

Great post. Absolute newbie on Mac and never shared a printer before – was able to do this at first attempt. Do correct step 2 though, I could’t see an option called Windows Sharing either – went on regardless and it worked.



July 6th, 2009 at 6pm

thanks, just what i was looking for!



August 10th, 2009 at 5am

This worked absolutely perfectly! My XP and Vista machines are now sharing the HP Laserjet 1200 connected to my iMac over my network. Thank you for the excellent information!



August 25th, 2009 at 4pm

Excellent and a thousand thanks!



October 11th, 2009 at 6pm

Well done! thank you


mike v

November 5th, 2009 at 1am

Great! it worked
NOTE: dont forget to “start printer” in above mentioned cups web page on your mac.

I wonder why smb sharing way did not work and the resulted printer produced garbage, but now its ok with cups!



November 22nd, 2009 at 1pm

Thanks for the post, but I’m getting the following error when I put the IP address into Windows: “Windows cannot connect to the printer. Either the printer name was typed incorrectly, or the specified printer has lost its connection to the server”. I’ve checked my work twice and it seems that Windows isn’t even trying to check the address when “:631″ is added to the IP address. Any ideas?


mr. burns

February 16th, 2010 at 10pm

Hi all,

I did the steps mentined here, but unfortunately no success.
In WIndows I can install the printer as described here, but it shows ‘Access denied; no connection possible’.
If I login to CUBS webpage inside Windows (http://imac:631) I can see the printer and I can print a testpage without problems.
If I look into the CUPS log I see:

POST /printers/Canon_MP600_1 HTTP/1.1″ 200 894274 Print-Job client-error-not-authorized

It seems I don’t have permissions to print on Mac OS out of Windows :-(

Any ideas?



March 18th, 2010 at 11am

Thank you for getting me this close.
I’m trying to print from Windows XP to HP Officejet G85 connected via USB to an iMac running OS 10.6.2. I have the HP All-In-One drivers installed and I have satisfactory print and scan capabilities from the iMac. Using Bonjour (thank you Bob Nielson), I can print from my Windows XP machines.

What I CAN’T do is select print quality in either of these setups. So, I wanted to try and follow the steps to use the proper windows drivers for this printer. I have configured a new printer using CUPS as described above and I can install it on XP. I can even send print jobs which get spooled. But then nothing happens. The CUPS log files aren’t helping me even with debug enabled. It seems that CUPS thinks the printer is not available. I see the jobs in both the windows and CUPS queues. The spool file looks like PCL to me. I’m stumped.

Here is a snippet from the CUPS log:

D [17/Mar/2010:22:52:54 -0400] [Job 25] Looking for ‘Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet G85′
D [17/Mar/2010:22:52:54 -0400] [Job 25] load_classdriver(/System/Library/Printers/Libraries/USBGenericTOPrintingClass.plugin) (kr:0×00000000)
D [17/Mar/2010:22:52:54 -0400] [Job 25] Opening connection
D [17/Mar/2010:22:52:54 -0400] [Job 25] load_classdriver(/System/Library/Printers/Libraries/USBGenericTOPrintingClass.plugin) (kr:0×00000000)
I [17/Mar/2010:22:53:01 -0400] [Job 25] Waiting for printer to become available…
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:01 -0400] [Job 25] USB printer status: 0xe00002c5
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:01 -0400] [Job 25] Looking for ‘Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet G85′
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:01 -0400] Discarding unused printer-state-changed event…
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:01 -0400] Discarding unused job-progress event…
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:01 -0400] [Job 25] load_classdriver(/System/Library/Printers/Libraries/USBGenericTOPrintingClass.plugin) (kr:0×00000000)
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:01 -0400] [Job 25] Opening connection
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:01 -0400] [Job 25] load_classdriver(/System/Library/Printers/Libraries/USBGenericTOPrintingClass.plugin) (kr:0×00000000)
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:08 -0400] [Job 25] Looking for ‘Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet G85′
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:08 -0400] [Job 25] load_classdriver(/System/Library/Printers/Libraries/USBGenericTOPrintingClass.plugin) (kr:0×00000000)
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:08 -0400] [Job 25] Opening connection
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:08 -0400] [Job 25] load_classdriver(/System/Library/Printers/Libraries/USBGenericTOPrintingClass.plugin) (kr:0×00000000)
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:12 -0400] cupsdReadClient: 18 POST /printers/HP-G85 HTTP/1.1
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:12 -0400] cupsdSetBusyState: Active clients and printing jobs
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:12 -0400] cupsdAuthorize: No authentication data provided.
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:12 -0400] cupsdReadClient: 18 1.0 Get-Printer-Attributes 11
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:12 -0400] Get-Printer-Attributes http://LOMLFOML.local:631/printers/HP-G85
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:12 -0400] Returning IPP successful-ok for Get-Printer-Attributes (http://LOMLFOML.local:631/printers/HP-G85) from
D [17/Mar/2010:22:53:12 -0400] cupsdSetBusyState: Printing jobs

And lest any of you think I’m a UNIX guru, forget it. I didn’t even know what CUPS was until I read this post. Thanks for any help you can give.


Derek Bloch

April 14th, 2010 at 4pm

Just being glancing at all your comments. Go to Apple support, and download a program called “Bonjour” Install this on each windows machine, and it works like a charm. Anyone got any ideas about working it the other way round? PC based printer and Mac laptop?


Barbara Abbes

April 25th, 2010 at 2am

Thank you so much!



June 2nd, 2010 at 6am

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

I have been transferring files back and forth through my network for months wasting a ton of time for my Windows based print jobs. I finally made some time today to research how to set up the printer properly and stumbled upon your site. This worked on my first try!

Thank you so much for sharing your findings in an easy to follow guide! I love it when things work!



July 27th, 2010 at 6pm

Thnaks so much. You’ve saved my marriage. I’ve been trying to print my stuff (on pc) on a printer networked through my husband’s mac for days. Arrrgh. We are SOOOO bookmarking this page!!!!



August 16th, 2010 at 3am

Just switch on “Printer sharing” and “Windows sharing” in the Sharing preferences panel.
In Windows, add a new network printer; you can find it by browsing.
But now the important thing: When Windows asks to select a driver for the printer, select any PostScript driver like the Apple LaserWriter or Color LaserWriter instead of the printer model you’re using.
Just a side note, I am using an HP 7210 all in one printer and although the Apple Color Laser writer driver worked, it was using my color cartridge to make black text, which is less than optimal.
I went into the “Properties” of the printer ( on the XP ) and in “Colour Management” selected a new colour profile from the original HP Install CD …
Now it works just great !!!


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September 1st, 2010 at 12am

[...] enable Printer Sharing. You can then select which printer you wish to allow others to use. “Sharing a USB printer from Mac OS X to Windows” by Chu Yeow is a nice tutorial that includes specific settings to optimize sharing a printer [...]



September 8th, 2010 at 9pm

It worked fine ! Slightly different on latest Mac OSX in the way you add a printer, I missed the ‘RAW’ setting first time round.. having created it properly I’m now printing to my new MP550 on my mac from my Laptop downstairs using the Canon driver !


Brian Yeoh

September 13th, 2010 at 10pm

I tried to add printer from the CUPS admin page, but it does not allow me to add. I also tried using Bonjour, and i noticed from the windows log, my iMac is rejecting the requests. Is there any settings on my mac that i should enable first? P/S: I’ve already enabled printer sharing. any ideas?



September 15th, 2010 at 6am

hi, test



November 30th, 2010 at 12pm

Wow!!! You are a genius!!!!!!!!!! Thanks thanks a lot!! Worked between a macosx 10.6.5 an a Windows Vista!!!



December 14th, 2010 at 12am

I am having the same problem as Brian Yeoh. Running OSX 10.5.8. I login to CUPS and supply it with the admin password. Go to add printer, it asks for a name, location, and description. I have tried various names, etc. When I click the continue button it just takes me back to the CUPS administration tab and does not add a new printer.



January 18th, 2011 at 12pm

Thank you so much for this posting!!! After spending an hour searching the internet to find out how to connect, this worked perfectly in minutes.



May 11th, 2011 at 8pm

It’s really an interesting fact which I just got to know via this blog. Making this blog and keeping it updated is the best possible thing which customer always ask for. So I would like to thank for this interesting knowledge given by the moderator!


May 26th, 2011 at 12am

worked like a charm – thanks!!



June 3rd, 2011 at 7am

Wow. Most effective method. Works flawlessly!!!

Great job this!



July 5th, 2011 at 2am

Almost – just that the printer can’t be reached over the network.

Using Bonjour has managed to find the printer, but I don’t get offered the duplex function. Hmm.


Titus Nachbauer

September 9th, 2011 at 4pm

Worked great, thanks! Would never have thought of the CUPS admin panel.

Anyway, I found a small shortcut, which might make it easier for some. As soon as I had set up the printer in CUPS, I went on to the Windows XP computer and here I entered “\\the.mac.ip\” after which the autocomplete function offered the printer name. I did not need to enter “…\printers\…”


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December 1st, 2011 at 11am

After spending days banging my head on my desk I found your website. The whole reason I switched to Mac was because Windows is soo difficult and annoying (my sister hasn’t figured that out yet). Thank you so much for your easy instructions. You’re a lifesaver!



December 18th, 2011 at 11pm

Thank you! This was so helpful!



December 27th, 2011 at 4pm

Thank you for this post has saved me.


Ron Sonntag

December 29th, 2011 at 8am

Just tried this method with one exception: I did not need to add another printer to the .CUPS configuration. I just used the one that was there and it worked. No bad side effects yet! Thank You.


Amy Barnes

January 15th, 2012 at 1pm

Thank you very much for this – a headache no more!


Mark D

January 16th, 2012 at 5am

Superb instruction, saved me loads of headache and time.

Simply a must have bookmark for anyone !

I salute you !!!!



February 4th, 2012 at 11pm

Thanks for the tutorial, I have never done this before so it was super useful. I just have to set up the other PCs to use the printer which will be a doddle now.

A 2007 article still so useful now!


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February 28th, 2012 at 4pm

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April 3rd, 2012 at 8pm

OR! you can simply use USB to Ethernet Connector for Mac



April 21st, 2012 at 6am

Works like a charm. However, I would like to access my MAC via it’s hostname from my windows machine because I am using Dynamic DNS addresses. Two issues arised

1) I couldn’t access my mac via the hostname, because OS X simply didn’t apply my changed settings. I had to set a WINS server explicitly (used my router, though), and then reboot the mac.

2) When I tried to access http://my-mac:631/ with the browser on my XP machine, I only got a 400 Bad Request. The cups logfile said E [21/Apr/2012:00:05:38 +0200] Request from “″ using invalid Host: field “my-mac:631″. This seems to be related to a bug in cups. Adding “ServerAlias *” to the cupsd.conf file using the web interface did the trick.



May 23rd, 2012 at 11pm

Thanks for the tip
I found it easier this way (after trying a few times)

1. in Lion to turn on printer sharing is Sys Pref for printer
2. Get the IP for my mac Network > Advanced > TCP/IP (hint – set in manually so IP is permanent)
3. Went to browser on windows laptop http://macIP:631/printers
4. Selected USB printer (link) and copied URL from browser
5. Add Printer > Network Printer > Shared Printer by Name
6. Paste URL > Next
7. Select Driver > Ok
8. Success! > Next and you’re done


Jim Fitzgerald

June 13th, 2012 at 12pm

I easily carried out your instructions. However, I was getting “Error: x documents waiting to print,” where “x” was the number of documents sitting in the printer queue, not printing.

I read Lesk’s comment about Bonjour. I installed Bonjour and went through it’s set-up procedure. Now I can print! Putting your instructions with Bonjour did the trick for me. Your instructions plus Bonjour did the trick.

Thanks very much for taking the time to write these excellent instructions. I have a master’s degree in technical and scientific communication so I really appreciate those rare instances when the instructions are well done. Yours are flawless. You really have a talent for effective communication. It is a precious gift.



July 29th, 2012 at 9pm

THANK YOU! I’ve been happily printing to my Canon Pixma iP5000 using MacBookPro with 10.6 from networked XP, ME and OS 10.4 on my old mac.
Decided to use underutilised iMac (yes I have 3 macs) with 10.4 instead, to reduce hassle of having to move MacBook to printer every time it had been mobile.

Then the windows all had a dummy spit. Spent a WHOLE day since trying every solution. Yours worked! Even does duplex perfectly. I LOVE YOU!
Now I can go and work on getting rid of the resulting migraine. After checking how it prints from the laptop :)


Mark Wilson

January 5th, 2013 at 10pm

Brilliant write up, tried a few others but yours worked. Thanks!


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January 26th, 2013 at 8pm

Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
When I look at your blog site in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!

Other then that, awesome blog!



June 13th, 2013 at 7pm

Thanks !!! The only post I found that actually worked !



October 14th, 2013 at 3pm

So this works for me but I have to disable my “Symantec Endpoint Protection” before it works. Once I reboot it doesnt work anymore. Any idea if I need a specific port opened or do I need to add an application to the application list in my firewall?



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The overall look of your web site is great, as well as the content!


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July 12th, 2014 at 8pm

Gone thru all the comments but my issue is reverse! I need to use my Windows XP shared printer (SHARP AR-5320E) – USB connected – with iMac Air. Could you kindly help me?

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