Give Print Command From Windows XP To A Mac OS X Printer Over Network

Its been a while since I bought a Canon MP276 All-in-one printer, and I primarily use it with my MacBook. Even though I’ve enabled Printer Sharing from the Mac OS X Sharing Prefpane, I’ve never been able to get printing over the home network to work. The other machine at my home is a PC that runs Windows XP, and here is how I finally managed to get printing on the network to work.

Mac OS X ships with a tool called CUPS, which allows you to setup your machine as a print server. To access the CUPS interface (since there is no GUI app available) you must point your browser to http://localhost:631. This is the CUPS web interface, and you can configure it to share your printer on your network.

Procedure

  1. In the CUPS web interface, navigate to ‘Administration’.
  2. Click on the ‘Add printer’ button. Depending on your user settings, you might get a prompt for an administrator username/password. Use the details for your system. (The Mac OS X admin username/password)
  3. From the list of printers, select your printer.
  4. Add a short name for the printer, less than 12 characters (some weird issue in Windows doesn’t allow names longer than 12 chars).
  5. Make sure you tick the checkbox to enable sharing of the printer.
  6. Now, this is important: In the next step, select the manufacturer of the printer as ‘Raw’. This is to keep any configuration possibility for the printer open on the network, and so that you can use the Windows drivers for the printer on the windows machine.
  7. Select the default options in subsequent steps.

This completes the configuration process on the Mac. To add the printer on the Windows machine, you need go to the ‘Add Printer’ dialog (via the control panel in Windows XP, I don’t know where this is in newer versions of Windows). Now instead of allowing the wizard to automatically search for a printer, choose the option to enter an http address manually, and enter in the following address:

http://<Local-IP-of-Mac-OS-X-machine>:631/printers/<Name-of-printer-that-you-set-earlier>

Once this is done, insert the drivers CD for the printer in your CD drive, and browse to the drivers folder. Select drivers manually and install.

Done and done. Quite simple.

Note that port 631 must be forwarded in order for this setup to work.

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