Again with Network Printing Problems!!

Posted on Monday 1 June 2009

I really, really thought that I understood everything I needed to do and know about setting up my little HP1000 printer on Ubuntu…. that was until I got a new machine and upgraded to Ubuntu 9.04… boy was I wrong!

First things first… why a new machine? Well my goal was to move everything eventually over to Ubuntu, but unfortunately some things ( read Windows programs ) are not yet available or not even being considered for Ubuntu which meant that I had to run them in an emulator/simulator.

There are several great packages in the linux community, including Wine and Virtualbox to name just two. Unfortunately, they both require disk space, and more importantly, dedicated memory… and this is where I ran into problems. My old beast was starting to get long in the teeth… which isn’t bad for a 5+ year old computer.

I usually push the technological barrier ( some say bleeding edge ) of technology when I buy a new machine and my gamble usually lets me keep running my computer ( with a few ongoing upgrades ) a lot longer than most other people. Unfortunately, this time I gambled … and lost … buy betting on a particular type of memory card that looked like the way of the future, only the future took a right turn shortly after I bought that computer.

This meant that I was limited to the size of my memory… Don’t get me wrong, I was able to upgrade my original 256MB of RAM to 650MB ( at a hefty price mind you ) a few years back, but if I was lucky and found more of the exotic memory I was using, the best I could possibly get out of my machine was 1GB of memory at a cost point higher than most low end computers today (which of course had higher performance ratings than what my poor beast was doing… and usually came with 2GB or larger memory! )  So the decision was really made for me – a new computer…. Oh and for those of you who wish to know what my pain was…. Rambus/RDRAM memory…. amazing stuff that quickly fell out of favour…

Alright, so a new computer meant that I could beef up the memory ( not bleeding edge this time though – I’ve learned my lessons…. for now…. ) and of course install the latest greatest “stable” version ( hey I’m not THAT crazy ) of Ubuntu and things went whizzingly along….

Of course I then had to move over my old and aging laser printer ( yeah I know I probably should have upgraded that too…. but then hey… you wouldn’t have this great lesson learned from me now would you?! ) I followed all the steps and procedures that I had laid out in my previous postings about HP printers and HPLIP ( which I highly recommend if you want to use HP printers on Linux ) and things worked wonderfully locally but once again the problem came when I tried to print from a network….

The prints would arrive and then just “disappear” at which point I started screaming and hollering and cursing and…. well you get the idea… So back to the grind stone and searching and experimenting and collapsing with exhaustion of body and ideas… This went on for over three days…. until today.

I booked yet another complete day of trying everything under the sun in my attempts to get things working. I had at this point “assumed” ( dangerous word that I know ) that the problem had to be with my setup of Samba ( the software that lets me share my computers resources with Windows machines on the network. )

One of the main reasons for this leap of logic was that my old Ubuntu/Linux machine easily accessed and shared everything that I made available – only the Windows machines had trouble… I could even print from Windows to my old machine and it would route over to my new machine and print. I just couldn’t print anything directly from Windows to the new machine!

The first thing I tried was to copy the samba configuration file ( smb.conf ) from my old/working machine and put it into my newer machine…. well while it complained not a bit, it did break a bunch of other things – so that brilliant idea got reset… The next was to review all the previous work I had done, and to see if maybe I had just missed something.

This effort led me to reviewing all my search results and recommended solutions, ( there are a lot out there – of both those having problem AND someones ideas on how to fix them. ) This effort actually paid off as I came across a simple solution that seemed almost too simple to try… In future I will be doing this FIRST before I try anything else to get my printers networked!

All credit goes to Jonathan Moeller for his timely article – Basic Samba Shared Printer Setup in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope it’s a very simple and clean way to easily get your Windows computers to access your Ubuntu printers across the network AND to get them to print out as well!

While I usually lay out the steps that I took within the article – I think in this case it is worth going directly to the source ( click on the title of the article in the previous paragraph ) and reading it there as it is very well written  (and so easily understood ) and I would have difficulty in compressing it any more than it already is. It really is and was too simple!

So that job is now done…. on with the next challenge…. and there is always a “next one.”

End Article

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