Adding a printer to Linux Mint 12 or Ubuntu 11.10 with GnomeShell

After installing Linux Mint 12 the other day, today I set about reinstalling my printer which is usually a process of a few clicks of the mouse. Unfortunately GnomeShell that ships with Mint 12 (and, I believe, Ubuntu 11.10 if Unity is not your bag) ships with a broken printer configuration tool that, believe it or not, doesn’t let you install a printer.

On the upside, there is an easy solution to the problem, read on.

Problem: Mint 12/Ubuntu 11.10 has a bug in the printing configuration tool that inhibits installation of new printers and displays the following error.

“FirewallD is not running. Network printer detection needs services mdns, ipp, ipp-client and samba-client enabled on firewall.”

Problem is, FirewallD is a Fedora specific daemon and no matter how long we wait, it’s not about to start under Mint, Ubuntu or Debian.

Solution: In Ubuntu/Debian/Mint printers can be installed using the traditional printer dialog which can be accessed from the command line with using the following command:


Solution2: Printers can also be installed by using the CUPS web interface which can be accessed by pointing your browser at http://localhost:631/

Note: The CUPS web interface is available from any distro that has CUPS installed. You will, however, need to know the root password for those distros that utilse a root shell rather than sudo.

Many thanks to the good people (especially altair4) over the Linux Mint forums from where this solution was sourced.

33 thoughts on “Adding a printer to Linux Mint 12 or Ubuntu 11.10 with GnomeShell

    • Cheers Mike, thanks for your comment.

      I’m not sure what you mean about the like button being too far to the left though. Seems to be rendering correctly in my browser.

    • That may depend on the distro you are using and, possibly if it uses, sudo or a full root account as default. I would suggest plugging somenthing like ‘CUPS’ ‘root’ ‘password’ and the distro you use into your favourite search engine and see what you come up with.

  1. Awesome, thanks so much. After Installing the drivers for my CanonMP495 from their website, this worked like a charm!

  2. Excellent! My CLP300 installed automatically with Mint 12 (D/L last week) but there was no way to acces the settings (was only printing Med Res in mono) This brought the “old” settings box and solved the prob – bit of ommisson on the part of the devs…..

  3. my printer would add after getting it from CUPS but when i send something for printing it will start printing but no words would print on the A4 pages ? why is that happening !! can someone help please !

  4. Hi…Gud afternoon sir…I am using Ubuntu 11.10…i had installed hp printer driver and shortcut in the taskbar,i had shared printer device from laptop to other computers…In laptop hp printer icon is showing in Main Tray or TaskBar…But in some shared computers also i want to place the hp printer shortcut in main-tray or taskbar…how can i place the shortcut in the taskbar…please reply for this problem in detailed step…

    • Praveen, You’ve not indicated what desktop you’re using but I’ll assume Unity. I’ve not used Ubuntu with the Unity enough to be able to advise in detail how to do what you want. Best to head over to the Ubuntu forums and ask there.

  5. Thank you for the simple, precise and complete answer to the unnecessary problem – solved in no time at all! (Mint13 Cinnamon – 64)

    • Is this seriously still a problem in Mint 13 (I’ve not upgraded)? A quick check of Launchpad doesn’t show a up a relevant bug, if you can confirm that it does still exist, please file one!

  6. at least with Linux I do not have to fork out cash, I learn each tome something goes “wrong” . Sometimes it is me sometimes it is the dev or whatever I still love Linux!

  7. Pingback: Adding network printers in Linux Mint (12 & 13) | Steve Newbury's Blog –

  8. Thank you so much, I thought it was going to be a command line type solution, but even a naive like me managed it. For other terminal phobes, once the sys config line goes in a nice little gui opens up and you can use that. Works a treat.

  9. Pingback: How to add a remote printer

  10. Pingback: Adding network printers in Linux Mint (12 & 13) | SJNewbs.Net – Steve Newbury's Blog

  11. I’ve tried everything to install a printer with Linux Mint (system-config-printer, installing hplip, various trick with system admin etc. etc.) – nothing works.

    Lets face it: Linux Mint cannot Print!!!

    Solution: Save file, open windows (or other OS) and print!

    • Urgh, missed this comment in a haze of Christmas cheer, but I could not disagree more. From my experience, linux prints easily to a wide range of printers, but not certainly all available devices.

      A great place to begin is to check the known status of your printer at
      Next, someone else may have found and solved the problem for your particular disto, check the forums. And in the case of Mint, also check the Ubuntu forums. Hell, if you still can’t find an answer, post a question.
      Finally, Google. Google the brand and model of your printer. Add the distro you’re using. Try just using the printer and ‘linux’ as keywords, etc etc.

      It is true, drivers may not be available for your particular printer, but this does not mean linux in general, or Mint in particular, cannot print.

  12. Pingback: Adding a printer to Linux Mint, LMDE or Ubuntu: an Encore | /pseudomorph

  13. Hi, I’m still having problems. system-config-printer opens the traditional printer dialog, but after setting my printer smb address and authentication details, I get the error message “Print Share Inaccessible”.

    In the meanwhile some more info is output to the shell:

    $ sudo system-config-printer
    Kinit failed: Configuration file does not specify default realm
    Caught non-fatal exception. Traceback:
    File “/usr/share/system-config-printer/”, line 2171, in on_btnSMBVerify_clicked
    os.O_RDWR, 0777)

    Many thanks for any help,

  14. Pingback: How To Add A Printer On Linux Mint | Razeeti5

  15. Pingback: How To Add A Printer In Linux Mint 12 | Information

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