Jonathan Hutchins' Blog
Monday, February 05, 2007
Cups Administration in Ubuntu

Attention Ubuntu Developers: This is a "deal-breaker" for new users!

Ubuntu has disabled the Administrative functions in Cups that allow you to do things like add printers. This appears to be something that they inhereted from Debian, but that's no excuse for not fixing it.

If you try to add a printer in Cups (localhost:631 in your browser), you will be presented with an authorization box asking for user name and password. No username and password will work.

The problem is that cups runs as user cupsys, and user cupsys does not have access to the shadow password file that stores passwords.

The solution is simple:

sudo adduser cupsys shadow 

Well, maybe not that simple. I don't know for sure, but I don't think the default/initial user is added to the lpadmin group by default, but easy enough again:

sudo adduser (user) lpadmin 

where (user) is whatever user you want to administer cups, presumably you, the default/initial user.

Now, when you try to perform administrative functions in cups, you can use your own username and password.

It's not like people aren't aware of this problem. Google returns some 677,000 pages for a search on "ubuntu cups password", but the page above is the only one with the whole answer.


I'm back
Haven't bothered with this site in almost two years I see.
I've been happily running Mandriva, and haven't really had much to comment on it. It just works.

I converted a server in Tucson from FC4 to Mandriva 2007, and it went very badly. A lot of the server packages had clearly never been installed, they just didn't work with the defaults. I should have written that up here, but I guess I've been mostly discussing it on IRC.

Anyway, I was driven by that to explore the Ubuntu world as a potential server platform. While there's a lot of buzz, activity, and support for Ubuntu, it's not without it's problems. I find I can often help people in the #kubuntu channel, but I also find there are a lot of repeat questions. FAQ's. Today it took me about thirty minutes to find an answer for someone on something I've encountered and fixed before. Unfortunately, she'd logged off before I had a definitive answer for her.

So I decided I need a FAQ manager for my own FAQ list. I poked Drupal, found that there's a FAQ module, and it didn't work.

So here I am. Posting this particular problem to the web this way may also stimulate some activity; this is something that the ubuntu team really needs to fix. 677,000 hits on Google.

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