Network a USB Printer with OS X

Considering D-Link’s failure to provide OS X support on networking printers with their DI-534UP router (their manual lacks the info.), I struggled to network a HP PSC 1610 All-In-One with a D-Link DI-524UP router. I’m glad to write that I was successful. Googling didn’t help, seems there aren’t a lot of articles on how to network a printer with OS X (Tiger [what I’m running] or any other version).

Perhaps most OS X users are only too happy to use the Airport Extreme Base Station (an expensive router for dummies), or whatever the almighty Jobs tells them they should buy. Anyway, I got my set-up working just fine with a little elbow grease. The keys to making it work is knowing the router’s private IP, the printer’s queue name, and using LPD (not IPP, nor HP Jet Direct-Socket).

You can do the same in eight easy steps. Do so at your own discretion.

  1. Plug the USB printer into the powered router.
  2. Turn the printer on.
  3. Start OS X’s Print Set-up Utility (found in Utilities).
  4. Select the utility “Add” button.
  5. Select Line Printer Daemon (LPD) from within the utility.
  6. Identify the router’s IP, via the router’s web-interface (using a browser). Connecting to the router via http://192.168.0.1 and looking under Home (top tab) Lan (side column) … gives the router’s private IP. Punch it in to the appropriate box.
  7. Identify the queue via the router’s web-interface (using a browser), probably lp1 or lp (or whatever your router labels it). Status (top tab) … Printer Info (side column) gives the queue name. Punch in the queue into the appropriate box.
  8. Select the appropriate printer driver.

Congrats, you’re done!

Just another note, the printer driver identified when the printer was installed directly to my computer did not show up on the (“network”) list of drivers. Luckily, Gimp-Print v. 5.0.0-beta2 provides a pre-installed HP Desktop 1600C driver that works. You can’t network the scanner bit on this printer, if someone is wondering.

Hmm, it feels as though D-Link should pay me for writing a set-up document for their hardware, since I did their work for them. And you didn’t have to pay for a fancy looking over-priced base station to network your old printer, either.

UPDATES

March 10, 2011

Maurice Cepeda

References

At some point I found an informative (and approachable) but always verbose writer that had written something on the matter, at <http://www.macwrite.com/criticalmass/di-704p-with-mac-os-x.php>, from which I ascertained the IP needed, although the article does not leave room for a variety of queue name possibilities. I think I clued into the proper protocol being LPD while reading the Windows-centric D-Link manual located at <ftp://files.dlink.com.au/products/DI-524UP/Manuals>.

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11 thoughts on “Network a USB Printer with OS X

  1. This helped! Finally …

    as you said,
    – no info provided in the D-Link manual
    – the only simple and useful explanation I have come through on the net so far about this

  2. The info was helpful, but have you came accross a solution for the same problem with Windows Vista OS? D-Link should pay you.

  3. Troy: I haven’t come across a Windows Vista HOWTO but I imagine that all you have to do is use the same protocols, namely, “the router’s private IP, the printer’s queue name, and using LPD (not IPP, nor HP Jet Direct-Socket)”.

    All you probably need to do differently is use the Windows printer setup utility. Maybe just fiddle around with your the appropriate utility settings.

    Sorry, but I’m not likely to come up with Windows info as I’ve happily been using others systems for years.

  4. Troy,
    followed your advice and all looks OK, then I get a message “The process “Photosmart” terminated unexpectedly on signal 10″ and no printing from my Mac.
    NB I know the printer is talking to the DI-524UP as all works well with my Windows XP laptop. Any advice would be greatfully accepted. cheers P

  5. You really don’t give a lot to go on.

    Does your printer work directly connected to your computer?
    -If it does print when connected directly, it’s not a driver issue.
    -If it does not print, then you need better driver support –assuming the printer is in working order.

    Apparently, drivers have to support LPD so you could try the Gutenprint drivers and see if they fare better. You can get more drivers from Gutenprint, sometimes better than the factory drivers. See http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net/MacOSX.php3

    -You’re using a Photosmart printer.
    Although you shouldn’t need any other variables other than those listed above –assuming things haven’t changed too much as I haven’t done a set-up on Leopard– I’ve only tested my instructions with my HP Desktop 1600C and my Stylus Color 670 on OS X Tiger with the D-Link 524UP.

    -If you’re using a different router, the queue name is bound to be different.

    Lastly, maybe it’s a non-lpd network printer. Check your manual for your printer’s supported protocols.

    If you google, you’ll note that there are Photosmart printers with problems with the LPD protocol. See,
    http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Comp/comp.sys.mac.system/2007-09/msg03048.html

    You need to trouble shoot. Do so at your own discretion.

    Maurice

    PS-If successful, please post details on what made the difference so that others can benefit despite HP’s unwillingness to support OS X users.

  6. Thanks for your input. I found this via another chat site.
    http://www.linuxprinting.org/macosx/hpijs
    Followed the relatively straightforward instructions and now have wireless printing happening. However, doesn’t have high quality capabilities of a direct USB connection with the Mac.

    For the record I used a DI-524UP router/print server, HP C5280 Photosmart printer, Windows XP Laptop & iBook G4 OSX 10.4.11

  7. That’s great that you’re now getting wireless printing!

    I assume that the protocols mentioned above worked, that LPD works, and that your issue was that the proprietary driver didn’t support wireless printing.

    Thanks for your feedback. I look into that project when I have some time.

    For those using Gutenprint drivers: If you’re not getting high quality print-outs, it’s that the Gutenprint drivers aren’t up to snuf in some areas –at least for now– but they offer one thing the proprietary driver doesn’t –wireless printing.

    In regards to improving your quality output, you really have a couple of more options. One, there are often multiple Gutenprint drivers that work, you can try more than one as they may perform differently.

    Two, track your Gutenprint driver(s’) development, maybe they have a better driver in development that you can install via a pre-release Gutenprint issue, or otherwise.

    Have fun!

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