Adding a network printer in Ubuntu 12.04

In the old days, printing was really hard in linux. It was one of the things that was a deal breaker when trying to switch from Windows for a lot of people, but when I first tried Ubuntu (probably around 2006-2007) it made all that pain go away! It was easy! A couple of clicks and you could set up a network printer and its been that easy ever since.

Recently Ubuntu have tried to make their settings screen a bit like a Mac, and to simplify everything they seem to be using a simplified user interface for the printer configuration too:

New Settings user interface New Printing user interface

Well this new interface doesn’t work for me, when I try to add a network printer, I get the error message:

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

The error that stops me from finding my network printer

Well no matter what I did, I couldn’t add my printer. After some googling around, I found how to get to the old user interface… which actually works! Just type this into a terminal:

sudo system-config-printer

And you will be given this old familiar screen:

The classic printing user interface... the one that works!

Clicking the big “Add” button in this screen and following the steps worked great for me. Another alternative is to use the CUPS web interface on http://localhost:631 but that can be a little more complicated.