Getting Ubuntu connected to the LTU Network Printers

My latest post here is something which I know some, myself included, would find immensely useful: installing the LTU network printers on Ubuntu so you can print to them just as easily as those Windows users do!

This guide is partially inspired by LTU's instructions for adding their printers to Mac OS X, another Unix-like operating system.

For reference, I'm using Ubuntu 13.10.

The Steps

Search for "Printers" in the Unity dash, or find it in System Settings. Once you're in there, click the button to the right of the Add button in the toolbar, and select printer. You should next get to a screen similar to the one below.

Scroll to the bottom of the Devices list and choose "Windows Printer via SAMBA". On the right, enter the SMB link for your printer, which would be smb://[printer name] (minus the smb:// part at the front, and obviously you should replace [printer name] with the actual name of the printer you want to connect to).

Note: Don't be a doofus like I did in the screenshot above and pick "Set authentication details now"; authentication will fail if you try that. Rather, just pick the radio button right above it which says "Prompt user if authentication is required". I was too lazy to replace this screenshot.

Test your settings before proceeding by clicking the "Verify..." button. Enter your LTU username, "CAMPUS" as the domain, and your LTU password. So long as you don't get an error message, you should be all set to go.

This takes care of being able to locate and log in to the printer. Now we need to tell Ubuntu what kind of printer it is. This is of course dependent on the hardware you are trying to connect to, which might vary; the printer in this example is the M113A printer by the circulation desk in the LTU library, which seems to be a newer model than what was there last semester. You may have to get up and walk over to the printer to determine exactly what you are dealing with.

I just left all the following settings as their defaults; I have no idea what they do, and they don't seem to be important.

Now you have to name your new network printer. Enter whatever you want, so long as you feel it will make the printer immediately clear to you later on if you go looking for it in a printing dialog.

After this step, you should be all set.

How to Print

Now to start using our printer. Anytime you want to print something, you'll want to make sure that printer is selected in your printing dialog from whatever program you are printing from. After you hit "Print", you should get a printing icon in your indicators area in the upper-right; click it, then click the name of your printer in the drop-down list to get the below window.

In this screenshot, it's empty. But when you're printing something, you should see a print job in there saying it's waiting for authentication or similar. Right-click the print job and choose "Authenticate" from the menu. On the dialog which appears, give your username as "CAMPUS\[your LTU username]" and your LTU password for the password. This should authenticate your print job, and then you can just go over to the nearby laptop to release your print job as usual to actually execute it.

That's all! Happy printing!

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