Configuring Samba for Printing on WinXP Machine

Bob Johnson bob89 at
Sun May 2 18:14:31 PDT 2004

On Sunday 02 May 2004 05:04 pm, Gerard Seibert <Gerard Seibert 
<gerard-seibert at>> wrote:
> I am running FreeBSD 5.2.1. I have three computers networked
> together, Two running WinXP Pro and one running FreeBSD. I would like
> the one running BSD to be able to use the printer connected to the
> WinXP machine. I have had no success in getting this to occur.

If all you need is printing, and not file sharing, then CUPS should do 
what you need.  It can be a little confusing to get it up and running, 
but probably not as confusing as Samba. 


> The WinXP machine in question is connected to a hub, then a router
> and then to my cable modem. I do not want to make any changes to its
> network so that it will fail to connect to the internet or to the
> other WinXP computer. It would be a bonus if I could actually share
> files among all three machines, but it is not a necessity. I do need
> the ability to print though.

If you decide to use CUPS for printing, you may be able to do adequate 
file sharing by using the basic SMB networking built in to recent 
versions of FreeBSD (see mount_smbfs(8) and smbutil(1)).  That should 
let you be a client to the WinXP file servers, although you won't be 
able to serve files to them.  smbutil claims to be able to print to 
Windows shared printers, but I've never tried it, and I suspect that 
drivers would be an issue. 

When I use mount_smbfs to mount shares from my wife's XP Home system, I 
have to try the mount twice: it times out the first time, and works on 
the second.  I haven't tried to debug that yet...

I haven't used Samba in a few years, but when I did, its primary role 
was to act as a Windows server, not as a client.  The client (at least 
back then) was very limited.

> I have tried configuring Samba but without success. Perhaps someone
> could give me some basic configuration tips, or perhaps another
> easier to use and setup networking tool other than Samba.
> Thanks in advance!
> Gerard Seibert
> gerard-seibert at
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