FreeBSD 11, Xfce, and printing

David Christensen dpchrist at
Mon Jan 23 07:29:28 UTC 2017

On 01/22/17 22:53, Polytropon wrote:
> On Sun, 22 Jan 2017 19:50:37 -0800, David Christensen wrote:
>> I wanted to print a document today.  I went looking for:
>> Application Menu -> Settings -> Printing
>> It does not exist.  All I see is:
>> Application Menu -> Settings -> Xfce 4 Printing System Settings
>> CUPS is missing from the left-hand pane.
> Is CUPS installed

Thanks for the reply.

Apparently, yes:

toor at freebsd:/root # pkg info cups | head -n 4
Name           : cups
Version        : 2.2.1
Installed on   : Mon Jan 16 15:57:43 2017 PST

> and enabled?

How is CUPS enabled?  No, wait, let me guess -- /etc/rc.conf?

But, is it running?

toor at freebsd:/root # ps -A | grep -i cups
13962  0  R+      0:00.00 grep -i cups

Apparently, yes.

STFW yields some hits:

1.  This one mentions /etc/rc.conf (lucky guess).  And other stuff.  I 
wonder if it is applicable to FreeBSD 11.0, or will I screw up my system?

Last modified on 2015-04-04 23:31:59Z by eadler.

Next, add two lines to /etc/rc.conf as follows:


2.  I don't see a date.  Shorter.  Looks similar to the above:

Next, add two lines to /etc/rc.conf as follows:


3.  No mention of devfs, and older:

If you want CUPS to start at boot time, add the line cupsd_enable="YES" 
to /etc/rc.conf.

This page was last modified on 17 December 2014, at 17:13.

> Open a web broser and go to http://localhost:631, this is the
> web configuration interface for CUPS, the preferred method to
> interact with the beast. :-)

Unable to connect

Firefox can’t establish a connection to the server at localhost:631.

     The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in 
a few moments.
     If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer’s network 
     If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, 
make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.

I guess that confirms CUPS is not configured correctly.

> It seems that Xfce doesn't have a proper integration for CUPS,
> at least the FreeBSD version hasn't.

Works OOTB on Debian 7.

>> When I try to print from within LibreOffice Writer, the choices
>> available in the Print dialog are not encouraging:
>> Print to File...
>> Generic Printer
> This indicates that no printers are configured for your system.
> The "generic printer" is the system's default printing queue
> which will probably happily accept print jobs, but will not do
> anything with them because there is no printer configured. If
> you have CUPS installed and enabled, it will take the place of
> the system's printing subsystem.

I didn't think it would work.

>> So, I installed:
>> xfce4-print
>> Which said:
>> ===>   NOTICE:
>> This port is deprecated; you may wish to reconsider installing it:
>> Depends on unmaintained x11-toolkits/libxfce4gui.
> Then don't use it. It isn't required anyway. Use the web
> interface instead as suggested in the CUPS documentation.

I prefer Xfce Application Menu -> Settings -> Printing.

>> Application Menu -> Settings -> Printing still does not exist, and the
>> LibreOffice Writer Print dialog still does not look encouraging.
> OpenOffice has a stand-alone printer management tool symlink
> called /usr/local/bin/, and
> LibreOffice has something similar; search for "spadmin",
> that will be the right one.
> First configure CUPS using the web interface, then run that
> program to make LO aware of the printer. It should work then.

I prefer Xfce Application Menu -> Settings -> Printing.

> The last time I configured CUPS + LO printing was more than
> 3 years ago, and I forgot everything... ;-)

That's why I take a lot of notes and put them into CVS.

>> Any suggestions for getting CUPS working?
> Allow me to point you to the relevant sources:

The first and third appear to cover old-school printing.

The second is one I also found STFW.  It looks like the best of them 
all.  I guess I'll give it a try.

> (Hopefully) helpful sidenote:
> Make yourself familiar with the CUPS commands lpq, lpr, lprm,
> cupsaccept, and cupsenable. Check the location of the CUPS
> log files in /var/log, especially the error log file. It will
> significantly help you at troubleshooting.
> What you should get when you've configured everything correctly,
> for example:
> 	% lpq
> 	Laserjet is ready
> 	no entries
> 	% lpr import.pdf
> 	% lpq
> 	Laserjet is ready and printing
> 	Rank    Owner   Job     File(s)             Total Size
> 	active  poly    4929    import.pdf          73728 bytes
> The web interface also has the ability to check those (as well
> as partial error messages in case the printer doesn't print), but
> using the CLI tools is much more convenient.

I'll keep that handy.


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