Removing Printers (and other fun CUPS questions)

Bill Moseley moseley at
Mon Jan 11 17:30:49 UTC 2010

This is on a 9.10 laptop.  I'm in ipadmin group.
$ groups
moseley adm dialout cdrom floppy audio dip video plugdev fuse lpadmin admin

System->Administration->Printing lists 32 printers.  Some listed printers I
configured at my home (about 4) and the rest are network printers at the

1) How do I delete the ones I never use?

Selecting a printer, right click and "Delete" is grayed out.

I found a couple of related posts [1] but no solutions in my minute or two
of searching.  Wrong search terms I guess.

Even if I run:

$ sudo python /usr/share/system-config-printer/

The Delete option is grayed out.

2) Where are all those printers saved?  Even when I'm not on the office LAN
I still see the long list of printers.  So, they must be saved some place:

$ lpinfo -vl | wc -l

And: http://localhost:631/printers/   shows only 10 printer.  9 have "Device
URI: file:/dev/null".

Not a lot listed in my /etc/cups/printers.conf

$ sudo fgrep Printer /etc/cups/printers.conf | grep -v /
# Printer configuration file for CUPS v1.3.9
<DefaultPrinter HP_Color_LaserJet_CM1312nfi_MFP>
<Printer HP_Color_LaserJet_CM1312nfi_MFP_10.30.1.92>
<Printer HP_Color_LaserJet_CM1312nfi_MFP_fax>
<Printer Photosmart-C4500-series>

Nothing in my home directory:

$ find ~/.cups/

$ ls -lt /home/moseley/.cups/lpoptions
-rw-r--r-- 1 moseley moseley 0 2009-12-15 10:34

My ppd directy is pretty empty:

$ ls /etc/cups/ppd

And, for example, I have a bunch of "Brother" printers displayed and this
finds nothing:

$ sudo fgrep -r Brother /etc/cups

And I could not find "Brother" in gconf-editor.

Am I looking for printers in all the wrong places?

3) I'm never quite sure how to set up network printers.  Should a machine be
used as a queue for the network printers and then all print jobs are sent to
that queue?  Or should each user's workstation find the network printers
directly and install any required drivers or ppd files?

And if using a machine as a queue does that mean clients can send print jobs
to the queue w/o having to have any specific drivers or ppd files for the
printers that are connected to the queue machine?

4) And if clients use network printers directly (instead of via some queue
machine) what happens when the printer's IP address changes?


Bill Moseley
moseley at
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