Cool Solutions

Using iPrint with Ubuntu


March 20, 2008 7:19 am






The iPrint client that is provided by Novell is a RPM package. To let Debian-based Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu Linux, use the iPrint client, you need to take a few steps to convert the RPM into a Debian package. Note that because this is not officially supported by Novell, don’t expect any technical support when you run into problems. This tip assumes that you are working in a Ubuntu environment.

Before I begin, I should state that the posting in Ubuntu’s forum is where I got my information from.

Making the Debian Package

When you visit the iPrint page with the printers, e.g. http://iprintserver/ipp, you can choose to install the iPrint client or install one of the printers. If you choose to install a printer, the system should inform you that you don’t have the client and prompt you to install it.

In any case you will have to install the iPrint client first. The Web page should be able to detect your operating system. If you are using Linux, regardless of either SUSE Linux or Ubuntu Linux, you will download a RPM file. This is the RPM file that you will convert to get the Debian package.

Download the RPM file to a directory of your choosing. I assume here that you download it to your home directory. Start your terminal/console/command prompt or whatever you call it. It should directly bring you to your home directory. We will use the “alien” program to convert the RPM file to a DEB file. So you have to make sure that “alien” is installed.

sudo apt-get install alien

You will be prompted to enter your sudo pasword. After alien is installed, run the following command to convert your RPM file.

sudo alien -d --scripts novell-iprint-xclient.i586.rpm

You will then find a file named something like this:

You can also convert the package in SUSE Linux. You will have to install alien and be root before you can convert the package.

Preparing for Installation

Before you install the iPrint Debian package, ensure that you have the package libglitz-glx1 installed. You can do so with

sudo apt-get install libglitz-glx1

You can now proceed to install the Debian package with your GUI by right-clicking on it and choose Open with “GDebi Package Installer”

The package should be installed. You might encounter a “75” error if you did not install libglitz-glx1 beforehand. Don’t worry about it, you can proceed with the next step.

Run the following commands:

. /opt/novell/iprint/bin/iprint-gnome-init

If the command above completes without any error, proceed with the next one.

. /etc/profile.d/

The next thing you should do is to check whether the plugin exists for Firefox.

cd /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/

If you don’t see the file, type the following

ln -s /opt/novell/iprint/plugin/

You’re Done!

Then open up Firefox and go to the printer page. This time, install the printer drivers again. It should ask you for a confirmation on whether you want to install the printer driver. Click Yes to proceed.

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Micro Focus. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.


  1. By:JeromeBuyle

    You need to use the /usr/lib/firefox-3.0/plugins/ directory when checking for the plugin symlink.

    It also seems like the plugin freezes Firefox 3 when the user asks for a printer installation.

    Oh well, at least I was able to manually configure the printer from the “printer configuration” application (System / Administration / Printing).

  2. By:bugardifieno

    I also had this problem and got the same result with Firefox 2. I go to install a printer, the window asking me if I want to install that particular printer pops up, I click ok and briefly see a message saying that the printer is being installed then Firefox disappears. How you you manually configure the printer to print to an iprint queue?

  3. By:anonymous

    I’m having the same problem with Firefox 3. I tried with Ubuntu and OpenSUSE, on both systems Firefox stops responding at the installation of the printer. To fix this i tried to install the printer via the command-line tool iprntcmd which failed with an error message "*** glibc detected *** iprntcmd: double free or corruption (!prev): 0x08062478 ***", followed by a very long backtrace. Manual installation via the printer-admin dialog was not an option for me, as i cannot select a ppd file (the driver is not provided in the default ppds of cups). Using the web configuration interface of cups (http://localhost:631) you can install the printer via "Administration->Add Printer" without any problems. Just select the "Internet Printing Protocol (iprint)" when asked for the device and provide the Device URI for your iPrint Server (i.e. iprint:// in the next step. Authentication for secure ipp-printers via iPrint client works fine, too.

    • By:Anonymous

      The web is full of people who get an authentication challenge that does not accept any known credentials when browsing to http://localhost:631/admin/. The web is also full of answers to this problem … none of which work for me.

      Did you have to get around the CUPS admin authentication problem? If so, how did you do it?

  4. By:jgoguen

    When I try this, the first print job works fine, I get asked for my Novell credentials, but every subsequent print job gets refused with client-error-not-authenticated. Once I restart the iPrint listener daemon, the next print job will again ask for credentials, print properly, and then refuse to print until I again restart the listener. This happens for me with a fully updated Ubuntu 9.04 and the Ubuntu 9.10 alphas, both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of each. Any ideas how I can fix this?

  5. By:duncanka

    I finally managed to get this to work, but I had to do an extra step. I had to follow the instructions on, which, to save you the trouble, basically says you need to comment out the line in /etc/cups/cupsd.conf with the following contents:
    Listen /var/run/cups/cups.sock.
    i.e. turn this line into
    #Listen /var/run/cups/cups.sock

  6. By:timpaines

    Thanks for sharing such information for us as I am ubuntu user and finding very tough to solve this issue. Once I restart the iPrint listener daemon, the next print job will again ask for credentials, helped me to get the detail of this.