March 22, 2019

WiFi PDA Meets Linux--Part 2 - page 4

iPAQ/CUPS Printing

  • April 21, 2005
  • By Rob Reilly

Tweak the Linux/CUPS Configuration

Surprise, surprise, surprise, Gomer... CUPS is probably the easiest part of the whole iPAQ printing process.

CUPS is the printing system of choice for most Linux installations. Many times it's even loaded by default. Use your distribution's installer to put it on your Linux box, if it's not on there already.

In the CUPS configuration file (/etc/cups/cupsd.conf), I added a line under the section to control which machines have network access to the printer.

     Allow From 192.168.2.* 

That way all my machines can print to the old Linux file/print server. Don't forget to restart CUPS. Under SUSE Linux the command is:

     root> rccups restart

Other distributions have different restart programs.

Configure the iPAQ to Print to the CUPS Server

On the iPAQ perform the following steps to set up printing:

  1. Open the Print Manager.
  2. Under the Tools tab, select the Print Config item.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Select Network on the Choose Kind of Printer menu. Click Next.
  5. On the Specify Network Printer menu, fill in the printer manufacturer and model of the printer on your CUPS server. Mine was a model 6P HP Monochrome laser printer.
  6. Fill in the network name of your CUPS printer. Mine was \\moe\lp. I also checked the Enable raw file types box.
  7. You might want to try printing a test page, in case something wasn't set correctly. If it doesn't work troubleshoot appropriately
  8. Finish the process by clicking the Finish button.

Create Test Documents

Start OpenOffice.org (you do have it loaded on all your Windows machines, don't you?) and open a text document that you want to use on the iPAQ.

How about a resume? Save the file as a Microsoft Word document (.doc format).

You did try copying an OpenOffice.org Writer (save it in .doc format)file from your Samba server to the iPAQ, as outlined in Part 1, didn't you? You can transfer the file directly to the iPAQ via the WiFi link.

This will put the file on the iPAQ as a .doc file. Pocket Word will be able to open the .doc file, but you won't be able to print. You also won't find any “print” menu items, under any of the program tabs when a .doc or .xls file is open.

Alternately, if you have the iPAQ connected via Activesync you can copy your file (.doc format) into the Mobile Device directory and it will be converted automatically to a Pocket Word file (.psd format). The conversion works in either direction.

Print Pocket Word/Excel Files and Web Pages

We've finally reached the moment of truth, printing from the iPAQ to a CUPS printer.
  1. Open the File Explorer on the iPAQ and travel to the directory where you've saved your test document.
  2. For a Pocket Word or Pocket Excel document, tap and hold the filename to get a pop up menu. The menu should include Cut, Copy, Rename, etc.
  3. Select the bottom item, which should be Print with your test filename.
  4. On the My Printer screen select Print and your job should go off to the CUPS machine.
  5. Depending on how you've set up your Samba server, you may or may not get a Network Log In screen. If you get a login screen, fill in the user name (on the Linux/Samba/CUPS server and corresponding password.
  6. Hit enter (probably using the iPAQ on-screen keyboard) to complete the print request.

If everything went well, a status window will pop up on the iPAQ telling you that the print job successfully completed. Moments later your pages will show up on the printer.

Printing a Web page is even easier. Start Internet Explorer, select a Web page and then tap and hold on a blank part of the page. A pop-up window will appear where you can select the print menu item. Hit that and the page goes to the printer. Easy.

Things you can check if the file didn't print include making sure that the iPAQ has network connectivity and that CUPS is configured and running on the server. Try printing from another machine to help isolate the problem.

I have not been able to print to the CUPS server IP address using the iPAQ.

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