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Printing on Apple OSX 10.8

For Mac OSX 10.8, there is currently no way to listen to adverts sent out by MATHS printers, and so we instead must add printers manually. There are a few steps involved.

  • First, install the printer drivers.
  • Second, turn on the Mac's web interface for its CUPS server.
  • Third, use the CUPS admin page (on the Mac) to add print queues for the printers you wish to use.

Install the printer drivers

We mostly use HP printers here. Download and install the HP printer drivers from Search for "HP printer drivers" and (at least currently) it will offer Download and install these drivers.

Turn on the Mac's web interface for its CUPS server

This may already be running, but if not you will need to start it manually from the command line in the Terminal window. To begin, open your web-browser.

Go to your local printer configuration webpage http://localhost:631/admin

If the CUPS server doesn't have its web interface enabled, you will get an error message "Server internal error" together with a message telling you to start the web interface, which you should do.

sudo cupsctl WebInterface=yes

Revisit the web page http://localhost:631/admin and it should now work correctly. You should now be looking at the Admin page for CUPS on your Mac.

Add print queues for the printers you wish to use

Now click on Add Printer.

Your web-browser will prompt for a login. You need to use an account on your OSX computer that can administer the computer (this is NOT your Raven account).

Click the radio button beside Internet Printing Protocol (ipp), and then Continue.

In the Connection edit box, type the URI which corresponds to the printer you wish to use. This will be of the form:


You will need to replace printername with the name of the printer you wish to use. For example, to use the printer b1south, use the URI:


The full list of available printers can be seen by connecting to the CUPS server on Conveniently, this also lists both the URI and the name of the printer driver, together with other details required at the next step.

Once you have entered the URI, click on the Continue button. The next page prompts you for a Name for the printer (use the same name specified on the URI (e.g. b1south), and then a Description and Location. You can copy these from the corresponding fields on the page from lapserv.maths, which is what we recommend. You do not need to share the printer, so leave that box unchecked. Once again, click Continue

On the next screen you will need to provide details on the make and model of the printer. You can again read these from the field from lapserv.maths. Most of our printers are from HP, so we begin by selecting HP as the Make, and then Continue. Now carefully choose the Model. Once you have selected the correct model, click Add Printer.

The final step in this procedure is to set the sensible defaults for the new printer. Almost all of our printers use A4 paper, and most have additional trays and duplex units. The Options installed is where you tell CUPS about additional features the printer has, such as extra trays, duplex units, additional memory etc. The General tab is the place to declare the page size, and that you like to print double-sided, with binding on the long edge. Once these are all okay, click on Set Default Options (at the bottom of the page.)

Finally, verify the settings by printing a test page. There is an option for this from the Maintenance drop down menu, or print a file from your favourite application.


Rather than using the web interface, you might want to add the printer from the command line. The following may work. If it fails, perhaps revert to using the web interface.

/usr/sbin/lpadmin -p b1south -E \
-v ipp:// \
-P "/Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/HP LaserJet 4000 Series.gz" \
-D "DAMTP b1 south P4015x" -L "PavB 1st floor" \
-o PageSize=A4

The Apple way

Of course, you might also want to use the System Preferences tool to add a printer. This can be made to work, but doesn't seem to present you with as much choice regarding the default options as you can achieve via cups. In brief, the steps are:

  1. Bring up the System Preferences tool.
  2. Choose Print and Scan.
  3. Click on the plus sign to add a printer.
  4. Choose IP (as opposed to Default, Fax or Windows)
  5. Put an address of
  6. Put a queue of printers/b1south (use appropriate printer name).
  7. Change the name to b1south.
  8. Change the location.
  9. Choose the appropriate printer driver.
  10. Click on Add
  11. It complains that it can't verify the printer. Click Continue.
  12. Set the default options.


If OSX is experiencing problems with printing (after the above) then try any or all of the following:

  • Check the OSX firewall and if it is turned on you can trying turning it off to see if that helps, then turn it back on and add an exception.
  • Apply the latest OSX updates.