Sharing a printer with Mac and Windows

A while back, I went through all sorts of insanity with SAMBA, CUPS and Foomatic to make a Mac PowerBook be able to print to a printer that’s on a Windows XP box.

Worked for a while, even if it was impossible to select a quality - it was ink-sucking Best or nothing. Now, it’s developed amnesia and can’t connect.

How would life be if I swapped things around and set up the printer on a Mac Mini? The PowerBook should have no trouble seeing it, but how about the XP box?

Also, is it possible to remotely administer a Mini? I’d like to be able to run it without a monitor for space and cost reasons.

Have you considered a network print server? They come in USB or parallel versions and wired or wireless. Makes sharing a printer a little less complicated.

Not sure about the printer thing, but you can easily run a VNC server on the Mac Mini and operate it remotely/headless with a VNC client on your other computers.

Yes, Mac OS X will share the printer out to Windows as if it were a regular Windows networked printer. Make sure you enable it and open the Mac firewall for the service.

I recommend the print server, though. Why turn on another computer just to print?

This is just for you to go down memory lane: Network Printing on Mac OS X. I was a folk hero for a couple of months, there.

I’ll happily consider a print server. What’s one that is supported on Mac? Linksys essentially says “We don’t care about Mac and don’t support them” on their print servers.

Also, will an all-in-one printer/scanner/memory stick “drive” work through a print server? If not, I’ll need to buy a new scanner and a new memory stick reader to replace the lost functions. Printer in question is an HP PSC series - think it’s a PSC-2210.

Oooh… that makes it another question altogether! I don’t even think you’ll get the functionality that you want from Windows while it’s connected to the Mac as a served printer. The Mac OS does support scanner sharing, though. I have no idea if this is some Mac only technology, or if it works in Windows.

Sorry, you’ve exceeded my personal experience in this matter.

The Linksys WPS54G, at least, does support EtherTalk. You may have to use Windows to do the initial configuration, though, I didn’t look look any closer to find out. Spec sheets on other Linksys products show similar information. Surely OS X supports printing via EtherTalk.
The D-Link DP-311U and DP-G321 support AppleTalk/EtherTalk and use HTTP for configuration. The DP-G321 specifically mentions MacOS support on its spec sheet.
Other major brands will likely provide similar capabilities.

I’d second this idea. It costs nothing, and guarantees you get the full control you’re after.


It’s fixed! Apple diddled something in a recent update to Panther requiring a new Samba connect string. More specifically, it appears to require the same user ID to exist on the Windows box with the same password in order for the old smb://userID:password@WindowsWorkgroup/Server/ShareName to work.

Workaround is trivial, now that I found it. Delete the existing printer and re-add it - the connect string is smb://guest@<IP of Windows box>/<printer share name>

You may wish to set a static IP for the Windows box, otherwise it can become a moving target every time it reboots if there are more than one PC getting their IP via DHCP.

stupid kermit face… that should be: