How to Access Lion Server’s Print Engine from a Browser

Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) is actually the print engine in Mac OS X Lion Server. Apple adopted CUPS soon after it was created as a print system for Linux. Apple became a major developer and, in 2007, purchased the CUPS code and hired the creator, Michael Sweet. Apple continues to offer the CUPS code under open source licensing, so it continues to be part of many Linux distributions.

In Mac OS X, System Preferences provides a simple front end to the CUPS printing system, and it may be all you need. Mac OS X also includes a more detailed web-based interface to CUPS that you can access by typing one of these URLs in your web browser:

  • http://127.0.0.1:631

  • http://localhost:631

Use these URLs if you’re logged into the server Mac that is hosting the printing. If you’re accessing your server from another computer, use instead a URL in this form: http://server-ip-address:631, where server-ip-address is the IP address of the server on which you have printer sharing enabled.

If you want to access CUPS from another computer (running any OS), you need to have Remote Administration enabled. Open the CUPS web portal (the first page), click the Administration tab, and select the Allow Remote Administration check box.

The web interface of CUPS allows you to add printers and do some things that you can’t in System Preferences, including creating printer pooling (a type of load sharing) and print queues for network printers.

The Online Help tab takes you to help and information pages. However, much of the help information is about the command-line interface.

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