How to Set Up RSS to Monitor Print Servers Using Lion Server CUPS

Using Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) for Lion Server, you can set up Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds for individual printers, printer pools, or all your printers. When something happens to the printer or jobs, CUPS creates an RSS feed to alert you. You can read the feed in any RSS reader, such as Safari or another RSS-capable web browser in any operating system, or the Mac’s Mail program.

The interface isn’t entirely user friendly, but these steps take the guesswork out of setting up your own feeds:

  1. Open a web browser and go to the CUPS web interface.

    Use these URLs if you’re logged into the server Mac that is hosting the printing.

    • http://127.0.0.1:631

    • http://localhost:631

    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.

  2. Select the Administration tab and click the Add RSS Subscription button.

    The Add RSS Subscription page opens.

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  3. Type a name for the RSS feed in the Name field.

    The CUPS web interface is very particular about the format of the name, and it doesn’t tell you everything you need to do. If you get it wrong, it won’t create a feed, and it won’t tell you why. Here’s what you need to know:

    • The feed name must end in .rss.

    • The feed name must not contain spaces, slashes, question marks, or hash marks.

    • It’s best to use simple names.

    Remember this name or write it down. You need it to view your feed.

  4. Select a printer or class (pool) in the Queue field.

    CUPS won’t create an RSS feed if you don’t click one.

  5. Select the check boxes next to the types of job, queue, and server events.

    You may want to leave Job Created and Job Completed blank, or your RSS feed could quickly fill with non-urgent RSS articles.

  6. Edit the Maximum Events in Feed field, if desired, and then click the Add RSS Subscription button.

To view the RSS feed in a web browser, type one of the following URLs in a web browser, replacing the items in italics with your own information:

  • From the server Mac: http://localhost:631/rss/feed-name.rss

  • From another computer: http://host-domain-name:631/rss/feed-name.rss

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