This page is about the printer administration tool system-config-printer, which first appeared in Fedora (as part of my work at Red Hat), and later Ubuntu and other operating systems.

The purpose of the tool is to configure a CUPS server (often the local machine) using the CUPS API. The tool is written in Python, using pygtk for the graphical parts and with some Python bindings (pycups) for the CUPS API.

It is largely the same as using the CUPS web interface for configuring printers, but has the advantage of being a native application rather than a web page. It appears in the Fedora menu under System ▸ Administration ▸ Printing.

As a result of using the CUPS API the tool is able to configure remote CUPS instances and is not limited to configuring CUPS on the local machine. The CUPS library providing the API uses HTTP and IPP to communicate with the CUPS server.

I work on this application as part of my job at Red Hat.


Download tarball releases from:

You will also require pycups from:

Source Code

The git repository is available at

git clone git://

or browse using gitweb.

New releases are announced at freshmeat.


Language translations should be submitted through Fedora Transifex.

Mailing list

There is a public mailing list for discussion of the development of this project.

Reporting bugs

If you have found a bug in system-config-printer, please report it. If system-config-printer came with your operating system, report the bug to the operating system vendor:

278 Responses to “system-config-printer”

  1. Ronnie says:

    Hello, my pc is running Linux Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS
    with CUPS system-config-printer 1.3.8 installed.

    Am using an Epson Stylus D88 Inkjet Printer connected to above > no problems.

    My question is about the Ink Toner Levels:-

    “Marker levels are not reported for this printer”.
    (4) CYMK

    Is there a facility to show these levels?

    Merry Christmas and Thanks in advance of any reply.


    • Tim says:

      For the time being you have to use the “escputil” program that comes with gutenprint for that. Ideally the gutenprint driver itself would query the device and report the levels to CUPS, but until then escputil is what we have.

  2. Xzu says:

    I would like to translate terms of configuration in french.
    “Language translations should be submitted through Fedora Transifex.” >is broken :/ .

  3. Paul says:

    Hi, I have never installed a file like the one I get when I go to the web site:

    I’ve installed several Linux distributions but all are causing my printer to print with a blank page and continuously, yes…until the paper runs out or I pull the plug. I have never seen this before and can’t figure it out. How to I load or install the program at the web page. Is it contained in a download package? If not where can I find the procedure to install it.

    • Tim says:

      That’s called a “tarball”. If you are new to Linux you probably want to stick with the pre-packaged applications from your distribution vendor to start with. Have you filed a bug report with them about your printing problem?

  4. david larson says:

    printer will not operate because it is on “paused”. how do I un-pause it?

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