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.

Please note that I no longer maintain system-config-printer. Please visit its new home at GitHub.


Download older tarball releases from:

You will also require pycups from:

Source Code

The git repository is available at GitHub.


Language translations should be submitted through Zanata.

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:

  • Packagers, or people who have installed system-config-printer from source themselves, should report the bug at GitHubThis is the “upstream” bug tracker.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora users should use Red Hat Bugzilla
  • Ubuntu users should use launchpad
  • Mandriva users should use Mandriva Bugzilla

353 Responses to “system-config-printer”

  1. tim says:

    There is a good indication of what printers work well at

  2. judith says:


    I’m having a “small” issue with system-config-printer.
    I have my own installation of python and when calling to system-config-printer I had some error related to some uninstalled packages. I already installed pycups, but now I have issues with cupshelper, i tried to find it but with no success, then as using the python from the system I’ve been able to open system-config-printer with no problem, I decided to find where cupshelper came from, i found it under /usr/lib/python-2.7/site-packages/cupshelpers (why not in /usr/lib64?), I added to my PYTHONPATH this directory so that my python could find cupshelpers, and it worked. Now the problem is the _debugprint function, it is defined in and imported like: “from . import _debugprint”.
    I’m not a python developer and I don’t know why it is not working, can you provide some help, please? I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks a lot!

  3. tim says:

    Hi Judith,

    Are you using python-2.7, or an earlier version? What’s the problem you’re having with _debugprint? Also, which version of system-config-printer are you trying?

  4. judith says:

    Hello Tim,

    Sorry to answer that late. Indeed I’m using python-2.7, the problem with _debugprint is that the python that I installed on the system (apart from the default one) is not able to find it (even adding the cupshelper path to my PYTHONPATH).
    The version of sys-conf-print is 1.2.4-2

  5. tim says:

    Maybe try using a newer version of system-config-printer.

    “from . import” is the right way to import relative modules.

  6. judith says:

    Unfortunately I can’t update the system, I was hoping there was a way to be able to install cupshelpers as an independent package… Is it possible?
    I don’t quite understand why is it failing, I usually have seen packages being imported with from . import X, but using import X, not that in this way is it gonna work, as i said i don’t know about python.
    Thanks anyway!

  7. THomas says:

    I have a problem with my printer operation. I am using a HP-8150 with 4 paper trays and a side manual tray, also it has a envelope feeder on th right side of the printer. I have been trying to get the envelope feeder to work, and it comes up with conflict between the Paper source the envelope feeder and Paper for Booklet. The paper for booklet does not give an option for any envelope sizes, only paper sizes. I am using a size 10 envelope. The printer will feed the envelopes through the printer in the local printer mode. What do I do to correct this issue. Thank you. Thom,

  8. tim says:

    Thomas: When you use system-config-printer to view the printer options it will highlight the conflicting options.

  9. Rohit Vashisht says:


    I recently migrated to fedora (Fedora 15). While I was trying to connect my Canon Pixma MX310 networked printer to Fedora 15. I had the following problems:

    1. Canon had no printer driver for Fedora.
    2. While i was trying to install Canon MX340 to my PC then the following message came: “A crash in system-config-printer-1.3.2-2.fc15.src.rpm package”.
    3. I downloaded the system-config-printer-1.3.2-2.fc15.src.rpm binary. Can you tell me how to install it, and its dependancies. Can I reinstall system-config-printer-1.3.2-2.fc15.src.rpm from my installation DVD of Fedora 15?

    I am new to linux please tell me how to fix this problem.

  10. tim says:

    You don’t need/want the src rpm file (that’s for developers).

    Instead, try installing the updates that are available for Fedora 15 (Applications → System Tools → Software Update) and try again. If it still fails, you can report a bug at Once you have an account there, run ABRT (Applications → System Tools → Automatic Bug Reporting Tool) to report the bug.

  11. Rohit Vashisht says:

    I am tring to print on my network printer Canon Pixma MX310 on Fedora 15. There is no driver for MX310 for Fedora or any LInux. So I was trying to install MX340 driver which i downloaded. I do not know how to install it.

    Looking for how to install a print driver not included in Fedora 15?

    Thank You.

  12. tim says: has some information on how to install the driver for this printer.

  13. sudarshan says:

    Hi friends

    I am using EPSON PRINTER LX-300+II in rhel5.I have configure it succesfully and printed test page alsio.After some time when i have tried to print with same configuration i am not able tyo print test page also.I dony knoew what is the problem..I will give u the details of how i have done configuration

    1.I have selectde new option to add new printer

    2.In select connection device name LPT#1 i have given

    3.In select printer from databasew make EPSON i have selected.

    4.MAKES i have selected 9 pin series CUPS V1.2.

    5.APPLY i have given. printer is added but test page is not printed..

    Please reply immediatly i am stuck here since 4 days,,

    Any help regarding this will be hitghly appreciable from the bottom of my big heart..


  14. Mark says:

    When I open a GTK print dialog, and there is already a job queued, I see in the ‘status’ column something like “Spooling LPR job, 70% complete…”. With system-config-printer ( on the other hand, I only see “Pending”. Would it be possible to change these status messages to have the same detail that the print-dialog status messages have? (using version 1.2.0)

  15. tim says:

    It would be “Processing” I think, which is the job state. The printer-state-message, e.g. “Spooling LPR job”, is available via system-config-printer’s Printer Properties view (select “Ink/Toner Levels”).

    I don’t really think that message is particularly user-friendly for displaying more prominently, mainly because it is not translatable.

  16. Mark says:

    Not sure what you mean by translatable, but my only point is that information like % complete is important to be able to see in something like the dialog shown by For a situation where it takes awhile to spool/send the job, it is more helpful (for diagnosing if there’s a problem) to be able to see that the % complete is actually changing, than to only ever see a static message.

  17. krchat says:

    I use Lubuntu 11.10 with Samsung SCX 4100 MFP and system config printer doesn’t find it on my notebook. But it finds this MFP on desktop PC with the same OS. How can I decide this problem?

  18. tim says:

    krchat: try using a different method, such as the CUPS web interface, or the ‘lpinfo -v’ command. Then you’ll find out whether it’s a system-config-printer problem, or some other issue.

  19. Jarmo says:

    Printer setup is too difficult with CUPS doesnt recognise usb port connected printer Brother MFC 8840D.

    Before ;I mean Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and so on ,printer was available at once.

  20. tim says:

    Jarmo: if you are using Ubuntu, you need to file a bug report with them. Then they will be able to diagnose what the issue is.

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