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


363 responses to “system-config-printer”

  1. Ronnie avatar

    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.


    1. Tim avatar

      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 avatar

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

    1. Tim avatar

      Please report Transifex problems to Transifex so they can fix them. Thanks. (I’m not aware of any issues there…)

  3. Paul avatar

    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.

    1. Tim avatar

      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 avatar
    david larson

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

    1. Tim avatar

      The queue is not enabled. Select the printer, then from the menu bar select Printer > Enabled.

      1. Darren avatar

        Hi there I am new to this operating system, I am using Ubuntu ver. 13.10 and I have an HP Deskjet 1000 printer. The computer installed the drivers ok but in the status line of the printer properties it says Idle – Sending data to printer. but nothing is happening and when I open the view print queue there is nothing there how can I fix this

  5. Pertti Laine avatar
    Pertti Laine

    My printer Epson Stylus SX420W is not working scanner.Printer is ok and work.
    Scanner error W-61..whats is wrong??..what missing..i have mscan and ascan-data programs in pc lubuntu

  6. PRERNA avatar

    I am using BOSS operating system.
    previously my printer name is displayed n evrythng prints fine. but suddenly it stops displaying printer name . it only shows print to file option. what to do?
    I am new to dis OS.

  7. Mark avatar

    Whenever I run system-config-printer, zombie printers that I used to have installed keep reappearing. If I delete them from inside system-config-printer, the next time I run it they appear again! Somewhere there must be a config file that these are hiding in, but I’ve searched and can’t find it. Anyone know where this might be?

  8. charles wautelet avatar
    charles wautelet

    My printer a Canon 2450 prints all the caracters in reverse. . Could you say me how i can get a normal printing .

    1. Tim avatar

      It sounds like a driver problem, so it depends on the driver you’re using. If it’s one that came with the OS, best idea is to report a bug with that OS.

      1. donna avatar

        i have never used this linux before. i cannot get printer to be avaiable or scanneror ink levels
        the printer is an epson artisan 810.
        please what do i do

  9. donna avatar

    i am new to ubuntu Version 34.0.1847.116 Ubuntu 12.04 (260972)
    the printer will not connect. by way of wifi or wire

    Epson Artisan 810 – CUPS+Gutenprint v5.2.8-pre1
    Processing – Unable to locate printer “printer”.

    is their any way you could help me with getting this printer on line please

    1. Tim avatar

      I think you have the wrong name. It’s saying it can’t find a host called “printer”. Instead of “printer”, put in the hostname or IP address of the printer.

  10. donna avatar

    forgive me but don’t know host name and how do i find printer ip address

    1. Tim avatar

      If you don’t know how to find those out, you are better off connecting it directly with USB. But ask on the Ubuntu forums: I don’t use Ubuntu myself so people in those forums are more likely to be able to help.

  11. donna avatar

    i did connect with usb as well but it still says not connected. thats why i din’t understand

  12. linda churchill avatar
    linda churchill

    I am new to this OS (don’t much like it, difficult to figure out) Epson xp-410 will run paper thru on test print but will not print any words…CUPS server error Status 1000….what’s that all about…in English please:)

    1. Tim avatar

      Looks like this model requires a non-free driver:

      Please note that system-config-printer runs on several operating systems (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc), so I don’t know which you are using. The best idea is to ask in the forums provided by your OS vendor, e.g.,,, etc.

      Status 1000 sounds like ‘user canceled authorization’: e.g. you closed a dialog asking for a password, or perhaps the account you are logged in using is not permitted to alter printer settings.

  13. Sevak avatar


    I was trying to share a printer on my network following the guide at and came across the following error.

    I set up everything based on the guide and tried to print a page from a different computer and it didn’t work. I went back to check the settings, and I couldn’t access them. Whenever I open Printers->Server->Settings I get the following error

    CUPS server error
    There was an HTTP error: Not found.

    Restarting the computer, the cups server or even reinstalling cups and system-config-prnter didn’t help. I tried searching the internet for the error, but couldn’t find much. For the only error message that came close people suggested the user didn’t have the necessary privileges. This definitely is not the case for me, as I have administrator privileges and only several minutes ago I was able to access the settings.

    Canon MG2200 printer connected to a Dell inspiron laptop running a fresh install of 14.04

    How do I get rid of this error message and gain access to the settings?

    I would appreciate any help in resolving this problem. I can’t quite understand the error message and I haven’t found a way to reset the settings.


    1. Tim avatar

      I think the 404 message is due to an upstream change that was meant to fix a security issue but went a little too far.

      1. Sevak avatar

        Thanks for the reply Tim. I do not know how to go around the issue, so I will wait until the error you mentioned gets fixed.

  14. Bart avatar


    We are using system-config-printer happily on debian wheezy(using the stock pacakges). We have an controlled environment, and only support a fix number of printer/models.

    For some reason one type of printer is never configured automagically. I’m not sure where i can start debugging. Manual configuration of the printer through the gnome printer config gui doesn’t work either. With cups webgui it works just fine.

    The printer we are having issues with is a canon pixma mp260 (no verdor provided drivers available, but gutenprint supported)

    So who can point me in the wright direction?


    1. Bart avatar

      Some extra info i forgot to add

      Aug 25 10:48:39 bednet-0170 udev-configure-printer: add /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb7/7-2/7-2:1.1/usb/lp0
      Aug 25 10:48:39 bednet-0170 kernel: [ 2617.219342] cnijlgmon2[4744]: segfault at 30 ip 00007f86052fd124 sp 00007fffd789daa0 error 4 in[7f86052f4000+17000]
      Aug 25 10:48:41 bednet-0170 udev-configure-printer: URI contains USB serial number
      Aug 25 10:48:41 bednet-0170 udev-configure-printer: URI match: usb://Canon/MP260%20series?serial=410D1C&interface=1
      Aug 25 10:48:41 bednet-0170 udev-configure-printer: device devpath is /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb7/7-2
      Aug 25 10:48:41 bednet-0170 udev-configure-printer: Device already handled
      Aug 25 10:48:41 bednet-0170 udev-configure-printer: Consider also queues with “/usb/lp0” or “/usblp0” in their URIs as matching
      Aug 25 10:48:41 bednet-0170 udev-configure-printer: URI of print queue: usb://Canon/MG2400%20series?serial=A51C40&interface=1, normalized: canon mg2400 series serial a51c40 interface 1
      Aug 25 10:48:41 bednet-0170 udev-configure-printer: URI of detected printer: usb://Canon/MP260%20series?serial=410D1C&interface=1, normalized: canon mp260 series serial 410d1c interface 1
      Aug 25 10:48:41 bednet-0170 udev-configure-printer: About to add queue for usb://Canon/MP260%20series?serial=410D1C&interface=1
      Aug 25 10:48:42 bednet-0170 udev-add-printer: add_queue: URIs=[‘usb://Canon/MP260%20series?serial=410D1C&interface=1’]
      Aug 25 10:48:42 bednet-0170 udev-add-printer: D-Bus method call failed: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name com.redhat.NewPrinterNotification was not provided by any .service files
      Aug 25 10:48:46 bednet-0170 udev-add-printer: PPD: lsb/usr/canonmp250.ppd; Status: 1

      You might notice the segfault at the top, i don’t think this is really a problem. We get this segfault with all the canon printers, but they work…

    2. Tim avatar

      This is the culprit: PPD: lsb/usr/canonmp250.ppd; Status: 1

      ‘1’ here means it is not an exact match for MFG/MDL fields, and automatic queue configuration is only safe for exact matches. The values the printer gives (from ‘lpinfo -l -v’) differ from the values in the PPD file (the “*1284DeviceID” lines).

      As for not working through the “gnome printer config gui” — not sure if you mean system-config-printer, or the new way of doing it with Settings -> Printers (i.e. ‘gnome-control-center printers’).

  15. amyatupe avatar

    I have got my printer onto this system and it prints ok, but there is no page that comes out to scan. I only want to scan and send some documents. Thanks.

  16. David Jonathan Bush avatar
    David Jonathan Bush

    I have a Lexmark C540n laser printer which is connected to my ethernet router. My OS is Linux Mint Debian 64 bit with Mate. I downloaded and installed a C540 driver from and I installed the printer with your utility. I printed a test page, and it SEEMS to be okay, but there is blank space where some graphic elements MIGHT be supposed to show up. Is there an image on the web somewhere which displays what the test page should look like? I shall attempt to describe my print output:

    * Black border 0.17 inches from all four edges (hmm, that rectangle is not perfectly parallel with the paper edges, but that’s not a problem for me)
    * “Printer Test Page” across the top
    * four graphic icons: penguin with printer, color wheel, grey-scale bar, and a big C with “unix printing system” inside it
    * details: Media Limits, Job, driver, etc.

    Does that sound right? Thanks in advance.

    1. Tim avatar

      It should look something like this:

  17. Kristelle avatar

    I use Fedora and an Epson XP-215. I just moved and got a new router and net. The printer does not find it and declares itself still on the old SSID. How do I tell it it has to connect to the new one?

    1. Tim avatar

      I don’t know I’m afraid. Really that’s a question about the printer’s own configuration, unrelated to using Fedora to print. However you initially set it up for Wi-Fi, you probably need to do the same again.

  18. Ged avatar

    Where is all the documentation for this tool?

    I’ve installed it on Debian Wheezy and I can run it on remote machines using thigs like rdesktop or tightvnc but when run as a normal user it doesn’t appear to be able to authenticate to the CUPS servers. I see lines in the debug output like “password callback set” but no password request appearas on the screen.

    Am I missing a dependency?

    1. Tim avatar

      Sounds like your polkit policy is preventing you from authenticating because you are not logged in remotely. Try changing the polkit policy for cups-pk-helper, or connecting to ‘localhost’ (not /var/run/cups/cups.sock) — that way you will authenticate as though remotely.

  19. Kristelle avatar

    Well, it was not me who did it the first time, and my ex would not help now.. :-/

  20. Kyle Richards avatar
    Kyle Richards

    I’m trying to get a picture to print and i want 2 pictures to print. I’m using the following code and can’t get it to work:
    conn.printFile(printer_name, BPicture, ‘Photo Booth’, options={‘Copies’: ‘2’})
    What am I doing wrong? What’s the proper way to use “options” in pycups?

    1. Tim avatar

      The correct spelling is “copies” (all lowercase). See RFC 2911, §4.2.5.

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