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:

    Sorry, I don’t think there is a free driver for that model.

  2. J2J says:

    Buen Trabajo..pero quiero imprimir mediante una cola de impresion (lpd), y no he podido, donde puedo encontrar informacion, tengo ubuntu como estacion en varios puntos de venta y en varias tiendas con servidores suse, he probado mediante Samba pero tarda mucho la impresion en algunos casos, en otros se pausa mucho y no imprime mas, por lo que por ahora aun tengo win2 y Ubuntu pero la idea es tener todo con linux, agradezco todas las ideas e informacion que puedan brindarme, el software de ventas que se usa utiliza este comando para imprimir(lpr -Pprinter archivo.txt -l)..gracias
    No hablo ingles…pero dejo el mensaje para el que quiera ayudarme…


  3. nilay says:

    whenever i try to print it gives me a error [CAPTFILTER] input file error …plz help…. printer name :Canon LBP 2900B

  4. Gary Mart says:

    You made it worse rather than better.
    You must love the way Windows does things
    I can not tell from your list if a printer is the real thing or some other host advertising that it can get to the printer.

  5. Bedard Dominic says:

    My Canon printer MP480 is installed. It says that a task is done but it is not done in fact.
    I dont know how to make it work correctly.

  6. tim says:

    Gary: yes, there are improvements to be made in the printer finder dialog. Please file a bug report so I know exactly what to fix.

    Bedard: I’m sorry, I’ve no idea what you mean really — I don’t know what error message you are describing. Please file a bug report to the distribution you are using.

  7. Moe Lemieux says:

    I hooked up a Canon BJC 1000 printer to my Ubuntu 9.10 installation and all I can get it to print is a tiny, shrunken 2 inch by 2and 5/8 inch image in one corner of the 8 x 11 page. Do you know what is wrong?

  8. tim says:

    Moe: sorry, no. But I’m sure if you report the bug to the Ubuntu people they will be happy to help you.

  9. Jan-Pawel Wrozszinski says:


    Just a guess in the dark, but, did you, before printing, call up the menu under
    _ File->Page Setup
    and the
    _ Page Setup
    tab under the “Print” control window?

    What you describe sounds, at first blush, like a mis-setting in those areas.

  10. Jan-Pawel Wrozszinski says:


    I have an Epson Stylus CX3810. I know this model is capable of transmitting its ink level because it used to do so when I had it connected to a Windows box. Yet, when I call the “Ink/Toner Levels” function of the printer configuration program, it says: “…levels are not reported for this printer”

    The INKBLOT utility also does not report ink levels for this printer, and I found that the author of the libinklevel libraries does not know the data format for the ink-level transmission of this printer.

    May I presume that both programs rely on the libinklevel libraries? If so, I’d like to suggest adding an option to the printer configuration program that would allow the user to capture the raw data of the ink-level transmission of the connected printer, which could then be examined so that the ink-level transmission data format could be deduced and support for the printer addded to the libinklevel libraries (assuming the manufacturer isn’t forthcoming with that specification…)

    This might be the quickest way for the community to add support for the myriad printers that are out there…

  11. tim says:

    Jan-Pawel: you’ll probably find that once gutenprint grows ink-level reporting support a great many more printers will have their ink-levels reported. This particular printer is drivable by gutenprint, so probably the ‘escputil’ program can already read its ink-levels if you run it by hand (probably with the ‘-u’ option).

    What is really needed is for the gutenprint CUPS driver to report ink-levels to CUPS when asked to. This bug report is tracking that:

  12. Jan-Pawel Wrozszinski says:

    Thanks, Tim.

    I’m glad to know someone is already on top of the question.

    As you can probably tell, I’m new to the universe of Ubuntu, hence unfamiliar with the gutenprint utility.

    My Synaptic Package Manager says that I already have cups-driver-gutenprint and libgutenprint2 installed. My terminal window says “escputil: Command not found.”

    In beginners’ terms, what stitch have I missed, and what do I need to do?

    Errr… Hold on a moment…

    I just checked my Synaptic Package Manager for escputil; it’s not installed, so I loaded it. Its “Help” offers an example of the relevant command-line, right down to identifying the raw-device name to use…

    When I run as myself, it has insufficient permission, but when I run as root, bingo! there it is!

    Okay, I see all the pieces really _are_ in place and it’s just a matter of when that bug will be picked up.


    P.S.: Wierd… I just tried it again and got no display. The -e option says:

    Warning! Printer (unknown printer) is not known; information may be incomplete or incorrect

    Now I am freshly baffled…

    P.P.S. I just restarted my computer. This letter, still in progress, was saved and restored by Firefox (FireFox IS GOOD!)
    This time, escputil gave valid results after each try; I guess it was just a matter of the system catching up with the update. Furthermore, when I set the “SUID” bit in escputil’s permissions, it proceeded to work from the non-root account as well!

    Live and learn…

  13. neil kilburn says:

    I hooked a lexmark 3150 to the umuntu , hit new devices and it reconized the
    printer and made it the default printer but no prints.

  14. Bronte says:

    Using Ubuntu 9.10, I am attempting to install the drivers for a trusty Canon iP1800. The Canon is attached locally through a Belkin USB Hub. In checking your drivers list, I was unable to find the Canon iP1800, so downloaded the driver for Canon iP200. Though it recognizes the printer, I have been unsuccessful in printing a test page. All indicators point to this page being printed, but apparently not here. Is there any possibility that it has been diverted, or am I just running the wrong driver? Can I get the driver from Canon and import it? What do you suggest? Thanks.

  15. Jack says:

    this is a great tool! Using it here at a hospital on a dedicated printserver system — managing over 600 printers. Most of them are RAW printers, but several do use standard drivers. Most of the admins use the CUPS interface, but for the lesser advanced or for those who and to change a few little things, this is perfect.

    thanks for taking the time to build this!

  16. tim says:

    neil: sorry, I don’t know how to help you with that. There are several devices listed on the web site that might match yours, but the P3150 is listed as “paperweight” meaning there is no driver available.

  17. tim says:

    Bronte: sorry, I’m not sure. Please take a look at to see what is known about your printer model.

  18. tim says:

    Jack: really pleased you are finding it useful!

  19. Henri says:

    At Moe Lemieux,

    Just to let you know, i have precisely the same problem.
    Test page is printed very small in the upper-left corner.
    I have just connected the Canon BJC-1000 and let Ubuntu 9.10 find it. No settings changed.

    Since i already have the problem, now I have played around with a lot of settings. No effect however. Still very small print.

  20. Montse says:

    De repente ya no puedo imprimir con Ubuntu. Dá la sensación de que la tinta está acabada, sin embargo puedo imprimir sin problemas desde Windows y además me indica que los cartuchos de tinta están bien.

    Lo curioso es que antes si podía imprimir y ya no sé que puedo hacer al respecto.

    Agradecería ayuda.

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