How To Install CUPS Print Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Install CUPS Print Server on Ubuntu 20.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install CUPS Print Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) is the primary mechanism in the Unix-like operating system for printing and print services. It can allow a computer to act as a Print server.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the CUPS Print Server on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint or elementary OS.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install CUPS Print Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa

Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following aptcommands in the terminal.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2. Installing CUPS Printer Server on Ubuntu 20.04.

CUPS is installed by default in the Ubuntu Desktop. To Install CUPS on the Ubuntu server enter the following command below:

sudo apt install cups

After installing the CUPS print server, start the CUPS print service in the following command:

sudo systemctl start cups
sudo systemctl enable cups
sudo systemctl status cups

Step 3. Configure CUPS on Ubuntu.

Now we edit the CUPS main configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/cups/cupsd.conf

First look for the line:

Browsing Off

Change that line to:

Browsing On

Next, find the “Only listen for connections from the local machine” section. Here, there will be an entry titled, “Listen localhost:631.” Change this to “Port 631,”:

#Listen localhost:631
Port 631

We also need to make sure that CUPS is listening on all interfaces. To do that, look for the section:

<Location />
  Order allow,deny

Change the above section to:

<Location />
  Order allow,deny
  Allow @LOCAL

Also, add it for the /admin directory to allow remote administration from the local network:

<Location /admin>
  Order allow,deny

Change that section to:

<Location /admin>
  AuthType Default
  Require valid-user
  Order allow,deny
  Allow @LOCAL

Save and close the file. Then restart CUPS for the changes to take effect:

sudo systemctl restart cups

Once configured CUPS, we’re going to make sure the printer is shared out to your network using the Bonjour and IPP protocols. First, we need to install the avahi-daemon with the command below:

sudo apt install avahi-daemon

After installing the Avahi-daemon, start, and auto boot time using the following command:

sudo systemctl start avahi-daemon
sudo systemctl enable avahi-daemon

Step 4. Configure Firewall.

If you have enabled a firewall make sure to allow the client’s machines to talk to CUPS port 631:

sudo ufw allow 631/tcp
sudo ufw allow 5353/udp

Step 5. Connect to the Printer.

Now we add the printer will depend on the desktop operating system you are using. For example, with Ubuntu Linux, I can open up the Add Printer window from Settings | Devices and the new printer automatically appears.

Install CUPS Print Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa

At this point, your printer should be added to the desktop and able to print. Should you need to, you can manage both the printer and the server from the web-based console by pointing a browser to http://your-server-ip-addrees:631. The admin console is at the address https://your-server-ip-address:631/admin. For the admin console, you’ll be prompted for a valid username and password.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed CUPS. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing and setting up CUPS Print Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa systems. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official CUPS website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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