For a while now I’ve been wondering how to print from Linux running in a VirtualBox virtual machine to my local Windows Printer. Well it just works. Sort of.
I did what it says on this page and it did work. I thought I had tried this a while ago and never got it going. But there has been progress with Ubuntu / Linux Mint over the years and it looks like it works now.
Things were a little glitchy at first
The printer panel and then the add printer function had long pauses and didn’t appear to finish. Apparently “Cups” was installed in the background somewhere. In a few minutes an update appeared that included cups.
After the update, things appeared to work much better.
A Few Things to Watch For
So, apparently sharing a printer to a Linux Mint Virtual Machine is pretty easy.
- First, assure that the network adapter on the Linux VM is set to “Bridged”. The default is NAT and this will prevent the windows SMB protocol from reaching between the LinuxVM and the Windows printer server.
- Share you printer on the Windows system. Whether that is the “Host” of the LinuxVM or another host on your network. Make the printer public, since it’s on your private network.
- On the Linux VM, find the printer in your “Printers” panel by using “Start” and typing Printers and launch the printers control panel. Then Add a printer, and choose Network Printer. It should show up, but you may need to be patient. This is where it was glitchy the first time. It took a while and the panel looked like it was frozen or delayed for several seconds. But eventually it worked it out.
Note that the Printer, Properties “Print Test Page” failed in my case. But printing from Firefox worked just fine. The page below shows printing from Firefox on the right. Printing pages 9-11 and choosing the color laser printer from the printer selection.
Here are the printed pages:
So it looks like it works, with minor glitches finding the printer.