Apple AirPrint through a Raspberry Pi on the LAN

If you are our longtime readers, you will surely remember that in 2017 we reused a Brother laser printer and transformed it into a network printer (here is the article with the link to the tutorial, the CUPS configuration, and the specific PPD file for our Brother HL-2030 since the CUPS one does not work) thanks to the use of a small Raspberry Pi.

Well, now that we are also using Macintosh computers and their macOS system, it made us want to use new Apple technologies as well and then add AirPrint functionality to our network printer.

How to make an old USB printer supporting Apple AirPrint using a Raspberry Pi

How to make an old USB printer supporting Apple AirPrint using a Raspberry Pi

First of all, if you don’t already have a Raspberry Pi working as a Print Server, then we recommend that you go back to the original Instructables tutorial to Turn Any Printer Into a Wireless Printer With a Raspberry Pi. Second, we found a simple command list that we are going to report on this page – Making an old USB printer support Apple AirPrint using a Raspberry Pi – and, even better, although the commands for activating the AirPrint functionality. Here we go to bring you it all.

Follow the steps of the first tutorial to have the Raspbian operating system on the Raspberry Pi, make it headless, and activate CUPS in order to give it to a Print Server.

  • Install Raspbian on a SD card.
  • Mount the SD card on a PC and navigate to the root folder.
  • Add a file called ssh and set up wpa_supplicant.conf for WiFi access, if you need it.
  • Boot the Raspberry Pi and run sudo raspi-config.
  • Connect printer via USB cable.

You need also to set up CUPS, so use these commands:

  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get full-upgrade
  • sudo apt-get install cups
  • sudo usermod -a -G lpadmin pi
  • sudo cupsctl --remote-any
  • sudo systemctl restart cups

Then you need to add your printer to CUPS and share it over your network.

  • In a web browser, go to http://raspberrypi:631/admin.
  • In CUPS interface, add the printer. Choose the model and the appropriate drivers.
  • Enable the – sharing option – on the printer settings screen.

In the end, set up and activate the AirPrint service.

  • sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon
  • sudo reboot

Wait for the Raspberry Pi to reboot and then you should be fully operational with your brand new and working AirPrint service.

About AirPrint

AirPrint is an Apple technology that helps you create full-quality printed output without the need to download or install drivers.

With AirPrint, it’s easy to print full-quality photos and documents from your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch without having to install additional software (drivers). AirPrint features include easy discovery, automatic media selection, and enterprise-class finishing options.

AirPrint is built into the most popular printer models, including the printers and print servers listed here. This information is provided by each manufacturer and is updated regularly by Apple. If you don’t see your model listed, check with the manufacturer for more information.

More information about AirPrint at:

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