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Access printers through a Win2K machine Network
Microsoft distributes a UNIX type Line Printer Daemon (lpd) with all versions of Windows 2000. The lpd daemon allows UNIX hosts to print to local printers over a network. This means that with a little work, you can print to any printer connected to a Windows machine from your Mac. According to Microsoft's Knowledge Base, this tip should also work for Windows NT and XP, though I haven't tested those configurations.

You will need your Windows installation CD handy, administrative access to the Windows machine, and should have already installed the proper drivers on your Mac for any printers accessed this way.

Read the rest of the article for the instructions...

  1. Follow the directions at Tek-Tips to install Print Services for UNIX, included on your Windows 2000 CD.
  2. Once you've installed lpd and shared your printers, you can test that the lpd daemon is working properly by opening a command window on the Windows machine and typing:
    lpq -S  -P
    This should display the the printer's status (probably an empty queue).
  3. Once your Windows lpd daemon is working, it's back to your Mac to open the Print Center (found under /Applications/Utilities).
  4. Click on Add Printer, wait for a minute while it looks for network printers that aren't there, and select LPR printers using IP. In the box labeled LPR Printer Address, type the IP address of your Windows machine. Uncheck the box labeled Use Default Queue on Server, and type the name of the Windows shared printer in the box labeled Queue Name. Finally, select the printer model of your printer, and click on Add.
That's it; you should now be able to print to your printer through your Win2K box.

[Editor's note: I have not tried this one myself.]
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HP Deskjet Printers??
Authored by: techweenie1 on Mar 24, '02 12:17:19PM

I tried this feature out with my Deskjet 930C, however when it came time to select the print model, I notice that none of the HP Deskjet models were being shown, only laserjet printers. Regardless, I picked generic, which just caused the printer to endlessly print crap. Is there a fix for this? Thanks in advance.

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HP Deskjet Printers??
Authored by: lamon on Mar 25, '02 02:43:55AM

I don't have Win 2000, but I'd say that the Microsoft lpd works only with postscript printers, or at least printers you have the driver of on Mac OSX.

I have a windows 95 machine at home, with a Canon BJC-6200 connected, which is not supported by Mac OSX. In order to print, I found a freeware lpd on the net that worked on W95 and set it up to pipe the input through ghostscript and then the printer. That way I emulated a postscript network printer which I could use from the mac.

I'm happy to say that results are quite correct, even when printing photos.

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HP Deskjet Printers??
Authored by: balthisar on Mar 25, '02 10:55:00AM

That's right, inkjets aren't supported this way; only PostScript.

In 2000 and NT (but not XP, I think) you can enable Print Services for Macintosh, which has a PostScript interpreter. Then, you could send PostScript to Windows, and let Windows convert it to PCL for the printer. The problem is, Mac OS X ONLY supports PostScript Level 2, and the NT boxes only support PostScript Level 1, so it won't work!

You can try searching for "balthisar" here for how to get GhostScript working on your Mac. THEN, with lpd enabled on the NT/2000 box, you should be able to print to the shared Windows printer. OR, if you install SAMBA on the Mac, I think you could use the GhostScript method to print to ANY Windows-shared printer.

Direct link to the GhostScript instructions:

This works, of course, with a print server box, like an HP JetDirect. It's up to you to figure out SAMBA if you want that approach. Otherwise, the NT/2000 box SHOULD look like print server box once LPD is enabled -- adapt the GhostScript instructions as per the instructions in this hint.

Good luck.

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LPD printer
Authored by: jwwillsey on Mar 25, '02 10:41:12PM

I have been successfully doing this ever since OSX Beta was available. I went one step further however. My laserprinter is a 4/600 appletalk only printer. This in turn is connected via an Asante Print box that is a localtalk to ethernet bridge. So enabled appletalk routing on my W2K box and set up the LPD print service. Now I can use OSX without Appletalk. Printing via LPD and FileSharing via SMB...... This is also how I print to my appletalk printer from my linux box.....

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Few Added Hints
Authored by: shahn on Mar 29, '02 03:34:26PM

With help from jwwillsey, I got this hint to work and I'm now finally able to print to my personal LW 4/600 from my Wallstreet G3.

There is an important step that is not mentioned. You must also set up the LPR port on the Win2K machine and print to THAT port, not the original shared printer.

For instance, my set up: Laserwriter 4/600 connected via LocalTalk-Ethernet bridge to router; Win2K box to router with local IP address; PBG3 with local IP address

First, install the Unix printing services in Win2K using the Add/Remove Windows components control panel.

Next, add Laserwriter port: Select "Add Printer" in Printer settings. Select "Local Printer". Create a new port for "AppleTalk devices" (I capture the port so that all printing now goes through my Win2k box although I'm not sure this is necessary) and select the printer in the dialog box. Choose the closest driver. Name the printer, i.e. "Laserwriter" and enable print sharing, also called "Laserwriter"

Next, add the LPR port: Select "Add Printer" in the Printer settings. Select "Local Printer". Create ANOTHER new port for "LPR". Enter the IP address of your Win2K box (computer name should work here instead, but I used my IP address and the printer name "Laserwriter". Select the same driver as used before. Give this "printer" a distinct name, i.e. "LPR-Laserwriter" and share it as well.

Now you can add the "LPR-Laserwriter" via the Print Center with success. Note: I had some difficulties printing to my LW 4/600 from Windows until I changed the output type (Advanced tab under Printer Properties) from ASCII to BINARY.

Works like a charm. Thanks to everyone for this awesome website. I check it everyday.

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RE: Few Added Hints
Authored by: curtian4 on May 09, '02 06:10:47PM

hi all,

anyone trying to do this using windows xp? shahn's procedure was helpful, but my printer still doesn't seem to want to print. i have a lexmark z52 set up on the winxp pc and i'm using the "generic" print driver on the os x mac. if anyone can spot where i've gone wrong, i'd appreciate it. here's what i've done:

on the winxp pc: setup 2 printers. 1 is the lexmarkz52 using the normal lpt1 printer port, and shared as lexmarkz52. 2 is lpr-lexmarkz52 using the lpr port with my winxp pc's ip address ( and "lexmarkz52" in the printer queue input, and it is shared as lpr-lexmarkz52.

on the os x mac: in print center, i've added lpr-lexmarkz52 as the lpr printer, the host as, "lpr-lexmarkz52" in the queue input, and had to use the generic 'driver' because lexmark z52 was not an option.

when i print a document on the mac, say a webpage, it spools thru print center, which sends it over to the pc. then on the pc with each of the printer queues open, i can see that the document goes first to the lpr-lexmarkz52 printer, and is instantly spooled over to the lexmarkz52 printer. when the document is in the lexmarkz52 window, it acts as if it's printing--the kb of the document increases as it would if a physical document were normally progressing out of the printer (though no document does). finally, the document is deleted out of the lexmarkz52 print queue window as if it was properly printed.

so, i know the i'm getting the mac printed document over to my pc printer queue, but it's not printing out.

any ideas anyone?

btw: in windows xp, i could not find any settings for binary vs. ascii. i'm not sure if this is a xp issue or just my individual lexmark print driver.


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RE: Few Added Hints
Authored by: curtian4 on May 09, '02 06:24:27PM

I just did some more thorough reading and realized that i have to have a postscript printer (i've got an inkjet).

i'll try the ghostwriter solution.

thanks anyways,

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