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Printing on Apple OSX 10.8

For Mac OSX 10.8, there is currently no way to listen to adverts sent out by MATHS printers, and so we instead must add printers manually. There are a few steps involved.

  • First, install the printer drivers.
  • Second, turn on the Mac’s web interface for its CUPS server.
  • Third, use the CUPS admin page (on the Mac) to add print queues for the printers you wish to use.

Install the printer drivers

We mostly use HP printers here. Download and install the HP printer drivers from Search for “HP printer drivers” and (at least currently) it will offer Download and install these drivers.

Turn on the Mac’s web interface for its CUPS server

This may already be running, but if not you will need to start it manually from the command line in the Terminal window. To begin, open your web-browser.

Go to your local printer configuration webpage http://localhost:631/admin

If the CUPS server doesn’t have its web interface enabled, you will get an error message “Server internal error” together with a message telling you to start the web interface, which you should do.

sudo cupsctl WebInterface=yes

Revisit the web page http://localhost:631/admin and it should now work correctly. You should now be looking at the Admin page for CUPS on your Mac.

Add print queues for the printers you wish to use

Now click on Add Printer.

Your web-browser will prompt for a login. You need to use an account on your OSX computer that can administer the computer (this is NOT your Raven account).

Click the radio button beside Internet Printing Protocol (ipp), and then Continue.

In the Connection edit box, type the URI which corresponds to the printer you wish to use. This will be of the form:


You will need to replace printername with the name of the printer you wish to use. For example, to use the printer b1south, use the URI:


The full list of available printers can be seen by connecting to the CUPS server on Conveniently, this also lists both the URI and the name of the printer driver, together with other details required at the next step.

Once you have entered the URI, click on the Continue button. The next page prompts you for a Name for the printer (use the same name specified on the URI (e.g. b1south), and then a Description and Location. You can copy these from the corresponding fields on the page from lapserv.maths, which is what we recommend. You do not need to share the printer, so leave that box unchecked. Once again, click Continue

On the next screen you will need to provide details on the make and model of the printer. You can again read these from the field from lapserv.maths. Most of our printers are from HP, so we begin by selecting HP as the Make, and then Continue. Now carefully choose the Model. Once you have selected the correct model, click Add Printer.

The final step in this procedure is to set the sensible defaults for the new printer. Almost all of our printers use A4 paper, and most have additional trays and duplex units. The Options installed is where you tell CUPS about additional features the printer has, such as extra trays, duplex units, additional memory etc. The General tab is the place to declare the page size, and that you like to print double-sided, with binding on the long edge. Once these are all okay, click on Set Default Options(at the bottom of the page.)

Finally, verify the settings by printing a test page. There is an option for this from the Maintenance drop down menu, or print a file from your favourite application.


Rather than using the web interface, you might want to add the printer from the command line. The following may work. If it fails, perhaps revert to using the web interface.

/usr/sbin/lpadmin -p b1south -E \
-v ipp:// \
-P "/Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/HP LaserJet 4000 Series.gz" \
-D "DAMTP b1 south P4015x" -L "PavB 1st floor" \
-o PageSize=A4

The Apple way

Of course, you might also want to use the System Preferences tool to add a printer. This can be made to work, but doesn’t seem to present you with as much choice regarding the default options as you can achieve via cups. In brief, the steps are:

  1. Bring up the System Preferences tool.
  2. Choose Print and Scan.
  3. Click on the plus sign to add a printer.
  4. Choose IP (as opposed to Default, Fax or Windows)
  5. Put an address of
  6. Put a queue of printers/b1south (use appropriate printer name).
  7. Change the name to b1south.
  8. Change the location.
  9. Choose the appropriate printer driver.
  10. Click on Add
  11. It complains that it can’t verify the printer. Click Continue.
  12. Set the default options.


If OSX is experiencing problems with printing (after the above) then try any or all of the following:

  • Check the OSX firewall and if it is turned on you can trying turning it off to see if that helps, then turn it back on and add an exception.
  • Apply the latest OSX updates.
  • © Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 0WA.

Setting a printer to default to B&W in Mac OS Lion an Mountain Lion


One can manually configure Mac OS X Lion and Mountain Lion to default to Black and White printing, and have it return automatically to the Default Settings after printing with another preset.

Changing the Default Settings values is the challenge. Lion and Mountain Lion can be easily changed to automatically return to the Default Settings every time after printing.

Note: This How-to requires an Administrator login to complete at Step 10

Steps (22 total)


Open Safari and enter

The address is where CUPS is located. If this is the first time accessing CUPS (the Common Unix Printing System) a warning dialog will be displayed.


Open Terminal and enter the command in quotes above.

Terminal is located in the Utilities Folder which is found in the Applications folder. Enter the command inside the quotes on the web page and hit “return”. If it is typed correctly the the Path $: should be repeated.

Close Terminal. Terminal in Mac OS is similar to the Command line in Windows and should not be left open.


Refresh the Safari window to see CUPS

Command R or select Reload/Reload Page in the View menu. The CUPS menu should display.


Select the Printers Tab

A list of all of the printers that have ever been set up on the computer should be here.


Select a printer.

For me this works for Color laser printers and Copiers. My HP inkjet print drivers do no allow a Black only selection.


In the Administration button choose “Select Default options”.

The Administration button is located beneath the printer name. Click on it and select the “Select Default options” option.


Select the General Tab

This display is where the Color / Black & White option is found.


Set “Color mode:” to “Black & White”

Color is not the only setting that can be changed. My standard configuration is:
Duplex: “Long Edge”
Color Mode: “Black & White”
Staple: “Top left”

If the printer can not Duplex or Staple the commands will normally be ignored.


Click on the “Set Default Options” button.


In the dialog box enter an Administrator’s name and password

Finish by clicking on the highlighted “Login User” button.

This dialog box may not display if an Administrator has already be in CUPS.

This can be the user’s login if the user is an Administrator. It is becoming common for the user of a computer to be at a Standard level user. In this case it will be necessary to have an Administrator complete this dialog box.


Defaults are changed



Making the computer always return to the Default setting is easier


Start a Print job.

Using the open Safari window (or almost any printable window) select “Print…” from the Edit menu or “Command P”. In the bottom left of the Print Dialog box click on the “Show Details” button if necessary (if the button is already “Hide Details” then it is not necessary).


With the Print menu in Show Details mode click on the “Presets:” button.


And select “Show Presets…” from the menu.


At the bottom of the dialog box select the check box for resetting to defaults

Select the check box for “Reset Presets menu to “Default Settings” After Printing. And click on the “OK” button.



The default printing session is now Black & White.


Adding a Color Preset.

Now that the Default setting is B&W it it now necessary to create a preset for Color. This also can be done from the Print dialog box while the Details are showing.


Make your changes to “Printer Features”.


Going back to “Presets:” Save and name the new preset.

Choose “Save Current Settings as a Preset…”. Name and Save


Name it and click on the “OK” button


Cancel or Print and the setup is done.


Apple has not made this easy yet. The CUPS user interface has been improving with each update of OS X. Hopefully it will soon be as easy to make a change like this in OS X as it is in Windows.

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