Cups-pdf for Windows: driver, virtual PDF printer

Cups-pdf for Windows: driver, virtual PDF printer

Cups-pdf is an add-on for the CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) printing system of Unix. This feature allows you to easily convert printable files into PDF files. The Cups-pdf can be accessed from any application that contains the document and allows printing of the document.


The goal is to provide Windows users with a virtual PDF printer with CUPS (as PDF-Creator).

Installation on the Linux server

  • Install cups using the following command:
sudo apt-get install cups 
  • Install cups-pdf with the following command:
sudo apt-get install cups-pdf 
  • Edit the configuration file for remote administration and to access to printing:

sudo vi /etc/cups/cupsd.conf 
  • Change the following lines:
Listen localhost:631 to Listen 631 
Listen /var/run/cups/cups.sock 
  • Restart the CUPS server
sudo service cups restart
  • The connection URL to administer CUPS with a light client (Firefox browser):


Installation on Windows

  • Start > Settings > Printers and Faxes.
  • Click on: Add a printer.
  • "Add Printer" installation wizard opens up.
  • Select "Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer".
  • Select "The printer that I want isn't listed".
  • Enter the URL for your virtual printer: http://IP_OF_YOUR_SERVER:9100/printers/.
  • Select the printer driver "HP Color Laserjet PS".
  • Click on OK to complete installation of virtual PDF printer
  • For Vista and Seven you can make use of the HP Color Laserjet 8550 PS or 4550 driver.

Test PDF printer

Right click on the PDF printer in question in the context menu: Properties -> Print a test page

But where is the test page?

As the user who printed has no account on the Linux server, the document will be in /var/spool/cups-pdf/ANONYMOUS.

  • Note: Otherwise, if you possess and account on the server, you will find the test file in the PDF folder of your HomeDirectory.

To facilitate the retreival of your files, you can create a Samba shares for Files and Printers (with Windows).

  • So we will create a Samba share named pdf.
  • Edit your smb.conf file:
    • sudo vi /etc/samba/smb.conf 
  • Add the following lines in your smb.conf file:
comment = print PDF files
path = /var/spool/cups-pdf/ANONYMOUS 
browseable = no 
guest ok = yes 
  • Restart Samba for the immediate recognition of your share
    • sudo service smbd restart 

Create a UNC icon on the desktop

  • Right click on the desktop context menu:
  • Select New -> Shortcut
  • In the window that opens enter the IP address (or) the server name and share name:

    • \\ubuntuserveur\pdf
  • Click Next and Finish . You should see the icon on the desktop
  • Double click the icon to open it and access your test page.
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