Installing a PDF print server on Ubuntu Server

By Andres Jaimes

This article was originally written for Ubuntu 7, but we now know it works for Ubuntu 10 as well. Thanks Shooda!

  1. To start, install the CUPS service and CUPS-PDF files:
sudo apt-get install cupsys sudo apt-get install cups-pdf
  1. Now configure CUPS to allow remote administration: sudo nano /etc/cups/cupsd.conf Modify the port where CUPS listens from:
Listen localhost:631


Listen 631
Listen /var/run/cups/cups.sock

The address allows you to connect to CUPS using the server’s network interface ( on port 9100. I chose that port because that is the default port for HP printers (you can use the default port 631). Also modify these options to match the ones here:

# Show shared printers on the local network.
Browsing On
BrowseOrder allow,deny
BrowseAllow all
BrowseAddress @LOCAL

# Default authentication type, when authentication is required...
DefaultAuthType Basic
DefaultEncryption Never

# Restrict access to the server...
<Location />
  Order allow,deny
  Allow all

# Restrict access to the admin pages...
<Location /admin>
  Order allow,deny
  Allow all

# Restrict access to configuration files...
<Location /admin/conf>
  AuthType Basic
  Require user @SYSTEM
  Order allow,deny
  Allow all

What you just did was to allow remote administration from any computer on the network. The DefaultEncryption option was to avoid the error:

426 - Upgrade Required when using the CUPS web interface
  1. Restart the CUPS service:
sudo /etc/init.d/cupsys restart
  1. Ubuntu 7 Only: To perform administrative task remotely CUPS will ask you for a password. So let’s allow CUPS to read the password file:
sudo adduser cupsys shadow
  1. Ubuntu 8 Only: AppArmor seems to cause a remote connection problem, so execute the following command to fix it
sudo aa-complain cupsd
  1. It’s time to check you can access it from another computer. Open a web browser and type the following address:

You should see the CUPS page.

  1. To add the PDF printer from the CUPS page click on Administration CUPS Administration
  2. Click on Add Printer Add Printer
  3. Type a name for your printer, for example PDFPrinter and click Continue Virtual Printer
  4. Ubuntu 7 Only: Select Virtual Printer (PDF Printer) and click Continue Virtual Printer
  5. Ubuntu 8 Only: Select Print into PDF File (Generic PDF file generator) and click Continue
  6. Select Raw and click Continue Make
  7. Select Raw Queue (en) and click Add Printer Model
  8. By now your print server is ready to accept conections. So let’s configure Windows. From the Add Printer Wizard select A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer.
  9. Select Connect to a printer on the Internet or on a home or office network and type:

where PDFPrinter is the name you assigned it some steps before.

  1. Following the recommendation of Joe Brockmeier, select the HP DeskJet 1200C/PS driver
  2. And now it’s time to send a test page! Your PDF files will be under

If you want to change that directory you can:

  1. Open your cups-pdf configuration file:
sudo nano /etc/cups/cups-pdf
  1. And change this line:
AnonDirName /path/to/your/pdf/files

I recommend you to install the Apache Web Server to let users access their PDF files. You can do this by pointing AnonDirName to a subdirectory of Apache. Also you should configure a cron job to automatically delete jobs older than 1 hour or so. I want to thank

Joe Brockmeier and metalhippyrich for their excellent pages on this topic. Best Regards!