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Hopefully I have the correct site for this question. Please leave a comment if I need to move it.

I'm having difficulty figuring out how to set up a wired (USB) printer on a network (via LinkSys router) when I have a Windows 7 operating system on one computer, Windows XP on an older computer and Ubuntu Linux running on another computer. Is this possible? If so, what do I need to do so I can print from any of these 3 computers? Or do I need to buy a print server to accomplish this?

I'd rather not setup blue tooth or buy a wireless printer since my printer is fairly new (well 3 years old).

FYI: this Canon printer came with a CD that has the drivers if that helps you answer this. Right now I have this software installed on both the Windows XP and Windows 7 machines and just unplug/plug the printer USB cable whenever I need to print from a different computer.

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migrated from Apr 17 '12 at 6:50

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Your question is better suited for SuperUser. If four other people (or one mod) agrees with me, it will be moved there for you. No need to do anything. – Wesley Apr 16 '12 at 23:54
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Any PC can become a "print server." The summarization of the process is thus:

  1. Physically connect the printer to a PC
  2. Install the drivers for the printer.
  3. Share the printer out using the OS's printer sharing features.
  4. Connect to the printer from other OSs.
  5. Print!

In your case, you could probably want to connect the printer to the Windows 7 PC, as its print server management features are, IMO, simpler to manage on a small / home network. It's wizard driven and should walk you through the steps carefully.

The bigger challenge will be if the printer manufacturer supports Linux drivers for your Ubuntu PC. If not, you'll have something of a challenge printing from Ubuntu, but that has nothing to do with the networked nature of the printer.

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Canon MP830 if you care to know – MacGyver Apr 16 '12 at 23:55
@MacGyver Worst case scenario. Canon has terrible support for Linux - casts contemptuous glance at his Canon MFP – Wesley Apr 16 '12 at 23:56
What printer manufacturers have good support for Linux? In case I get out my money tree. – MacGyver Apr 16 '12 at 23:58
@MacGyver I'm partial to Brother. Solid products, good Linux support. – Wesley Apr 17 '12 at 0:04
I wonder if buying a print server is the cheaper way to go to solve this one? You think? – MacGyver Apr 17 '12 at 0:06

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