If you have a Linux printer server, and you need to enable users to be able to print to your cloud-based printers, one easy method is to attach CUPS to a Google Account for use with Google Cloud Print. Great solution, right? But how do you pull that off?

Someone in the Linux community has made it not only possible, but easy. Let me walk you through the steps of connecting your CUPS printer server to a Google Cloud Print account.

I will be doing this on a Ubuntu 16.10 machine. The necessary software is available for Ubuntu as well as rpm-based distributions, Arch Linux, Gentoo, Portage ebuild, OS X, FreeBSD, and more.


The first thing you must do is install the necessary package. To do this, we must add a repository. Open your terminal window and issue the command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:simon-cadman/niftyrepo

Now, update apt with the command:

sudo apt-get update

Finally, install the software with the command:

sudo apt-get install cupscloudprint

Once the installation is ready, you can connect your server to the Google Cloud Print account.

SEE: Securing Linux Policy (Tech Pro Research)

Connecting to your account

The developer of cupscloudprint has made this task incredibly simple. Go back to your terminal window and issue the command:

sudo /usr/share/cloudprint-cups/setupcloudprint.py

The first thing that will happen is you’ll be prompted to enter the email address associated with the cloud account. Type that address and hit enter. Next you’ll be given a link to copy and paste into your browser (Figure A).

Figure A

If you haven’t logged into your Google account from this browser, you’ll be prompted for that information; otherwise, you’ll be asked to Allow CUPS Cloud Print to manage your printers.

  1. Click Allow.
  2. You’ll be given a code; copy that code and paste it into the terminal window at the Code From Google: prompt.
  3. The command will output the accounts you currently have configured for Cloud Print. If you’re happy with that, type y and hit Enter.
  4. You’ll be asked if you want to add all the printers associated with your account. Type y and hit Enter.
  5. Once the printers have been added, you’ll be asked if you want to use a prefix for the printers. If you do, type y, hit Enter, and then enter the necessary prefix; otherwise, type n and hit Enter.

Any printer you have associated with Google Cloud Print is now available to your Linux printer server. Quite painless, wouldn’t you say?

Extending your printer server

What better way to extend your Linux printer server than to connect it to your Google Cloud Print account? With this setup, you can easily print to different locations (even in different states), so you don’t have to expend the resources connecting printers to VPNs or other, costlier and complex, solutions.