Ubuntu Linux: Printing to a Non-Post Script Printer

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One of the Laptops in my household was converted to an Ubuntu Hardy Heron (8.04) version release machine. The Toshiba Satellite model laptop did not have any drivers for Windows XP, and the laptop which sold for around $500 at Fry’s electronics does not have enough video or memory to make a good Windows Vista machine, so I thought it would be an excellent candidate for a Windows replacement box. After researching various choices, Ubuntu is the best by far. It is the most mature and easily converted to Operating System for non-Windows folks and has a superior array of software and features compared to other Linux flavors out there.

As with any UNIX operating system, many printer’s do not have driver’s for UNIX and UNIX machines typically only print to a Post Script enabled printer. I have a Canon MF3110 Multifunction printer. I don’t need my Ubuntu OS to do anything but printing, but there are no native drivers for it.

I have found numerous articles that help configure software for windows which allows you to share your printer and act as a port forwarder, where you setup a proxy printer through redmon and it translates Post Script to your regular printer. These instructions worked to the letter when performing them on Windows XP but were lacking when trying to setup a share with my Windows Vista Machine. These instructions say to use an Apple Laserwriter which doesn’t have drivers on Windows Vista, and also doesn’t include the extra registry entries needed for Vista to print properly.


But, with a combination of the above web site, and this web site. I was able to garner all the information to get my printer up and running.


So here are full blown instructions, including links to the 3 program files you need.

You will need GSView, GSMon and RedMon.

Many of the links to download these programs found in the above two websites are dead and no longer work. I found the website called filewatcher, which has links to any file for download and this site is excellent.
Either go to these 3 links directly, and if they don’t work, go to http://www.filewatcher.com directly and search for these 3 binary files manually. Click on any and all hyperlinks until you find the ones that are valid and let you save the file. (Files to search for: gsv46w32.exe, redmon17.zip, gs814w32.exe)




  • Install GhostScript and GSView right off the bat. I installed everything to C: drive for simplest instructions I didn’t want to have to configure any more than I already had to.
  • Open a DOS window, and CD into the directory where GSview is installed. Make sure that the file “gsprint.exe” is located here. Type “notepad gsprint.cfg”, and create a file that looks like this:


-color (optional – omit for B&W printers)

My Windows Printer


“My Windows Printer” is the name of your printer EXACTLY as it appears in Control Panel… Printers, and “C:GSGS8.14BINGSWIN32C.EXE” is the exact path and filename of the command-line executable for Ghostscript (your values for these two may be different – enter the correct values for your PC). Save this file, then run the following command:

  • Install the RedMon application
  • Create a New Printer, Select Local Port, Select Redirected Port, Set Port Name to RPT1: or anything similar. Note for Windows Vista, you must “Run As Administrator”->”Add Printer” you can’t select local port and a redirect port as a local admin.
  • Select the HP LaserJet 1200 PS (This will also exist in Ubuntu and work fine, there is no Apple Laser Writer to select for Windows Vista)
  • After creating the printer, edit the printer (again with “Run As Administrator”->”Properties”)
  • Configure the RPT1: port with the following information.

Redirect to program: C:GSGSVIEWGSPRINT.EXE
Arguments for program: – (a single dash, no spaces)
Output: Program handles output
Run as user: [ ] (unchecked)

  • Open REGEDIT32 (or just REGEDIT in Vista) and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersiondevices.
  • In the right-hand pane, look for a REG_SZ value whose name is the printer you’re redirecting to (the same name you copied in Step 2),a value of something like winspool,Ne01:. Copy this information.
  • Navigate to HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionDevices. Create a REG_SZ value with the same name and data. Note: This step is critical; without it, the redirector will not be able to see a printer to redirect output to. The key and its data should be recreated exactly.

This additional information provided by CSB who had trouble when the keys were in HKEY_USER:

  • Easiest thing is to just copy ALL of the printer info from HKEY_CURRENT_USER to HKEY_USERS/DEFAULT.
  • Close RegEdit.
  • Share your printer and name the share something simple like “laserjet”
  • Go ahead and test print with your new “HP LaserJet 1200 PS” printer, it should print out a test page fine.
  • In Ubuntu, you must have SAMBA installed and smb:// mount the printer. For Windows Vista, unless you have guest account access, you must have a valid user account to connect as.
  • You must have your firewall allow your Ubuntu or Unix Machine to connect to your Vista Machine.

These instructions should work for just about anyone running Vista or Windows XP (XP you can just do the instructions from this link and they work 100%, I already tested them 3 times)


If anyone has any problems or questions or needs assistance further, feel free to post a comment and leave me your email and I will respond to you.

Happy Printing

-Dragon Blogger

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