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19 December 2007 @ 7pm

General, Mac

Little known ‘back door’ in Mac OS X!

I recently became the proud owner of a Netgear WGPS606 wireless print server. While I was quite excited to finally have a laser printer on the network the Netgear let me down in some ways by only being able to be configured via Windows. What a nasty bite that was. After dusting off the Windows XP box that has been sitting in the corner under a pile of books I managed to get the Netgear hooked up and printing wirelessly from the Windows box (although the Netgear configuration software was less than desirable).

After wrestling with the initial Netgear configuration I was back on the excitement train as I moved back to my Mac for the initial setup. Unfortunately, disappointment set in again since it was impossible to get the Netgear configured through the standard Mac Printer preferences pane in Leopard (believe me I tried again and again). Luckily after some googling I came up this article. Netgear, it seems, has not been without issue in this realm.

In essence this article points out that there is a CUPS web interface on each and every Mac, this is one I had not yet discovered, that can be used to directly access CUPS. Simply navigate your Mac hosted web browser to http://localhost:631/. Here is what you are greeted with:

CUPS main interface

(Click for full size)

Cool, huh?

From here setting up the Netgear WGPS606 is basically a matter of adding a new printer via this CUPS web interface. Be sure to use an lpd:// url to refer to your printer when asked – something like lpd:// where is the IP address that the Netgear has been configured for. When all is said and done the printer will show up in the Macs System Preferences and can be used just like any other printer.

System Prefs with CUPS added printer

By the way, this Brother 5250DN laser printer has been an excellent little workhorse and works perfectly with Macs.




Posted by
Don Verrico
20 December 2007 @ 8am


Posted by
Tim Boukouris
1 April 2008 @ 5pm

Thank you! This has been both helpful and educational!!!

Posted by
24 February 2009 @ 5am

this is not a backdoor but yer, pretty cool.

Posted by
Alexis Fisher
26 July 2011 @ 8pm

Nice share. BTW this webpage was tweeted by Christian Dillstrom – the mobile + social media marketing master – so you must be doing an exceptional job.

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