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Old 08-24-2014, 04:15 PM   #1
ihowarth
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Printing through TP-LINK TD-W8970 USB port


I've just acquired a TP-Link TD-8970 ADSL modem, largely on the basis that (i) the description mentions "linux" several times, (ii) it has USB slots that are supposed to support access to printers & mass storage devices from any connected machines.

Unfortunately, in practice the documentation only covers printing from Windows boxes, and i've failed to find any guidance on the interweb on how to set up printing from a linux box to a (bog standard HP laserjet) printer plugged into one of the modem's USB ports.

Anyone got any experience or suggestions? Random fiddling with CUPS han't got me anywhere
 
Old 08-24-2014, 05:59 PM   #2
ferrari
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While I'm not familiar with this particular device, I can offer some general advice. The first thing to do will be to configure the print server. You should be able to do that from a browser. Hopefully, it might tell you what printing protocols are possible there.

Have you tried detecting the remote printer via CUPS?

http://localhost:631/admin

If ii is not automatically detected, sometimes the firewall needs to be dropped (temporarily), then try again.

You could also try a port scan of the TP-Link device
Code:
nmap <router IP address
That should provide enough clues about the printing service based on open ports reported. Commonly used for printing: 9100 (JetDirect or RAW printing), 631 IPP, 515 LPR/LPD)

See how that goes to start with.
 
Old 08-25-2014, 07:11 AM   #3
ihowarth
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Hi ferrari,

Thanks for the pointers...the web interface to the TD-W8970 is generally pretty good, but under "print server" there's nothing configurable at all - just a one-liner "Server Status: Online" (with a toggle for switching it offline).

CUPS doesn't find anything (nor does the printer tool that comes with the distro [Mageia 4], but i guess that's just a CUPS front-end anyway) - just tried dropping the firewall (and restarting CUPS), no difference. I've blindly tried a few random printer addresses (e.g., http://192.168.1.1:631), no joy.

Now, the nmap thing is new to me, and looks potentially informative (to someone who knows how to read this stuff). Here's the principal output:

PORT STATE SERVICE
21/tcp open ftp
23/tcp open telnet
80/tcp open http
139/tcp open netbios-ssn
445/tcp open microsoft-ds
1900/tcp open upnp
20005/tcp open btx

Is the "microsoft-ds" port the key to MS-Windows print services? So i tried setting up the printer with the CUPS "LPD/LPR Host or Printer" and "Windows Printer via SAMBA" but without success (although i'm just guessing the right syntax for the "Connection" in each case). But i'm wondering if there might be some way forward here...maybe try installing the TP-Link windows software under Wine???
 
Old 08-25-2014, 06:18 PM   #4
ferrari
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Well, it does indeed look like it is acting like a samba server with these ports open

Code:
139/tcp open netbios-ssn
445/tcp open microsoft-ds
I haven't had to set up samba printing for a long time. Anyway, the CUPS connection might look like
Code:
smb://<IP-address>/<printer-name>
You might be able to get the samba print share listed with
Code:
smbclient -L <IP-address>
 
Old 08-25-2014, 06:26 PM   #5
ferrari
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There are lots of guides concerning configuring CUPS to work with Windows/Samba print servers, but this openSUSE-based guide shows how to quickly test a Samba URI from the command prompt

https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Printing..._Windows_Share

Last edited by ferrari; 08-25-2014 at 06:52 PM.
 
Old 08-25-2014, 07:35 PM   #6
ferrari
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The port 20005 (btx service) may also be relevant here. Googling around, I read of references to NETGEAR print servers using this port to support remote printing using their proprietary 'ReadySHARE' protocol, so maybe TP-LINK is using a similar, equivalent network protocol for file/print sharing? I hope they have implemented print sharing via samba, rather than any proprietary protocol running Windows-only software.
 
Old 08-25-2014, 09:17 PM   #7
ferrari
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Another thought I had - you mentioned that you have a HP LaserJet printer. Which model? Does it have an Ethernet port for network-connectivity? (If so, then the obvious thing to do is use that instead).
 
  


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