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Old 02-15-2013, 08:53 AM   #1
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Post How can a non-SU edit their local printer settings (delete jobs, enable printer)?

We have about 40 users on openSUSE 11.x who are non-technical and use a locked-down version of Gnome to do their work. They do not have access to the Terminal window and wouldn't know what to do with it if they did.

One thing they *should* be able to do is edit their local printer settings - delete erroneous jobs from the queue, re-enable their printer if it has stopped, etc. But whenever they try to do any of these things via the Gnome printer dialog, it requests an SU password. Needless to say I don't want them to have the SU password! Only a few of us in the organization know it and we are not always available. Big delays ensue over what should be trivial problems.

Is there a way to set up printing so that the local user can do this sort of thing without requiring SU privileges? I have done numerous web searches but found nothing on the topic. So I joined LQ specifically to ask this question here.

(Apologies if I should have asked this in a different forum. I am new to LQ and pretty new to Linux, so this feels like a newbie question to me.)
Old 02-15-2013, 11:41 AM   #2
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Have they used "lprm" and "cancel" ?
Old 02-15-2013, 11:50 AM   #3
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The answer may be sudo. You can list individual users who are allowed to do things which normally require an administrator and specify exactly which things they are allowed to do.

You can also manage the printer by accessing CUPS through a web browser:
This normally requires the root password, but that can be changed:

Last edited by DavidMcCann; 02-15-2013 at 01:43 PM. Reason: Correction
Old 02-18-2013, 09:19 AM   #4
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@Linosaurusroot: I presume those commands require that I give the users a terminal window, which isn't possible. They are locked into a Gnome desktop with most of the menu options removed, right-click turned off, etc.

@DavidMcann: Thanks for the Sudo suggestion, I will explore it. Regarding CUPS, most of the users do not have access to a web browser. But now that you've pointed me to that CUPS documentation page, I do see the following text which might be what I'm looking for:

GNOME CUPS interface
If using GNOME, a possibility is to manage and configure the printer by installing system-config-printer.
For system-config-printer to work as it should, running as root may be required, or alternatively set up a "normal" user to administer CUPS (if so follow steps 1-3)
1. Create group, and add a user to it
# groupadd lpadmin
# usermod -aG lpadmin <username>
2. Add "lpadmin" (without the quotes) to this line in /etc/cups/cupsd.conf
SystemGroup sys root <insert here>
3. Restart cups, log out and in again (or restart computer)
# systemctl restart cups

I tried the above suggestion but it didn't work. Since then I've also tried massively editing /etc/cups/cupsd.conf to remove required authentications but, at least so far, none of my changes have done what I most wanted, which is, to allow ordinary users to cancel jobs from their print queue without knowing the su password. It all seems extremely complicated for such a simple and straightforward goal!

Last edited by tsaichhorn; 02-18-2013 at 10:08 AM.
Old 02-18-2013, 08:02 PM   #5
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sudo is pretty much the tool for this. It was designed to allow non-root users to run specified cmds, using their own passwd, instead of root's.

Relevant docs
Old 02-19-2013, 09:56 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, adding, removing, and restarting printers is considered an adminsitrative task. One question, though: did you have the users log out and then log back in after adding them to the lpadmin group? In general, group ownership is not refreshed until the user has started a new login session.
Old 02-20-2013, 07:37 AM   #7
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@btmiller: I made all the changes on my own machine and I rebooted it each time to make sure they had taken effect.

FWIW, I completely understand why adding and removing printers is an administrative function and have no need to change that. I'm more interested in letting users be able to clear their own print queue and then restart their local USB printer. The Gnome interface makes this really easy but then doesn't let them do it.


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