Airprint woes

It’s all my fault, really.  This wouldn’t have been an issue if I had just let Xtina use my computer to print her boarding pass, but in my defense I didn’t know that she was doing that.  So I gave her our iPad to use.

When it came time to print, she quite logically asked me how she would do that.  I, of course, did not know how — I’ve never tried printing from iPad or smartphone, though I vaguely knew it was possible.  The issue just never came up and I hate printers.

I knew that it would require avahi, so I started installing that on our printserver while I hit Google to see what else I would need.

The first hit was a very fine article by Linux Magazine, and it explained pretty much everything.  But it’s never that simple, because nothing printed and cups started using 100% of a CPU.

Repeated in the /var/log/cups/error_log a billion times were messages like these:

Request from "" using invalid Host: field "dandelion.local:631"

That took a little more detective work because I didn’t read the Linux Magazine article carefully enough.  The solution was to add an additional directive to the cups config:

--- /backup/snapshots/dandelion.0/etc/cups/cupsd.conf   2015-06-08 08:33:31.000000000 -0400
+++ /etc/cups/cupsd.conf        2015-06-24 19:29:34.410488191 -0400
@@ -1,6 +1,7 @@
 LogLevel warn
 # Allow remote access
+ServerAlias *
 Port 631
 Listen /run/cups/cups.sock
 # Share local printers on the local network.


Gentoo packages required:

  • net-print/cups
  • net-dns/avahi

Also download and run airprint-generate after cups is configured and running.

If you have iOS 6+, which is pretty much a given nowadays, make sure you have the correct MIME types available, and add them if not:

echo 'image/urf urf string(0,UNIRAST<00>)' > \
echo 'image/urf application/pdf 100 pdftoraster' > \

Add the appropriate services to your default runlevel, and start them as well:

# rc-update add cupsd default
# rc-update add cups-browsed default
# rc-update add avahi-daemon default

Author: H Walker Jones, Esq

A professional programmer with a sordid past involving sysadmin, tech support, and cooking.

One thought on “Airprint woes”

  1. Of the woes you have dealt with, I am sure this qualifies as “lesser woes.” Still, I appreciate the blog entry. And I am grateful for the effort to get that boarding pass printed out.

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