Updated: The instructions below were originally written in 2009. I just tested on the latest OSX, Mavericks, and they work just fine. The old Samsung ML-1740 printer is still working great, after many years supporting about a dozen computers running everything from Windows 7 to Kubuntu to OSX.
Although the post is specific to ML-1740, theoretically, the steps would work for printing from any flavors of Unix systems to any Windows based GDI printers with PPD driver.
Original post from 2009:
I recently bought a Mac running OS X, and one of things to set up is to print to the Samsung ML-1740 laser printer.
ML-1740 is a “GDI” printer. GDI printers are typically inexpensive printers designed specifically for Windows operating system. If you are interested to learn more about GDI, read more about it here
The bottomline is ML-1740 can’t work with a Mac… unless you jump through some hoops.
Luckily, the solution to the problem has been around for a long time, it’s called CUPS, i.e. Common Unix Printing System. Essentially, it’s a print server that can translate a printing command from a Unix-like operating system into specific printer formats.
To print to Ml-1740 from OS X, you need a few pieces of translation software, and they are:
- Samsung ML-1740 GDI to PPD driver file which can be used by CUPS. You can download the Samsung ML-1740 CUPS driver from OpenPrinting.org. The direct download link is: http://www.openprinting.org/ppd-o-matic.php?driver=gdi&printer=Samsung-ML-1740&show=0
PPD is the common driver file extension for CUPS. Having this extension does not mean the driver is actually a postscript printer driver.
- Ghostscript for OSX. The latest is labeled for OSX Panther to Mountain Lion. Download that one from http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/openprinting/macosx/foomatic
- Foomatic filter for OSX. Also downloaded from http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/openprinting/macosx/foomatic
After downloading, install both the filter and Ghostscript. (Hint: right click on the installation files, and choose Open to bypass the unknown developer warning) The sequence of installation doesn’t matter as long as you end up with both, but you may get a warning during the installation that the other component isn’t there yet.
Now you are ready to set up your printer via the CUPS management console.
Snow Leopard comes with CUPS pre-installed and configured to run. The easiest way access the CUPS server is using your browser. Point the browser at this address: http://localhost:631
You may or may not see the above warning. If you see that, just open a terminal window and run the command:
Now go back to the CUPS page, and you should see the CUPS homepage. From there, click on Add Printers, and log in. The user name and password are your regular ones, unless your user name contains spaces or upper case letters. In that case, type in the user name all in lower cases and without any space. After you log in, you can choose Add Printer from the next screen.
You’ll go through the configuration section for the connection properties to the printer, after that you will see a button to select the driver to use to connect to the printer. Select the PPD file you just downloaded.
Now configure the connection to the printer. My printer was connected via a print router over TCP/IP and I use the LPR/LDP protocol to print to the router. The connection setting will be different for every printer. To get the setting, I went on a Windows PC currently connected to the printer, and copied its setting to use for the configuration on the Mac.
The first screen shot below is from Windows printer configuration, the second one is what gets added to the CUPS interface.
Finally click on Add Printer and you are now all set to print from your MacBook to the Samsung ML-1740 printer.