Sharing a printer to your Windows laptop or desktop PC from your main Ubuntu desktop machine is made pretty simple thanks to the magic of Samba. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to efficiently share your printer under Ubuntu then:

First, install Samba via the Ubuntu Software Center. (Search for ‘Samba’. That tends to work!)

Next access the properties sheet of the printer which is connected to your system that you wish to share. (System -> Administration -> Printing. Right click on the printer icon and select ‘Properties’).

Select ‘Policies’ on the left menu and check the boxes shown below. (Tick ‘Enabled’, ‘Accepting Jobs’ and ‘Shared’)

Next, click on the ‘Server’ menu option on the Printing dialog and select the ‘Settings’ submenu.

Again, check the boxes shown below: (Tick ‘Show printers shared…’, ‘Publish shared printers…’ and ‘Allow printing from…’)

To make it easy to access the now shared printer from your other systems, you need to make it discoverable. A quick way of doing that is to press Alt+F2 on the keyboard and run:

gksu gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf

Scroll down the file to the Printers section and change the ‘browseable’ value to yes. Save the file and if you are not feeling so confident in restarting services on your machine, restart the whole computer.

Now that the printer is shared on your Ubuntu machine, let’s access it on your Windows laptop.

Access the Printers dialog found in the Control Panel and select the menu option to add a new printer. When prompted, select ‘Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer’.

If both your systems happen to be in the same workgroup, then Windows will automatically locate the printer for you and you simply click on it to add. If they aren’t in the same workgroup, then you need to specify the path to the printer yourself.

And that’s it. Nifty, eh?