I am using Bluez 4.47, and I can set up a Bluetooth printer only
manually by running the "bluetooth" CUPS backend from the command line with
and then pasting the URI into the field for individual URI input in
system-config-printer ("Others" in the device list). Then I also need to
choose manufacturer and model manually. My expectation is that I only
need to click the printer's make model name in the devices list and
choose "Bluetooth" under the connection types and then the driver gets
selected automatically as it is the case for the same printer on USB or
I have found out why it does not work.
First, the CUPS Bluetooth backend asks the bluez D-Bus service whether
there are printers available and which device ID they have. The access
permissions for the bluez D-Bus service do not permit the CUPS system
user "lp" to access, and exactly as this user the Bluetooth backend is
running. Therefore I have modified /etc/dbus-1/system.d/bluetooth.conf
to grant this permission.
I have added the following lines into the <busconfig> section:
<!-- allow users of lp group (printing subsystem) to communicate with
Second, the output of the CUPS Bluetooth backend was not very good for
the printer setup tools doing the right thing. I have patched the
backend to let the device class of the Bluetooth printers to be "direct"
and not "network", as users expect a Bluetooth printer rather under the
local printers than under the network printers. I have also filled the
make-and-model field instead of putting a hard-coded "Unknown" there.
The change is here:
--- bluez-4.47/cups/main.c 2009-07-03 00:43:14.000000000 +0200
+++ bluez-4.47.new/cups/main.c 2009-08-10 20:09:32.000000000 +0200
@@ -226,7 +226,7 @@
- printf("network %s \"Unknown\" \"%s (Bluetooth)\"", uri, escaped);
+ printf("direct %s \"%s\" \"%s (Bluetooth)\"", uri, escaped, escaped);
if (id != NULL)
printf(" \"%s\"\n", id);
See also my Ubuntu bug report:
I am very grateful if you could apply these changes to Bluez upstream,
as this makes the bluetooth CUPS backend just work.
Thank you very much in advance.