p910nd Printer Server

p910nd is a small non-spooling printer daemon intended for disk-less workstations. Jobs are being passed directly to the printer. Normally a lpr daemon on a spooling host connects to it with a TCP connection on port 910n (where n=0, 1, or 2 for lp0, 1 and 2 respectively). p910nd is particularly useful for diskless Linux workstations booted via Etherboot that have a printer hanging off them. Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) supports this protocol, it's called the AppSocket protocol and has the scheme socket://. LPRng also supports this protocol and the syntax is lp=remotehost%9100 in /etc/printcap.

Alternatives to p910nd can be found at the Print Server overview.

  1. usb-installing or support for the parallel port
  2. modify your /etc/config/firewall to accept packets on on TCP port 9100:
    #Allow attached network printer
    config 'rule'
            option 'src' 'lan'
            option 'proto' 'tcp'
            option 'dest_port' '9100'
            option 'target' 'ACCEPT'
  3. install support for printers:
opkg update
opkg install kmod-usb-printer

Now plug in the printer, run dmesg and look for lines similar to the following ones:

hub.c: new USB ice 01:02.0-1, assigned address 2
printer.c: usblp0: USB Bidirectional printer  2 if 0 alt 0 proto 2 vid 0x04A9 pid 0x1094
usb.c: USB disconnect on ice 01:02.0-1 address 2
hub.c: new USB ice 01:02.0-1, assigned address 3
printer.c: usblp1: USB Bidirectional printer  3 if 0 alt 0 proto 2 vid 0x04A9 pid 0x1094

On older versions the device /dev/usb/usblp0 is created. More recent versions create the normal /dev/lp0 device, even for usb printers. (Attitude Adjustment 12.09 actually creates /dev/usb/lp0).

TIP: p910nd is reported as working with some noname USB-to-Parport adapter/converter as well

opkg update
opkg install kmod-lp

Check the output of the dmesg. If there is a device node /dev/printers/0 then the installation succeeded.

TIP: p910nd is reported as working with some noname USB-to-Parport adapter/converter as well


opkg update
opkg install p910nd

or through luci.essentials: Select Administration View and the SystemSoftware). In case of an error, try to update the package list.

Install packages: luci-app-p910nd and p910nd. The configuration is done (Administration view) via Servicesp910nd - Printer Server.


We recommend to configure manually. But for lazy bones, there might be instructions at Zero configuration network setup to utilize auto-magic software.

If your printer (mine hl-2030) spits out garbage after poweron, p910nd might be the cause. Add this to /etc/hotplug.d/usb/20-printer

# Copyright (C) 2006 OpenWrt.org
if [ "$PRODUCT" = "4f9/27/100" ]
case "$ACTION" in
        /etc/init.d/p910nd stop
        echo "`date`: Brother HL-2030 added" >> /tmp/hl-2030
        /etc/init.d/p910nd start >> /tmp/hl-2030
        echo "Done." >> /tmp/hl-2030
        echo "`date`: Brother HL-2030 removed" >> /tmp/hl-2030
        /etc/init.d/p910nd stop >> /tmp/hl-2030
        echo "Done." >> /tmp/hl-2030

Where “$PRODUCT” = “4f9/27/100” is your printers VendorId/ProductId/BcdVersion(1.00 = 100). Get it with lsusb -v

You might need to add “-INT” to the kill command in /etc/init.d/p910nd to actually have the stop work.

To avoid having to install the printer on multiple clients, it can be advertised via txt-records so that ZeroConf capable clients can pick it up automatically.

ZeroConf use txt-records to advertise services on a local network. With a lot of annoying config options we can use dnsmasq which is included by default in OpenWrt to accomplish this.

Create or edit the file /etc/dnsmasq.conf and add the lines below.


txt-record=lan,"v=spf1 a -all"

# Default Base

# Services

txt-record=HP-LaserJet-1200._pdl-datastream._tcp.lan,ty=HP LaserJet 1200,note=Basement,product=(HP LaserJet 1200),usb_MFG=HP,usb_MDL=HP LaserJet 1200,txtvers=1,qtotal=1,priority=20,Color=F,pdl=application/vnd.hp-PCL
  • txt-record= records are formatted host,name=value,name=value,etc
  • The lan keyword in the txt record refers to OpenWrt's default local domain name - you need to change it if you use a different local domain.
  • The keyword in the ptr record refers to OpenWrt's default network range, octets reversed - you need to change it if you use a different range.
  • The product, pdl, usb_MFG and usb_MDL attributes specify printer properties
  • _pdl-datastream mime type maps to the “HP JetDirect” service type. other options are _printer and _ipp (but then those printers normally have ethernet builtin)
  • HP-LaserJet-1200 Is both a DNS hostname and the printer name. Because of this you need to follow the LDH rule (letters, digits, hyphen). Avahi does not have this restriction.
  • You can split the txt-record but I have found that most bonjour clients expect to get all information in a single record (I would like to be proven wrong).

Zero configuration networking in OpenWrt

Similar to the dnsmasq variant above, the same can be done using Avahi.

opkg update
opkg install avahi-daemon

Apple's Bonjour Printing Specification discusses pretty much what needs to be done to advertise a printer over the network.

  • FIXME The Apple “Bonjour Printing Specification” at Developer.apple.com section 7.6 notes that printers that don't provide the LPR service should still advertise that service (as “unsupported”); presumably that involves declaring a second service with a particular key to indicate “unsupported” - this looks impossible with Avahi.

For example Brother HL-2030, a “softprinter” (does not support Postscript or PCL, all processing is done on the client) shared via p910nd:

Create the file /etc/avahi/services/printer.service:

<?xml version="1.0" standalone='no'?><!--*-nxml-*-->
<!DOCTYPE service-group SYSTEM "avahi-service.dtd">

  <name replace-wildcards="yes">Brother HL-2030 Laserprinter on %h</name>
    <txt-record>note=room 2</txt-record>
    <txt-record>ty=Brother HL-2030 Laserdrucker</txt-record>
    <txt-record>product=(Brother HL-2030 series)</txt-record>
    <txt-record>usb_MDL=HL-2030 series</txt-record>
  • The service type is _pdl-datastream._tcp, the "needs a driver" printer type
  • The usb_MFG and usb_MDL TXT records are required. product is used as a fallback in case the other two doesn't exist.
  • To fill out the txt-records with usb_MFG and usb_MDL, then look up the PPD document for your printer on OpenPrinting.org and search for the line beginning with *1284DeviceID:. This line contains multiple KEY:VALUE pairs separated by ;, but you just need the two called MFG and MDL (Manufacturer and Model).
  • The txt-records called Color, Duplex, Bind, Collate, Sort, Staple and Punch all take the values F=False, T=True, and U=unknown. The printer driver installed should override these values with correct defaults.
  • The txt-record called PaperMax should always be legal-A4.

The printer will now show up in any Zeroconf client (tested with OS X 10.4.10 and Ubuntu 12.04).

  • If you share a subnet between wired and wireless and the zeroconf traffic only shows up on the wired side, you might need be missing a broadcast address (bcast):
#part of /etc/config/network
config 'interface' 'lan'
	option 'type' 'bridge'
	option 'ifname' 'eth0.0'
	option 'proto' 'static'
	option 'ipaddr' ''
	option 'netmask' '
	option 'bcast' ''

NOTE: The default port used by p910nd is TCP 9100 on the device /dev/usb/lp0.

You can check the ports on which p910nd is listening with the command

netstat -an


Assuming the printer driver is installed locally, it's a simple matter of entering http://localhost:631/admin in your favorite web-browser, and pressing add printer under the “Printers” pane. Then:

  • Enter something into the information fields and press continue.
  • Select “AppSocket/HP JetDirect” and press continue.
  • Write “socket://«IP»:«port»”. Here you have to fill in the appropriate info in the «» fields. Press continue.
  • Select the appropriate manufacturer and press continue.
  • Select the appropriate printer and press continue.
  • Voila…

Then you use your new printer like you would a local one.

kprinter (KDE)

  • Start kprinter
  • Select 'Add printer'
  • Select Network printer (TCP)
  • Use (the router's IP address) as the printer's IP
  • Fill in the port you want to use (normally defaults to 9100)
  • Pick manufacturer and model
  • Pick the recommended driver
  • Then you can new print a test page or change the settings of the printer further


  • Select System → Administration → Printing
  • Select New Printer
  • Select Network Printer and “HP JetDirect”
  • Enter your WRT's IP address and port 9100.
  • Select your printer's make and model. Continue forward and apply settings.
  • Check the properties to ensure you are using A4 or US Letter size as appropriate.

With dnssd (zeroconf)

  • ☑ “Show printers shared by other systems” in your cups settings either on http://localhost:631/admin, or with system-config-printer, server → settings
  • Add a Network Printer - your printer should appear as one of the options.
  • The printer driver will be chosen based on the dnssd record you set up earlier.
  • Forward, Apply.

Version 10.4.6 up to 10.10.2

  • select system preferences
  • Print & Fax
  • Click on + button
  • Click on IP Printer
  • set Protocol: HP Jet Direct - Socket, Address: : and then select brand and printer.
  • Type a name if you don't want the IP address for a name.
  • close the Printer Browser.

Note that many Epson and Canon Inkjet printers (and maybe other brands) do not provide a really full-CUPS driver. If you do not get anything printed try to install the Gutenprint drivers and select them instead.

Windows 7

  • Click on the Start button and select Devices and Printers.
  • Click on “Add a printer.”
  • In the Add Printer dialog select “Add a local printer.”
  • Select “Create a new port:” and set the type of port to “Standard TCP/IP Port”. Then click Next.
  • In the “Hostname or IP address:” field enter the IP address of your router.
  • The “Port name:” field may be set to something you like.
  • De-select “Query the printer and automatically select the driver to use,” then click next.
  • The computer will then attempt to detect the TCP/IP port. This will take some time and will most likely fail. Failing this step is not a problem.
  • On the “Additional port information required” page set the device type to Custom and click “Settings…”
  • Verify the Printer Name or IP Address. The Protocol should be set to “Raw” and the Raw Settings Port Number should be 9100. Leave LPR Settings and SNMP Status Enabled empty or de-selected. Then click OK.
  • Select the correct printer driver and click next. You may need to install drivers if they are not already available.
  • Finish the remaining printer installation wizard steps as needed. The printer should now be installed and working!

Windows 2000/XP/Vista

The following instructions should work on all versions of windows from 2000 onwards, and have been tested in both Windows 2000 and Windows Vista.

  • Install your printer software as you would if it were a local printer.
  • Go to your printer properties in the control panel/printer settings.
  • Select the tab “Ports”.
  • Select “Add Port”.
  • Select “Standard TCP/IP Port” and click on “New Port…”.
  • Follow the wizard. In the field “Printer Name or IP Address”, enter the IP address of your router.
  • Windows will send a couple of UDP packets to port 161 of the Router. You can safely discard them.
  • You will need to select a Device Type. Select “Custom” and click “Settings…”.
  • Be sure the protocol is “Raw” and the port number is correct (i.e. 9100).
  • Finish the Settings wizard and close the Add Port window. The newly created Port should now be selected.
  • You printer should be configred now. Be sure that your firewall allows communication to the chosen port.
  • You may print a test page to see if all went well.
  • Problem : the printer status shows “Attempting to connect to socket://:” in the client CUPS interface (http://localhost:631) and nothing works
  • Solution : make sure you installed both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 modules
  • Problem : the printer doesn't print anything or needs tens of minutes before starting to print
  • Solution : make sure that there is enough free disk space on your OpenWRT device such that the printing jobs can be stored temporarily
  • Problem: Canon printer stops printing after 80-90% of the page and holds paper
  • Solution: turn off bidirectional mode
  • Problem: Samsung printer scx-4200 series print only error messages under windows XP /7
  • Solution: turn Enable advanced printing features on the Advanced tab of the printer properties in windows. Solution was find here

Not supported printers shall be reported upstream! → http://p910nd.sourceforge.net/

Some Canon Printers are not working in bidirectional mode in combination with Windows NT based OS. Reported printers that are only working properly in unidirectional mode:

  • Canon Pixma iP3000
  • Canon Pixma iP3500
  • Canon Pixma iP4000
  • Canon Pixma iP4200
  • Canon Pixma iP4500
  • Canon Pixma iP4700
  • Canon MP250
  • Canon MP600 (Uses the ehci-hcd module (USB 2.0))
  • Canon i560 (Make sure that the uhci kernel module is loaded since it seems to be usb 1.1)

Please add not working combinations here:

  • Canon Pixma iP3600 does not even work in unidirectional mode on Windows XP
  • Konica Minolta PagePro 1300W doesn't seem to work in bidirectional mode under Windows XP.

:!: Warning : This will/can add a considerable amount of messages to your System Log which is a fixed size buffer in memory, by default, consisting of up to 16 KB utf-8/ASCII encoded characters.

You can relay the p910nd process messages by modifying the p910nd init.d script by adding a couple service parameters.

diff --git a/etc/init.d/p910nd b/etc/init.d/p910nd
--- a/etc/init.d/p910nd
+++ b/etc/init.d/p910nd
@@ -53,7 +53,26 @@ start_p910nd() {
                config_get mdns_mdl "$section" mdns_mdl
                config_get mdns_cmd "$section" mdns_cmd
                [ "$mdns" -gt 0 ] && procd_add_mdns "pdl-datastream" "tcp" "$((p
ort+9100))" "note=$mdns_note" "ty=$mdns_ty" "product=$mdns_product" "usb_MFG=$md
ns_mfg" "usb_MDL=$mdns_mdl" "usb_CMD=$mdns_cmd"
+               procd_set_param stdout 1 # relay stdout to logd
+               procd_set_param stderr 1 # relay stderr to logd

note: you will need to restart the service for this to take effect

/etc/init.d/p910nd restart

Under Luci → Status → System Log we will be able to see the debug info: e.g. printing a blank page

Tue Oct 20 13:50:52 2020 daemon.info p910nd[1545]: Connection from port 2484 accepted
Tue Oct 20 13:50:52 2020 daemon.info p910nd[1545]: read 1494 bytes from network
Tue Oct 20 13:50:52 2020 daemon.info p910nd[1545]: wrote 1494 bytes to printer
Tue Oct 20 13:50:52 2020 daemon.info p910nd[1545]: read: eof
Tue Oct 20 13:50:52 2020 daemon.info p910nd[1545]: Finished job: 1494/1494 bytes sent to printer, 0/0 bytes sent to network

This can also be read via ssh with the command logread

 root@OpenWrt:~# logread -e p910nd 

To run HP LaserJet 1005/1018/1020/1022 on OpenWrt Backfire 10.03.1-RC5 do:

Preparations on client computer:

First install the foo2zjs drivers from http://foo2zjs.rkkda.com/ on your client computer (in case of a linux client). The instructions are taken from http://foo2zjs.rkkda.com/.

Click the link, or cut and paste the whole command line below to download the driver.

$ wget -O foo2zjs.tar.gz http://foo2zjs.rkkda.com/foo2zjs.tar.gz

Now unpack it:

$ tar zxf foo2zjs.tar.gz
$ cd foo2zjs

Compile and install it. The INSTALL file contains more detailed instructions.

$ make

Get extra files from the web, such as .ICM profiles for color correction and firmware. Select the model number for your printer:

$ ./getweb 2430     # Get Minolta 2430 DL .ICM files
$ ./getweb 2300     # Get Minolta 2300 DL .ICM files
$ ./getweb 2200     # Get Minolta 2200 DL .ICM files
$ ./getweb cpwl     # Get Minolta Color PageWorks/Pro L .ICM files
$ ./getweb 1020     # Get HP LaserJet 1020 firmware file
$ ./getweb 1018     # Get HP LaserJet 1018 firmware file
$ ./getweb 1005     # Get HP LaserJet 1005 firmware file
$ ./getweb 1000     # Get HP LaserJet 1000 firmware file

Install driver, foomatic XML files, and extra files:

$ su                        OR      $ sudo make install
# make install

(Optional) Configure hotplug (USB; HP LJ 1000/1005/1018/1020):

Hint: The hotplug script is used to transfer the printer firmware file (for example 'sihp1020.dl') to the printer. If you don't use the printer directly plugged in into the client computer but only via your router box with p910nd, then this hotplug installation is not needed here (see below, behind section 'Preparations on router:' - hotplug will be configured in the router device).

# make install-hotplug      OR      $ sudo make install-hotplug

(Optional) If you use CUPS, restart the spooler:

# make cups                 OR      $ sudo make cups

Preparations on router:

Next you need to transfer sihp1020.dl to your Asus box.

On the Asus device you should install the following packages:

opkg update
opkg install kmod-usb-printer p910nd


/etc/init.d/p910nd start
/etc/init.d/p910nd enable

Finally you need to create a script that uploads the firmware to your printer after you've plugged it in.

For a quick test, you could just use netcat for loading the firmware manually to the printer (from the client computer, via the router with p910nd established). Enter the following command on the client computer:

nc -q2 9100 < /usr/share/foo2zjs/firmware/sihp1020.dl

(the above IP-address has to be replaced with your router address and the path to your correct firmware file needs to be adapted as well)

Another possibility, with the network printer already set up with cups as default printer (replace firmware file path according to your situation):

lp -o raw /usr/share/foo2zjs/firmware/sihp1020.dl

After successfully loading the firmware with one of the above commands printing should work as well (until next power-down of your printer). You can decide to do this always manually one time before sending the first print job after powering up the printer or to configure the mentioned script for automatic firmware upload as following:

Create a new file /etc/hotplug.d/usb/20-hplj1020:

set -e
# change this to the location where you put the .dl file:
if [ "$PRODUCT" = "3f0/2b17/100" -a "$ACTION" = "add" ]; then
	for i in $(seq 30); do
		if [ -c $DEVICE ]; then
			echo "$(date) : Sending firmware to printer..." > $LOGFILE
			echo "$(date) : done." >> $LOGFILE
		sleep 1

The parameter 3f0/2b17/100 needs to be changed to match your printer.

The format is idVendor/idProduct/bcdDevice from the device descriptor. Numbers are hexadecimal, without leading '0x' or zeros. For BcdVersion 1.00 = 100. Get it with lsusb -v. More information on this can be found at http://linux-hotplug.sourceforge.net/?selected=usb .

Some printers, like HP LaserJet 1005, stop working properly when the firmware is loaded more than once. It's best to check whether the firmware is already present in the printer with the usb_printerid command. You need to cross-compile this command for yourself. It's part of the foo2zjs projet. Furthermore, the hotplug script is called twice for the “add” ACTION for the same value of PRODUCT: first for DEVTYPE='usb_device', then for DEVTYPE='usb_interface'. Therefore, the following is the script that works with HP LaserJet 1005:

set -e
# change this to the location where you put the .dl file:
if [ "$PRODUCT" = "3f0/1317/120" -a "$ACTION" = "add" -a "$DEVTYPE" = "usb_interface" ]; then
   echo "$(date): STARTING" > $LOGFILE
   for i in $(seq 30); do
       echo "$(date): Attempt number $i on $DEVICE" >> $LOGFILE
       if [ -c $DEVICE ]; then
          echo "$(date): Device $DEVICE found." >> $LOGFILE
          if [ -z "`usb_printerid $DEVICE | grep FWVER`" ]; then
              echo "$(date): No firmware found on $DEVICE" >> $LOGFILE
              echo "$(date): Sending firmware to printer..." >> $LOGFILE
              cat $FIRMWARE > $DEVICE
              echo "$(date): done." >> $LOGFILE
              echo "$(date): Firmware already there on $DEVICE" >> $LOGFILE
          echo "$(date): EXITING" >> $LOGFILE
       sleep 1

An alternative to the method described above is to “simulate” a JetDirect device. I've tested this with my HP LaserJet 1020 but should be applicable to other HP printers which need the hplip driver to work.

In short, you need to announce with zeroconf and respond to one SNMP oid.

Install the application, configure, start and enable it

opkg update
opkg install kmod-usb-printer p910nd
vi /etc/config/p910nd
/etc/init.d/p910nd start
/etc/init.d/p910nd enable

Install and configure avahi-daemon as describe in the section With Zeroconf above. I used the following printer.service file.

<?xml version="1.0" standalone='no'?><!--*-nxml-*-->
<!DOCTYPE service-group SYSTEM "avahi-service.dtd">
  <name replace-wildcards="yes">HP LaserJet 1020 on %h</name>
    <txt-record>note=I forgot where I placed my printer</txt-record>
    <txt-record>ty=HP LaserJet 1020</txt-record>
    <txt-record>product=(HP LaserJet 1020 Printer)</txt-record>
    <txt-record>usb_MDL=HP LaserJet 1020</txt-record>

The hp-setup (from hplip) will do an SNMP get for the oid (gdStatusId). I don't know exactly what format the string is supposed to have but I've used this troubleshooting guide as a base for the information.

You need to compile your own mini-snmpd package. See Using the SDK for more information about how to use the SDK.

Download the source to mini_snmpd, modify the following patch and apply it.

--- a/mib.c
+++ b/mib.c
@@ -53,6 +53,7 @@ static const oid_t m_cpu_oid		= { { 1, 3
 #ifdef __DEMO__
 static const oid_t m_demo_oid		= { { 1, 3, 6, 1, 4, 1, 99999		}, 7, 10 };
+static const oid_t m_dev_status_oid	= { { 1, 3, 6, 1, 4, 1, 11, 2, 3, 9, 1, 1}, 12, 13 };
 static const int m_load_avg_times[3] = { 1, 5, 15 };
@@ -610,6 +611,10 @@ int mib_build(void)
+	if (mib_build_entry(&m_dev_status_oid, 7, 0, BER_TYPE_OCTET_STRING, (const void *)"MFG:Hewlett-Packard;MDL:HP LaserJet 1020;CLS:PRINTER;DES:HP LaserJet 1020;SN:XXXXXXX;") == -1) {
+		return -1;
+	}
 	return 0;

You need to modify the long line and replace XXXXXXX with your serial number. You can find the serial number with the following commands.

lsusb -v | egrep 'iManufacturer|iProduct|iSerial'

This should give the information you need for MFG:, MDL: and SN: in the patch above.

Another way to get this string is to plug it into another computer with cups and hplip installed. You can use /usr/lib/cups/backend/hp to get a similar string. I've assumed that they should match with the one provided over SNMP.

When you recompile, change the PKG_RELEASE in the Makefile to differ it from the upstream version. Otherwise you won't be able to install your newly built package.

When you have installed and started mini_snmpd you can test if it works with the following command.

snmpwalk -Os -c public -v1
enterprises. = STRING: "MFG:Hewlett-Packard;MDL:HP LaserJet 1020;CLS:PRINTER;DES:HP LaserJet 1020;SN:XXXXXXX;"

If that works, you should be able to use hp-setup to add a network printer. If it doesn't show up in the list of network printers, you have something wrong with the zeroconf part.

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  • Last modified: 2020/10/20 12:18
  • by paucoma