Netgear ReadyNAS & OS X: fixing printing

I’ve used my trusty Netgear ReadyNAS for several years now, it’s super. When OS X Lion came out, Apple twiddled with AFP in the network stack, which meant that using many NAS implementations (Netgear’s included) as Time Machine targets no longer worked.

To their credit, Netgear had beta firmware releases out in no time, which addressed this issue. However, one side effect seemed to be that for those of us who also use the ReadyNAS as a print server (it’s a Linux box basically, so you get CUPS for free), printing was b0rked. Bonjour detection of the printer was still OK, one could send print jobs to it, but something went awry along the way and OS X reported Unable to get printer status. Hmm.

A very helpful chap by the name of Dr. Christian Fries posted some steps on the official ReadyNAS forums to address this printing issue. I can report that whilst this tip did not work for me with the beta firmware releases, bizarrely it does now that the firmware is production-ready (I’m using the newly-released 4.1.8 for my SPARC-based NV+).

Here I reproduce Dr. Fries’ tip with some notes of my own, and I’ve also added a screenshot of the end result in CUPS (this is all assuming you’re on OS X BTW!)

  1. Set up the printer as you would normally (it should just appear when you add a printer in system preferences (assuming you advertise ReadyNAS print queues over Bonjour). My device is a Canon PIXMA iP4500. It comes with reasonable drivers, but they won’t work if you use the printer on the network via a NAS. Instead, once you’ve opted to add your printer, choose the drop-down option to “Select Printer Software…” thus: Adding my PIXMA iP4500 printer in OS X, using the Gutenburg drivers… and then select the relevant Gutenberg driver for your printer (they cover pretty much everything out there). You should have Gutenberg drivers installed already, but you can always grab the latest versions at the Gutenberg site.
  2. Open in your web browser. This is the CUPS page, the printing subsystem of OS X (you may need to alter the IP address or host, depending on your set-up).
  3. Select “Administration” and then “Manage Printers”. Select the non-functioning ReadyNAS print queue.
  4. Now choose “Modify Printer” from the “Administration” drop-down that appears below the print queue name.
  5. On the resulting screen, look for the heading “Other Network Printers” and click the “Windows printer via spoolss” radio button. Click “Continue” and you should then see a screen requesting a connection string…
  6. … this connection string should be in this format: smb://YOUR_NAS/YOUR_QUEUE, where YOUR_NAS is either the host name or private IP address of your ReadyNAS as it appears in the Finder (e.g. readynas.local or and YOUR_QUEUE is the name of your printer as it appears in the ReadyNAS FrontView screen (note that you don’t need to include port numbers or extra bits like IPP as you might expect; just use the path as expressed here).
  7. Done!

OK, so this is how my printer looks in CUPS (where iP4500_serie is the name of the queue in FrontView):

My CUPS screen showing ReadyNAS print queue

Read the original post - ReadyNAS forums: Re: Problems printing with 4.1.18


  1. Brilliant - thanks for this (and to the originator, though yours popped up first in Google).

    One quick note for others looking in - make sure the CIFS service is started on the ReadyNAS. If you don't have this, you'll get a "connection refused" error.Andy#
  2. Excellent! Saved me alot of head scratching. Presumably when Apple get around to fixing the Bonjour support we can switch away from the Gutenberg drivers?Richard Benson#
  3. I’ve always had to use the Gutenberg drivers for my Canon printer; I’m not sure where the limitation lies, but I suspect it’s the Canon drivers—I think they’re really only geared up for direct USB connectivity, but I could be wrong.Ben Poole#
  4. Thanks for this - got it working!! Great relief I might even upgrade the OS on my desktop now :-)Greg#
  5. Thanks, very useful! :-)Kjetil#

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