Using a Win98 Print Server In MacOS


This HOWTO assumes the Windows box is running Windows 98SE, but much of this will apply to other versions as well.

Update – Windows XP and 2000 include “Print Services for Macintosh” and/or “Print Services for Unix”, which obsoletes this HOWTO for those versions of Windows.


The windows server will need some additional software for this all to work. All additional software is freely available.

  • Ghostscript is a postscript interpreter which will run on Windows.

    • Ghostscript is the actual PostScript processor. It does all the work of translating PS into something the Windows printer can use.
    • GhostView is a graphical front end for GhostScript, which makes life much easier in Windows.
  • LPD-WIN (from Kabelmax) is the server which allows *nix and MacOS machines to speak to the Windows printer.

Setting up the Windows Software

To get anything usable out of your printer, you’ll need to make it speak the same language as MacOS. This is where Ghostscript comes in.

First, download the GhostScript and GhostView packages from GhostScript’s homepage.


Ghostscript comes in a self-installing package called something like gs811w32.exe (for version 8.11). When you run this, it will extract the GhostScript files. Unless you have compelling reasons against it, the default install directory of C:\gs\ works well enough.


Run the self-extracting installer (gsv44w32.exe for version 4.4). The default directory of C:\Program Files\ghostgum\gsview works fine.


LPD comes in a ZIP archive, Extract all the files to a directory (C:\lpd comes to mind).

If you want the LPD server to start automatically when Windows starts up, add a shortcut to it in the “Start menu > Programs > Startup” folder.

Once all the software is installed, run the C:\lpd\LPD.EXE. Nothing appears to happen, but there is a new icon in your system tray. A single click on the new icon brings up the LPD-Win window.

By default, there are some printers already set up in LPD, listed in the top-left box. You can get rid of these (select one, File > Remove Printer) to tidy things up if you like.

To add a new printer, go to the File menu and select Add Printer. This will bring up a new dialog.

For LPD Printer Name, enter the name you want other computers to see – “printer” is a good choice if you only have one installed.

Print Command is the important option. For starters, use “C:\Program Files\ghostgum\gsview\gsprint.exe -noprinter -colour -noquery %p\%f“. The “-noprinter” option indicates we want to use the default windows printer (this can be changed later, if you prefer); the “-colour” option does what you’d expect – prints in 24b colour; the “-noquery” option tells GhostPrint not to pop up the printer setup window (f you want to pop up the “print properties” dialog every time you print, change this to -query); “%p\%f” at the end tells GhostScript where to find the file to print.

Setting up the Macintosh

Open the Print Center and select “Add Printer”.

For the printer type, select “IP Printing” or “LPR Printing over IP”.

In the Printer Address box, enter the IP number of the Windows machine (has to be the numeric IP# – it won’t accept a single-word Windows machine name).

Unselect Use Default Print Queue and enter the name you gave the printer in LPD-Win (“printer”).

In the Printer Model list, select Generic. This will send plain PostScript to your printer, which is what we want.

Click Add.

Print something. It should come out of the printer plugged into your Windows box.


To print from a Linux (or other Unix-family) system, set up a standard remote LPD printer, using the Windows server’s host name and queue name. The procedure for this depends on the print system being used, and is a subject for an entirely separate HOWTO.

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