I run a guest Ubuntu under Virtualbox in Mac OS X.

The host Mac OS X has been configured to print on a network printer by someone else.

Now I try to configure the guest Ubuntu to print on the same network printer. I have provided the ip address and PPD file (extracted from the driver) of the printer during setup , but when I try to print a test page, it doesn't work. Not sure what has been going wrong.

In general, when using a peripheral device on a guest OS, do I need to install its driver just as if the guest OS were a host OS?


  • Can you ping the printer from your Ubuntu VM? – Allan Jun 21 '16 at 19:43
  • yes, the output of ping is normal. See askubuntu.com/questions/789891/… – Tim Jun 21 '16 at 19:51
  • If you can ping it, just add the printer as you normally would. if you can't add the printer with the PPD file, try a generic profile like "Laser Jet" – Allan Jun 21 '16 at 19:55

The short answer here is "yes"

If it's a network printer, you should be able to access it over the network as if you were on a physical host.

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How is the guest OS seeing the peripherals? Most likely, it is because VirtualBox is presenting them as virtual interface cards or USB. The only translation that VirtualBox is doing is to make those interfaces available, so the guest (Linux, Windows, etc.) still need to have drivers to know how to use the device in question. Printers are no different regardless of their network, USB or parallel connectivity.

To turn this sideways a bit, you could be connected to the internet via a dial-up modem. For the guest OS on VirtualBox, its network connectivity could appear as going over a NE2000 network card and require the appropriate drivers for that despite the fact that you're actually using a serial port modem.

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