Boring But Useful Post: Printing to BYU Printers from Linux

BYU uses the Pharos print system around campus. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be direct Linux support for Pharos. But linuxers are in luck, because it is still possible to print to the campus printers.

On Ubuntu 9.10 I did the following:

  1. Opened http://localhost:631/ in Firefox (not Chrome—this didn’t work for some reason)
  2. Clicked “Adding Printers and Classes”
  3. Clicked “Add Printer”
  4. Entered my regular username and password when prompted
  5. On the “Add Printer” page, selected “LPD/LPR Host or Printer” and clicked “Continue”
  6. In the “Connection” field, entered “lpd://” where USERNAME is my Route Y login (NetID)
  7. Clicked “Continue”
  8. Entered a name of “CampusBW” and an appropriate description and location, then clicked “Continue” again
  9. From the list next to “Make:” I chose “Generic” and clicked “Continue”
  10. From the list next to “Model:” I chose “Generic Postscript Printer (en)” and clicked “Add Printer”
  11. I don’t know if this is strictly necessary, but I clicked the “Query Printer for Default Options” button on the next page. It may or may not have actually worked.
  12. Last of all, under the “Maintenance” dropdown I chose “Print Test Page”. Then when I swiped my card at the Pharos kiosk, the test page showed up, ready to print.

I hope somebody out there in the vast recesses of the Internet finds this information somehow useful.






6 responses to “Boring But Useful Post: Printing to BYU Printers from Linux”

  1. stevenswall Avatar

    I’m on Ubuntu 12.04 now, and will likely try this here at BYUI where we also use Pharos printing… Wish me luck, and thanks for posting, whether or not it still works.

  2. Jacob Avatar

    It’s helped me. Thanks!

  3. Devin Rasmussen Avatar
    Devin Rasmussen

    Thanks for this. Still works Jan 2016 with Ubuntu 14.04.

  4. Guilherme Avatar

    Thanks a lot! Worked for me!
    (Linux Mint 17.3, BYU-Idaho, November 2016)

  5. Schmeeker Avatar

    Not working as of November 29th, 2023. (Arch Linux, BYU Provo)

    Limited success sending jobs to lpd://, but the files are incorrectly formatted. Potentially a driver issue?? They appear correctly, except not as PDF files, and cannot be released to a printer. Only solution currently is to use the webprint at

    Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Josh Hansen Avatar

      I’m no longer at BYU (this post is 13 years old! :-O) so I can’t try it myself, but here are some things you could look into:

      First, background info, it appears that OIT has surrendered control of Pharos printing to a separate organization known as Print & Mail, see

      That organization seems to operate on two different domains, it’s a bit confusing, compare: vs.

      Second, here are the official printing instructions, maybe you’ve seen it:

      There’s a driver link in there I can’t resolve because I don’t have an active BYU login anymore, I bet it just goes to the Windows and Mac print applications at but you can try it yourself

      (That PDF also gives alternative print queue names of Campus_Black_and_White and Campus_Color – maybe sub those in for CampusBW?)

      Pharos itself sometimes supports IPP printing. On my (Linux Mint) system, running `ippfind` lists the IPP printer I have on my network. Try running that on your system oncampus and see what you get. IPP printers can be configured easily once you know the ipp:// URL.

      Otherwise, there is an independent Pharos implementation here:

      That repo is a bit old (6 years) and there are reported issues that make it unclear what state it’s in. But it would be worth a shot. And if you were to spruce it up and send them a PR (if you know any Python) you’d be a hero.

      Pharos also apparently supports a more recent print protocol called IPP Everywhere; conveniently, CUPS on Linux also has implemented support, though it’s recent (but you’re running Arch so no problem!) See That might be an alternate route to connecting directly to the printers.

      Other universities that use Pharos also have this problem, see for an example – you may find help that’s not BYU specific, such as the above git repo.

      Please post here if you find a resolution other than the web print page. This post lands high in search engine rankings for BYU printing so it would be nice if we get updated information here as soon as it’s available. Good luck!

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