Printing to a local Printer


Printing to a local printer

If you have a Professional or Enterprise subscription, you can print files to a printer near you providing VNC Viewer is running on a desktop computer.

You cannot print files if VNC Server has a Home subscription, nor if you are using VNC Viewer on an iOS, Android or Chrome-powered device.


A. Local printer. B. Desktop computer running VNC Viewer. Printer A must be the default printer. C. Computer running VNC Server, and hosting the files to print.

This powerful feature is ready to use out-of-the-box. Connect using VNC Viewer and print in the expected way for the application you are using, for example by selecting File > Print. Your local printer is automatically shared with the VNC Server computer and made its default while the connection is in progress, so the correct device should already be selected. Your request is added to the printer’s queue and executed in turn.

A best possible quality print finish is attempted. This may mean the contents of the file are scaled to fit the dimensions of the local printer’s paper. If the results are unexpected, you might be able to manipulate them.

Watch the video:

Manipulating the quality of the print finish

The quality of the print finish is determined by the characteristics of the local printer. For example, if the file is a color photo but the local printer only prints in black and white, then color will be lost.

You may be able to configure printer options in order to achieve a better quality print finish. You should do this before you connect in the expected way for your operating system, for example by selecting Control Panel > Devices and Printers under Windows 7.

If you are already connected, then you may be able to configure some printing preferences for the application you are printing from. This may include rotating pages, changing the page order, choosing a number of pages per sheet, and advanced options such as changing the resolution or paper size. For more information, consult the application’s documentation.

Troubleshooting printing

If you cannot print, check the following:

  1. Are you sitting in front of a desktop computer? You cannot print from VNC Viewer for iOS, Android, or Chrome.

  2. Are you connected to VNC Server with a Professional or Enterprise subscription? You cannot print if VNC Server has a Home subscription.

  3. If you are using a previous version of VNC Viewer or VNC Server, is it at least version 4.5? Printing is not supported by earlier versions.

  4. Are both computers running supported platforms? Printing is not supported between any combination of the following platforms:

    • Windows NT 4
    • Ubuntu 6.06 and 7.04
    • Debian 3.1
    • CentOS 2
    • Solaris 8
    • HP-UX
    • AIX
  5. If the VNC Server computer is running Linux or macOS, is CUPS version 1.3 or later installed? For more information, consult the platform documentation.

  6. Is the local printer connected to your computer? Is it switched on? Is it ready to print? Does it have paper? Is it set as the default printer?

  7. Has VNC Viewer been configured to prevent your local printer becoming the default printer for the VNC Server computer when you connect? If so, the local printer will not be automatically selected, so the print request may have been sent to the wrong printer.

    Note that if another VNC Viewer user connected to the same computer before you, then their local printer will be the default. You cannot change this. You will always have to explicitly select your local printer when you print.

    If you have to explicitly select your local printer, it will have a name of the form <printer-name> via VNC from <VNC-Viewer-computer-name>, for example HP Color LaserJet CP2020 via VNC from Neptune

  8. Has VNC Server been configured to disable printing? If you have access, check global permissions on the VNC Server Options > Users & Permissions page.

  9. Has VNC Server been configured to prevent you printing? If you have access, check permissions for the user you are registered as on the Options > Users & Permissions page.

Setting up printing on older platforms

Printing should work out-of-the-box on modern platforms. Other platforms are not supported (see bottom). For the following platforms, prior configuration is required.

Solaris 9 and 10

You must ensure CUPS (the Common UNIX Printing System, allowing a computer to act as a print server) is installed.

Note that CUPS is no longer available on the Solaris Companion CD. You may be able to install if from a previous version of the CD.

SUSE 10 and 11

You must run the following commands as a user with administrative privileges:

  1. Open the file /etc/cups/cupsd.conf in a text editor.
  2. Search for the text RunAsUser Yes.
  3. Change Yes to No.
  4. Restart the CUPS service: /etc/init.d/cups restart
Was this article helpful?
4 out of 11 found this helpful



Please sign in to leave a comment.