As I now managed to run OpenELEC on my new RPi I wonder if and how I can this device use as a printserver. What I have done so far:

Created a samba.conf in /storage/.config to use at boot time instead of the read-only samba.conf in /etc/samba. In this file I turned "load printers" to "yes". The connected Canon printer is still not available. It is neither shown in Windows via the SMB in explorer nor available via a local TCPIP port in the windows printer installation. As no package manager is available in OpenELEC (aka apt-get) I cannot install cups or something else.

Is there a way to get OpenELEC to work as a printserver anyway?

2 Answers 2


unfortunately, I'd imagine this being quite difficult. OpenELEC is really, really locked down with the intention of making it more stable and foolproof (bullet proof). The side effect is as you said, no package manager, read only for most storage locations, etc.


download and compile (cross compile for rpi arm v6 arch or compile on another rpi) the cups source somewhere, then copy it to the sd card of openElec.

You can try remounting the partition as rw

mount -o remount,rw /flash 

copy the compiled cups to the /bin direcotry or wherever cups is expected to be for your samba config.

remount partition as ro

mount -o remount,ro /flash

good luck!

  • thinking about it, you may still have issues with not being able to have write access to the /flash partition... you could try setting it in rw mode for a bit and see what happens if there's any problems initially.
    – SnakeDoc
    Mar 13, 2013 at 8:52
  • yeah, it seems a very uncomfortable way of doing this... thinking about changing the os to a package-enabled and writeable one. however, thanks! Mar 14, 2013 at 14:03
  • The Rasbian image is quite nice if you have not checked it out yet. I think you can setup XBMC on the rasbian, which would give it media center capabilities - although admittedly not as good or specialized as the OpenELEC distro (which is all about media center. This would give you the "flexibility" you are looking for though since OpenELEC is so locked down by design.
    – SnakeDoc
    Mar 14, 2013 at 14:38
  • Yeah Raspbian is cool but I had trouble with crashes after about 2 days of running the machine, sometimes mouse pointer disappeared (didn't came back again) and so on. I currently use my Pi as print server and soon with Nagios... Mar 19, 2013 at 15:49
  • make sure you have a good quality power source (good cable that can deliver plenty of power, not all USB cables are made equal). Also retry the copy to SD card (i usually do the image with dd on a linux box...)
    – SnakeDoc
    Mar 20, 2013 at 5:22

I would suggest trying XBian or OSMC. Both are based on debian, and easy to install packages. I am running OSMC Kodi and print server via samba.

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