Raspberry Pi Zero W Cloud Printer

I have always wished I could print things from anywhere. Last week my wish came true. I received an email from buyapi.ca that Raspberry Pi Zero W’s were back in stock. This little $14 computer was going to be the heart of my remote printing solution.

Here are the steps I followed to set up a Google Cloud Printer using a Raspberry Pi Zero W.

My Setup:

  • Raspberry Pi Zero W
  • 32GB Class 10 SD card
  • Raspbian Jessie with PIXEL (full install)
  • SSH and VNC turned on in Pi Settings
    • raspberry icon top left > preferences > raspberry pi configuration
  • Assigned IP address to Pi in router
  • Connected to home network via WiFi
  • Change default pi password in Pi settings (it will be online so it is a good idea to change this)
    • raspberry icon top left > preferences > raspberry pi configuration


  • Update the Pi

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

  • Install printer software

sudo apt-get install cups cups-client "foomatic-db"

  • Add user ‘pi’ to printer users

sudo usermod -a -G lpadmin pi

  • Configure to print remotely

sudo nano /etc/cups/cupsd.conf

  • Change config to the following

# Only listen for connections from the local machine
# Listen localhost:631
Port 631

< Location / >
# Restrict access to the server…
Order allow,deny
Allow @local
< /Location >

< Location /admin >
# Restrict access to the admin pages…
Order allow,deny
Allow @local
< /Location >

< Location /admin/conf >
AuthType Default
Require user @SYSTEM

# Restrict access to the configuration files…
Order allow,deny
Allow @local
< /Location >

  • Reboot the Pi.
  • Add printer to the system.
    • Use the Chromium browser to set up the printer
    • Go to 192.168.x.x:631
      • click Administration
      • click Add Printer (ignore warning)
      • log in using your pi username and password
      • Look for your printer under ‘Local Printers’
      • Select the printer driver and test to see if it prints
        • Remember that printing is one of the most challenging parts of Linux. I had the best luck with the Foomatic drivers.
      • Add a location and add check box to sharing.
  • Go to Chromium setting and scroll to the bottom and check ‘show advanced settings’
    • click ‘Manage’ under Google Cloud Print
    • login to your Google Account
    • click ‘add classic printer’
    • select your printer
    • once added, click the share button and share to other Google Accounts
    • everyone you shared with will now have this cloud printer to print from.

It took me a little while to tweak things to get my printer to work. After a bit of Googleing it now works like a charm and I can print to my home printer from anywhere.

Good luck and a special thanks to Jason Fitzpatrick who’s blog post helped me fix my printer woes.

New Podcast: Stephen Wilson

I was walking through the lobby of the hotel and heard my name being called. It was Stephen and several of his colleagues from Northern Ontario. We have been Twitter friends for some time and this was our first chance to chat face-to-face. I also thought it was a good time to interview Stephen and have him share some of the great things going on in Northern Ontario.

New Podcast: Brock Baker

I met Brock Baker through a mutual friend and we spent some time discussing OwnYourEd Conference. Learn more about Brock on Twitter @birdsintowords or at www.ownyoured.ca

New Podcast: Megan Lowe

Megan is an Australian who has made a home here in Canada. I met up with Megan at the CanConnect Conference in Niagara Falls this spring and took the opportunity to interview her. Have listen and learn about Megan’s involvement with TEDed and her awesome project.

New Podcast: Jane Mitchinson

Today I am posting an interview I had with a friend and frequent collaborator, Jane Mitchinson. We spoke about fake news, journalism, and axe throwing. Have a listen and find out more about how media is becoming more important in how we view world events.

5/5 #5posts5days – The Anticipation of a Holiday

It was suppose to be the last day of my #5posts5days challenge to myself and a few others. However, in my excitement to start my March Break yesterday I did not get my post out on time. But it does raise a question. Where do the breaks in our teaching year come from? I did a quick search for the origins of March Break and could only find that it gained popularity in the 1930’s and it usually coincides with Easter Weekend.

How many of our holidays are based on the Christian calendar and agricultural influence from days gone by? We are off for 2 weeks at Christmas, 4 days at Easter, March Break, 9 weeks for summer, plus a few more here and there. Has there ever been an alternative schedule in Ontario?

When I was teaching in New Zealand in the late 1990’s we worked on a 4 block calendar. We had 50 days (10 weeks) of classes then 2 weeks off. This was repeated 4 times, only the Summer/Christmas holidays were 6 weeks long between school years. It was a great schedule, students and staff were never burnt out and your term had very few interruptions. (FYI Christmas is during the summer holidays in the Souther Hemisphere)

Maybe it is time to get rid of our old calendar and look for alternatives that keep learning fresh and new. What do you think? (Leave your comments below or on Twitter)

4/5 #5posts5days – Doing Away with Subjects

Sorry for the short entry today. I had a family member in the hospital and I wanted to be with them. 

A few weeks ago I visited Beal Secondary School in London to learn more about their Beal Innovates project. What I learned that day was inspirational. They have found a way to do away with subjects and create a true project based learning environment.

I was so impressed by what I saw that I could not help sharing everything that I saw with anyone that would listen. Check out the links below to see some of the really amazing stuff they have going on at the TVDSB.

Thanks to Richard Pardo (@rickpardo) and David Carruthers (@pluggedportable) for sharing their experiences with me.

Thames Valley Innovates

Beal Innovates

3/5 #5posts5days – Google Classroom for Marks

I have been exploring the types of posts I have traditionally posted. On Day 1 of the challenge I shared my thoughts and on Day 2 it was a Podcast. Today is Day 3 of the #5posts5days challenge and I am working on a ‘How To’ to help my colleagues as our School Board migrates to 1:1 Chromebooks for all students.

A few weeks ago I was helping some teachers learn about Google Classroom. I was explaining to them that it was a great tool for assignment management but awful for keeping track of marks. Of course after I said that, I started to demonstrate how you can only download the marks as a .csv file and you would need to import them into Excel or another spreadsheet like Google Sheets.


Of course, just like when you are having computer problems and you ask for help the problem always disappears. Somewhere along the way I missed the memo that you could now export your marks to Google Sheets. Classroom is becoming more of a one stop solution for most classroom needs.


2/5 #5posts5days – Podcast with Alison Bullock

This is my second blog post in the #5posts5days challenge. It is not a reflective post but a podcast where I talk to other educators that I have learned from. Also, face to face with your PLN is a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

This weekend I interviewed Alison Bullock (@aliringbull) over breakfast. We talked about her passions and she taught me that knitting was 11th century coding. I always learn something from Alison, have a listen and you might too.


1/5 #5posts5days – Why Blog?

Via Pixabay

I want to be a blogger. I want to write things that people are interested in reading. I lack the discipline to publish on a regular basis. I wish I could do it!

I was updating my WordPress site on Saturday morning and I was thinking to myself, ‘I really need to blog more’. I started thinking about why I blog. I always hoped it would be a time of reflecting and sharing.

I do occasionally blog. I interview interesting educators and post the podcasts. I post ‘how-to’s’ for things I have found useful in the classroom or at home. I sometimes write reflective pieces and share my thinking. It is this last point I want to further develop.

When I read blogs by George Couros, Seth Godin, Mark Carbone, Vicki Davis, or Tim King. I appreciate the thought and effort they put into their posts and how they share their thoughtful reflections. These are the bloggers I would like to emulate so that I can become a better blogger.

So how did we get here today? Another great blogger, Donna Fry, saw my blog post on Saturday and we started an exchange of ideas on Twitter. Next thing I know, I accepted Donna’s challenge and posted on Twitter that I would be blogging 5 posts over the next 5 days as a way to jumpstart my writing. A hashtag was born (#5posts5days) and this is my first instalment.

If you are like me and find it difficult to attempt a 30 day challenge and wish you blogged more, join me on this challenge and blog for the next 5 days and see if that gets you reflecting and writing.

One more thing, leave your name, blog site, and Twitter handle in the comments so we can follow you.

I am Carlo Fusco and my site is Shift+Refresh+Me and you can find me on Twitter @mrfusco.