CUPS Driver for Zebra Printers on Mac - ConnectEasy | Troubleshoot

Mac uses two printing systems: CUPS and Carbon. Shippingeasy's printing software ConnectEasy uses CUPS to complete postage printing jobs.

What is CUPS?

CUPS is owned by Apple for Mac and Unix-like systems. It uses an IPP protocol (Internet Protocol Printing) for printing. It allows network printing browsing and PPD (PostScript Printer Description) printing options to support server-based printing.

CUPS contains a list of printer drivers and various ports and serial connections that match those drivers. This takes the guesswork out of questions such as "do I need to use a certain port?" or "what driver do I need?" It also makes it easier for manufacturers, allowing them and printer-driver developers to create drivers without as much guesswork.

Should I install a CUPS driver?

If you notice you are having issues with your Mac/Linux system combined with a Zebra printer, it could be that the printer was not installed properly. Officially, Zebra does not support Macs in any way nor do they provide a driver for any of Zebra devices when used with a Mac.

This may mean that you need the CUPS driver installed, which is a third-party driver. While Zebra suggests using CUPS, they do not offer support for it nor does the maker of CUPS provide support. Download the CUPS driver installation guide (PDF) from Zebra.

Before installing the CUPS driver there is a possible workaround we have found at ShippingEasy. Try the following step.

CUPS Work-Around Solution:

  1. Connect your Zebra Printer to your Mac via the supplied cable or via WiFi if you have the necessary hardware.
  2. Navigate to your Mac's System Preferences and select Printers & Scanners. Older operating systems may call this Print & Scan.

  3. If the printer is already installed, uninstall it. To do that, click on the printer on the left side and click the - symbol to remove the printer.

    You will be asked if you are sure you want to delete the printer. Select Delete Printer.
  4. Click the + symbol next to where you found the deletion symbol. This allows you to add a printer.

    NOTE: you may need to unlock this page with an administrator login/password combination before you are able to edit it. If this is required, you'll see a padlock icon on the bottom left corner of this page. Click the padlock icon.
  5. You will be brought to a new page with printer options. Select the appropriate printer.
  6. Click on the Use drop-down menu to select the correct driver for your device. The most commonly accepted driver with the Zebra 2844 and ZP4 450 is the Zebra EPL2 Label Printer Driver option. This may also work for other printers, too.
  7. Select OK when the printer driver is selected.
  8. Click Add.
  9. You can now test your printer.
    NOTE: a restart of the printer and computer may be necessary for changes to take effect.

If that did not work you can install the CUPS driver via the Zebra installation guide.

Why are my CUPS printer settings not saving when I update them?

If you have both CUPS and Carbon printing systems set up on your Mac, verify which system is considered to hold the default settings. If CUPS is not the default, update the Carbon settings to match those of CUPS as those are the settings that ConnectEasy will use.

  • CUPS printer settings should be changed via the web browser at https://localhost:631.
  • Carbon is accessed via the GUI.


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