My local CUPS server is confused about the name of the printer I use. It has two names: hpext and hpext@vm-cups. I can never predict which one is going to work, and if I use the wrong one, jobs just sit in its queue indefinitely.

There are no printers listed in /etc/cupsd/cupsd.conf; instead I have the line

BrowsePoll cups.eecs.tufts.edu

This server lists only hpext and not hpext@vm-cups.
I'm thinking that somehow my local server is confused, and if I can delete the printer from its memory, all will be well. But nowhere in the documentation can I find a command to delete a printer, and the DELETE PRINTER button on the stupid web interface has no effect.

What can I do?

  • did you take a look at lpadmin's man page?.. lpadmin helps you to manage cups' printers Aug 16, 2011 at 20:59
  • 1
    @Luciano: dammit, lpadmin -x was there the whole time. Please write an answer so I can upvote and accept. Aug 18, 2011 at 2:09
  • Alright, done ! Aug 18, 2011 at 15:25

3 Answers 3


lpadmin helps you to manage cups' printers


man lpadmin

I believe what you need is

lpadmin -x
  • Maybe it's useful to list the printers before removing: lpstats -s
    – Jaime M.
    May 30, 2015 at 17:56
  • 4
    Think it should be lpstat -s.
    – sebastian
    Mar 18, 2019 at 13:42
  • there is no option -x Jul 14, 2021 at 23:37
  1. On web, enter http://localhost:631/printers/
  2. Click on printer to be deleted.
  3. Select Delete Printer in Administration drop-down list.
  4. Confirm Delete Printer by clicking on it.
  • After pressing "Delete Printer" (step 4) I got an error "Forbidden". I needed to use Luciano Facchinelli's solution - lpstat -s to find the printer name, then sudo lpadmin -x [printer name from lpstat -s] May 30, 2021 at 5:35
  • doing this makes the printer immedately appear again. this is no use. Jul 14, 2021 at 23:37

The other way around this would be to turn off automatic browsing of Network Printers and just add the one printer you want manually. I think the reason the Delete button "has no effect" is that CUPS is getting a broadcast/notification that a "new" printer is available on the network.

Addition: If you don't want to lose those printers you already have, add them to your local CUPS instead of relying on broadcast.

  • 1
    I don't want to lose the color printer, the high-speed copier, etc. Aug 18, 2011 at 2:09

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