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Ubuntu - Adding HotSpot to AirPrint Server

Enabling HotSpot to your Ubuntu AirPrint Server requires a second USB Wi-Fi Adapter. Unfortunately, Linux is notorious for having finicky plug and play support for USB Wi-Fi Adapters and most of the documentation out there will be mostly out of date. However, a good resource is https://github.com/morrownr/USB-WiFi where the owner keeps the information up to date. This article will show two examples of how to install USB Wi-Fi Adapters using the above resource.


STEPS

1. Install a 2nd USB Wi-Fi Adapter

2. Disable Wi-Fi Connection on primary adapter

3. Enable HotSpot on primary adapter

4. Connect secondary adapter to external wi-fi (Venue Wi-Fi, etc)


DIAGRAM

As seen in the diagram below, the Primary Wi-Fi Adapter will be enabled as a HotSpot, and the Secondary USB Wi-Fi Adapter will be used to connect to an external Wi-Fi source for internet access. This setup will allow the laptop and all other devices in the HotSpot AirPrint access to the Printer and simultaneously accessing the web (for text and email output)



Install a 2nd USB Wi-Fi Adapter

While I cannot document all the different types (i.e. adapter chipsets) of USB Wi-Fi Adapters, I am giving two examples of specific adapters I already own. The Linksys WUSB6300 v1 (Realtek RTL8812AU chipset) and the BrosTrend 650Mbps WiFi Adapter (Realtek RTL8821CU chipset).



Installing Linksys WUSB6300 v1


1. Click on Show Applications, then click on Terminal


2. Install the following apps by typing "sudo apt install -y build-essential dkms git iw"


3. Create a source directory by typing "mkdir -p ~/source"


4. Go in to the source directory by typing "cd ~/source"


5. Download the Driver by typing "git clone https://github.com/morrownr/8812au-20210629.git"


6. Go in to the newly created driver directory by typing "cd ~/source/8812au-20210629"


7. Install the driver by typing "sudo ./install-driver.sh" and wait a few minutes


8. Type "n" for editing the driver options file, and then "Y" for rebooting. Let Ubuntu reboot





Installing BrosTrend 650Mbps



1. Click on Show Applications, then click on Terminal


2. Install the following apps by typing "sudo apt install -y build-essential dkms git iw"


3. Create a source directory by typing "mkdir -p ~/source"


4. Go in to the source directory by typing "cd ~/source"


5. Download the Driver by typing "git clone https://github.com/morrownr/8821cu-20210916.git"


6. Go in to the newly created driver directory by typing "cd ~/source/8821cu-20210916"


7. Install the driver by typing "sudo ./install-driver.sh" and wait a few minutes


8. Type "n" for editing the driver options file, and then "Y" for rebooting. Let Ubuntu reboot


Disconnect Wi-Fi Connection on Primary Adapter

1. Click on the top right corner, then click on "Settings"



2. Click on the Primary Adapter (Here it's Intel 7260) and Click on the Connected Gear Icon


3. Click on "Forget Connection"


Enable HotSpot on Primary Adapter

1. Click on the 3 Dots and click on "Turn on Wi-Fi Hotspot"


2. Enter your Network Name (i.e. Wi-Fi SSID) and password, then click on "Turn On"


3. HotSpot is now Active


Connect Secondary Adapter to External Wi-Fi (Venue Wi-Fi, etc)

1. Click on the Secondary Adapter (Here it's Linksys WUSB6300) and click on the Wi-Fi you want to connect to

2. Type in the password and the Secondary Adapter is now connected to the external Wi-Fi giving all devices connected to the HotSpot AirPrint access plus internet access




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