How do I make “black&white” the default?

When I print something (Firefox 5 but also other apps), the option “color” is always set to “Color (CMYK)”. How do I make “monochrome” or “black & white” the default?

This is a Kyocera FS-C5100DN with CUPS 1.4.6-5ubuntu1.3.

[EDIT] Output of lpstat -d -v:

system default destination: FS-C5100DN
device for FS-C5100DN: socket://

So the question is now: Can I change the default somehow on my own computer without changing settings on the server?


Thank you for visiting the Q&A section on Magenaut. Please note that all the answers may not help you solve the issue immediately. So please treat them as advisements. If you found the post helpful (or not), leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Method 1

You can configure CUPS defaults for your account by running the lpoptions command. Run lpoptions -l to see what options are available for your printer, and determine which one corresponds to the color/monochrome choice. For example, with this output

$ lpoptions -l | grep Color
ColorModel/Color Model: Gray Black *RGB CMY CMYK KCMY

I would set ColorModel to Black. Then run lpoptions -o NAME=VALUE to set a default option. This creates a file called ~/.cups/lpoptions that applications using CUPS will read.
lpoptions -o ColorModel=Black

Other printers may use different parameters, e.g.
lpoptions -o ColorType=Mono

You can define aliases for sets of options and make one of them the default.
lpoptions -p FS-C5100DN/bw -o ColorModel=Black
lpoptions -p FS-C5100DN/color -o ColorModel=RGB
lpoptions -d FS-C5100DN/bw

Method 2

Most CUPS printer drivers have this in their options settings. I don’t know about Ubunutu but a default CUPS installation will include a special local-host only web server that can be used for configuration and management of printers. Try this URL:

From there go to the Printers tab, select the printer you want to modify, then choose “Set Defaults Options” from the Administration menu. My printer has B&W default options under the Printout Mode tab, but yours may vary.

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments