Star TSP600 POS printer on Mac


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 18, 2012
hey folks,

i recently got a Star Micronics TSP600 thermal POS printer (TSP613 tear bar type with serial interface) which I am trying toget to work on my Mac via a USB to Serial adapter (PL2303 chip)

Having done some research on this topic many people simply said to buy a USB model and stop trying to get a serial printer run. I didn't like that approach, so I tried it.

I actually got to the point where my printer spits out unreadable gibberish (heureka!!!) but i don't really know why - and I might need some advice from a CUPS/POS guru or simply from someone who has successfully achieved to get such a printer to run...

here's what i did so far:

- installed open source PL2303 USB-to-Serial driver that was recommended here (seems to work, because it shows up in /dev/tty*)

- since Star Micronics doesn't provide a Mac driver for the serial TSP600, but only USB, i went on to find a CUPS PPD file for this printer - which i found in the Linux driver package for the same model (tsp613.ppd.gz)

- installed the Serial Printing Enabler from here

- went to my local CUPS settings page http://localhost:631 to "Administration" > "Add Printer"
- set name and description > next picked "PL2303-XXXXXX" (USB-to-Serial-adapter) as device
- set 9600 bps, 8 bits, no parity, DTR handshake as settings (same as my printer)
- chose the downloaded tsp613.ppd driver file for this printer
- finish

the printer showed up in CUPS and in the MacOS X printer settings as "TSP613 Tear Bar" and i tested it by printing a simple text file, but nothing at all i went back into the CUPS settings and changed the serial handshake to "none" and tried printing again - and it WORKED!!!!!!

err, the TSP600 spit out inches and inches of paper filled with lines of ASCII gibberish, but at least my Mac speaks to the printer now!

i need a hint where to continue! is it a serial settings issue or is it a CUPS driver issue? any more ideas would be highly appreciated!

thanks in advance,



macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2007
i went on to find a CUPS PPD file for this printer - which i found in the Linux driver package for the same model (tsp613.ppd.gz)
I think you're close!
Take a look at the text version (ie, not .gz) of the ppd. In it you find reference to what components are used for the driver. I suspect you are missing a filter that the ppd specifies. Or conversely, a different Mac version driver isn't referred to in that linux ppd.

example from one of my Epsons:
*cupsFilter: "application/vnd.cups-raster 100 rastertogutenprint.5.2"
*cupsFilter: "application/vnd.cups-command 33 commandtoepson"

Hope this helps.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 18, 2012
hi gsahli,

i checked if there's a filter missing - and you were right! thanks! so i took the rastertostar binary from the TSP645 (same printer just with cutter instead of tearbar) and put it in the correct folder.

i tried to print again with the same result: just a meter of paper with gazillions of ????? symbols.

weird thing is that the cups error log doesn't show any errors:

I [29/Jan/2012:01:07:55 +0100] Scheduler shutting down normally.
I [29/Jan/2012:01:07:56 +0100] Saving job cache file "/private/var/spool/cups/cache/job.cache"...
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:45 +0100] Listening to ::1:631 (IPv6)
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:45 +0100] Listening to (IPv4)
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:45 +0100] Listening to /private/var/run/cupsd (Domain)
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:45 +0100] Remote access is disabled.
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:45 +0100] Loaded configuration file "/private/etc/cups/cupsd.conf"
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:45 +0100] Using default TempDir of /private/var/spool/cups/tmp...
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:45 +0100] Configured for up to 100 clients.
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:45 +0100] Allowing up to 100 client connections per host.
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:45 +0100] Using policy "default" as the default!
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:45 +0100] Full reload is required.
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:45 +0100] Loaded MIME database from '/private/etc/cups': 52 types, 49 filters...
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:45 +0100] Loading job cache file "/private/var/spool/cups/cache/job.cache"...
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:46 +0100] Full reload complete.
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:46 +0100] Cleaning out old temporary files in "/private/var/spool/cups/tmp"...
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:46 +0100] Listening to ::1:631 on fd 4...
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:46 +0100] Listening to on fd 6...
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:46 +0100] Listening to /private/var/run/cupsd on fd 7...
I [29/Jan/2012:12:12:47 +0100] Resuming new connection processing...
I [29/Jan/2012:12:35:11 +0100] [Job ???] Request file type is application/pdf.
I [29/Jan/2012:12:35:11 +0100] [Job 188] Adding start banner page "none".
I [29/Jan/2012:12:35:11 +0100] [Job 188] Adding end banner page "none".
I [29/Jan/2012:12:35:11 +0100] [Job 188] File of type application/pdf queued by "flux".
I [29/Jan/2012:12:35:11 +0100] [Job 188] Queued on "TSP600" by "flux".
[B]I [29/Jan/2012:12:35:11 +0100] [Job 188] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/cgpdftoraster (PID 766)
I [29/Jan/2012:12:35:11 +0100] [Job 188] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/rastertostar (PID 767)
I [29/Jan/2012:12:35:11 +0100] [Job 188] Started backend /usr/libexec/cups/backend/serial (PID 768)
I [29/Jan/2012:12:35:27 +0100] [Job 188] Completed successfully.
weird huh? i don't know what to try now...

i'd like to get around the option having to buy the USB interface for the printer for 70 bucks...

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