Can printing be so hard‽

Submitted by gwolf on Tue, 09/23/2014 - 13:23

Dear lazyweb,

I am tired of finding how to get my users to happily print again. Please help.

Details follow.

Several years ago, I configured our Institute's server to provide easy, nifty printing support for all of our users. Using Samba+CUPS, I automatically provided drivers to Windows client machines, integration with our network user scheme (allowing for groups authorization — That means, you can only print in your designated printer), flexible printer management (i.e. I can change printers on the server side without the users even noticing — Great when we get new hardware or printers get sent to repairs!)...

Then, this year the people in charge of client machines in the institute decided to finally ditch WinXP licenses and migrate to Windows 7. Sweet! How can it hurt?

Oh, it can hurt. Terribly.

Windows 7 uses a different driver model, and after quite a bit of hair loss, I was not able to convince Samba to deliver drivers to Win7 (FWIW, I think we are mostly using 64 bit versions). Not only that, it also barfs when we try to install drivers manually and print to a share. And of course, it barfs in the least useful way, so it took me quite a bit of debugging and Web reading to find out it was not only my fault.

So, many people have told me that Samba (or rather, Windows-type networking) is no longer regarded as a good idea for printing. The future is here, and it's called IPP. And it is simpler, because Windows can talk directly with CUPS! Not only that, CUPS allows me to set valid users+groups to each printer. So, what's there to lose?

Besides time, that is. It took me some more hair pulling to find out that Windows 7 is shipped by default (at least in the version I'm using) with the Internet Printing Server feature disabled. Duh. OK, enable it, and... Ta-da! It works with CUPS! Joy, happiness!

Only that... It works only when I use it with no authentication.

Windows has an open issue, with its corresponding hotfix even, because Win7 and 2008 fail to provide user credentials to print servers...

So, yes, I can provide site-wide printing capabilities, but I still cannot provide per-user or per-group authorization and accounting, which are needed here.

I cannot believe this issue cannot be solved under Windows 7, several years after it hit the market. Or am I just too blunt and cannot find an obvious solution?

Dear lazyweb, I did my homework. Please help me!

vicm3's picture

Well propietary drivers

Mostly all the needed from W7 to talk to CUPS and do IPP directly come from the printer driver, before it's installed no IPP so maybe you need to retain your samba share to get the drivers (or create a admin template on W7 machines to get printers from the share) but if memory serves right for that you need group policy and to implement that you need, you know windows server [1], I have not needed to implement groups and pass for CUPS, but I think you almost can reuse your old config and only add your W7 drivers and if not jump throughout the annoying config from W7 that is all except intuitive [2], if you already had done this... well I hope someone with more experience on the subject read this entry.

[1] http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd367853.aspx
[2] http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/local/sys/microsoft/printing/

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. If you have a Gravatar account associated with the e-mail address you provide, it will be used to display your avatar.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <br> <b> <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote> <img> <h1> <h2> <h3> <tt> <pre> <strike> <table> <tr> <th> <td>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Use <bib>citekey</bib> or [bib]citekey[/bib] to insert automatically numbered references.
  • Use [fn]...[/fn] (or <fn>...</fn>) to insert automatically numbered footnotes.
  • You can enable syntax highlighting of source code with the following tags: <code>, <blockcode>. The supported tag styles are: <foo>, [foo].

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Keep in mind that all comments will also have to be administrator-moderated. Don't waste your time writing a spam that no one will read.
h
D
3
L
s
R
Enter the code without spaces and pay attention to upper/lower case.