CUPS/Samba/Postscript nightmares...

Andrew Bartlett abartlet at
Sat Mar 27 10:20:00 GMT 2004

At Hawker College, I maintain a CUPS based printing system.

This printing system is based on a collection of Postscript Laser
printers, PCL printers and 'RAW' inkjets.  The inkjets are connected
with their choice of proprietary windows driver and life is good.

However, the Laser printers are a very different problem.  The first
problem is that I pretend to have less printers than I actually have. 
The printing system visualises all our postscript Laser printers (which
are all HP, as it happens) into a HP LaserJet 1200.

This is done by what I call the 'LocalLaser hack', which is described in
the attachment (which is well worth a read).  In particular, this hack
requires that CUPS reads the incoming job as postscript.

This requirement limits the choice of windows driver, and as such I have
used both the CUPS and Adobe drivers, and recommended by the HOWTO
collection.  The Microsoft postscript drivers seem to generate
incompatible headers and are not detected as postscript by CUPS.


The 'CUPS Driver for Windows 5.0rc3' has a very nasty bug, where
landscape printing is 'cut off'.  The pages are printed as if the paper
was expected landscape in the printer, and the right-hand side of the
page is just missing.  (This appears only on printers that take the
unmodified postscript however)

As such, I wanted to move back to the Adobe drivers, that we had been
running last year.  Resetting the driver worked well for the Win2k
machines, and appeared to work on XP (WinXP SP1, current updates). 

The Problem

This is where I hit the real problem.  WinXP will only load the new
drivers when the logged-on user is an administrator (or possibly a power
user, I have not tested that).  This appears (from memory, and testing)
to be because neither the CUPS, nor the particular version of the Adobe
drivers I am using, are digitally signed by Microsoft. (I tested this by
uploaded the official MS postscript driver for this particular Modal
printer, which was successful)

The 'operation was not sucessful' (I think) was the message, if an
unprivileged user is the first person to use the printer on a particular
WinXP machine.  

This also means that printer drivers do not change - if the first user
to print to a 'changed' printer is not an Administrator, then that
computer will never change it's printer driver, it will use the old

This seriously limits the usefulness of the CUPS printing system on the
WinXP platform.  

Does anybody have any hints, or should I just abandon XP ;-)

Andrew Bartlett

Andrew Bartlett                                 abartlet at
Manager, Authentication Subsystems, Samba Team  abartlet at
Student Network Administrator, Hawker College   abartlet at
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