IP printing to Jetdirect boxes

Stephen L Arnold arnold.steve at ensco.com
Fri Nov 19 18:13:36 GMT 1999

On 19 Nov 99, Robert Steinmetz had questions about Re: IP printing 
to Jetdirect boxes:  

> David Heritage wrote:
> > All,
> >
> > Hey hey, am new so if this is way basic, flame on. ;-)  I have a Dell
> > Poweredge 2300 running RedHat 6.0 and whatever versions of samba and
> > such that are part of that distribution.  Samb 'works' from the
> > standpoint of file sharing and printing in a sense.  The issue is that
> > the printer is an HP Laserjet 4 connected via an external HP Jetdirect
> > box running IP.  The only connection to this box is made via remote lpr
> > from my linux box.  I then have that q 'lp0' shared via samba.  I was
> > expecting to have print jobs spooled off of my workstations so their
> > overhead would be smaller when printing large jobs.  That has not
> > happened.  The machines act as if they are just sending info through the
> > linux server rt now.  They get very sluggish and come back to normal
> > after the jobs finishes on the printer.  At one time they were all
> > connected to the printer via a share on another win9x box and they
> > 'worked' (as well as any MS product can) as I would expect.  Any ideas?
> >  Do I need a newer dist.?  I can attach config info for the printer on
> > linux if necesary, but I do not have any issues with it 'printing' just
> > spooling/ performance.
> Why don't you use Hp's software on all of the workstations and take your
> server out of the loop?

It sounds like he wants samba/linux spooling working, which is a 
cleaner solution, IMHO.  I'm still running an older version of 
samba and RedHat (until the new hardware comes so I can upgrade 
everything), and our PC/LAN guy only believes in windoze solutions 
:( so our print server is a dedicated win95 box with 3 printers (an 
HPLJ4, HPLJ-III, and epson color).  It only locks up every few days.

However, I have samba printing enabled and I can redirect windoze 
print jobs through samba to the windoze box with the printers, and 
it works fine.  The jobs leave the windoze box immediately, spool 
on the linux box, and print (unless the spooler on the windoze box 
has a brain-fart, then it's re-boot time).  If it were up to me, 
I'd shoot the windoze print server and connect all the printers to 
a linux/samba box.

The thing is, most of the JetDirect stuff (except the latest 
expensive printer models) can only handle a single connection at a 
time, plus they have no spool space (unless the printer has the 
hard disk option).  Since windoze print spooling is notoriously 
unstable and problematic (at best), spooling to a linux/samba box 
is the best option.

David: If your jobs are not spooling under linux, then you'll need 
to check/modify some of the samba and/or linux print settings.  
What print commands/settings is samba using?  Does lpr work fine 
from linux?  Are you using the stock RedHat print filters, or 
lprng, or something else?  Where are the jobs being spooled, and is 
there enough disk space for large PS files?

Check out the linux printing and printing-usage HOWTOs and do some 
testing.  Post the results.


Stephen L Arnold                      http://www.rain.org/~sarnold
#include <std_disclaimer.h>

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