Print Server

Tom Schaefer netd at
Thu Apr 20 16:06:22 GMT 2000

Gerry Maddock wrote:

> Ok, here's my setup: I've had a samba file server going for about a year
> now. It's Samba v2.05a on a RH6.0 sys. Currently we have a printer
> server running on a Winblows NT box. This NT box has the following
> printers: HP5si, (4) HP4000, and a few HP4s. All of those  printers have
> Jet Direct ports on them. What I want to do is, move all the printers
> over to the Samba box and KILL the NT box.


> Reading into the Samba book, it seems that yes, Samba can become a print
> server by reusing existing shares off of other Winblows, unix or Novell
> shares, or directly connected printers. I don't want to share these
> printers off of another computer, I want them all on one sys.


> Does this mean I have to install allot of parallel ports?


> Cant I just use the Jet Direct ports?

yes - and your Windows users should be able to just print to the HPs without
even using an intermediary print server, i.e. they have their own
IP/IPX/NetBIOS server capability on board.

> I just purchased an HP8000N to add to the printer
> collection. I will use this printer for initial testing. OK, here is my
> final question: what is the best way to go about setting all of this
> up????

The HP4000, (and should be same for the 8000) with an ethernet adapter in it -
you can telnet to it and configure it once you set it up on the control panel
with an address. I had a client with a Linux DHCP server that gives the HP
printer's their addresses with BOOTP - works fine or you can assign an address
with the control panel on the printer.

Additionally, you can redirect print jobs from the Linux machine to those
remote printers using lpr and setting up /etc/printcap with rm:someipaddress
entries. Sorry I don't have that config with me.

My success with Samba printing took a lot of hai pulling, but essentially, if
you can get the printers to work as Linux printers, either local or remote,
then sharing them under Samba *generally* works.

Don't try to make Samba work until you've debugged the basics of Linux

I have typically used Samba as a Windows-pass-thru print server. Essentially,
hanging a printer of any kind off of a Linux box - and then just sharing it :

/etc/printcap entry:

  optra|Optra SC 1275|lp:\


                                        printing = bsd
                                        printcap name = /etc/printcap
                                        load printers = yes
                                        guest account = nobody
                                        log file = /tmp/log.%m
                                        workgroup = WORKGROUP
                                        preserve case = yes
                                        server string = Optra SC 1275 Samba
Print Server
                                        print command = echo Printing %s >>
/tmp/print.log; lpr -P %p %s; rm %s

                                        comment = Optra SC 1275
                                        path = /tmp/
                                        writable = no
                                        public = yes
                                        printable = yes
                                        print ok = yes
                                        guest only = yes
                                        guest ok = yes
                                        create mode = 0755

All that the above config does is make the printer work for Windows clients.
All the Windows clients do is send a giant glob of canned print data to the
Linux box where is is simply spooled and fed to the printer. No formatting or
filtering is done.

On a SuSE box, you can insall Apsfilter, which essentially sets up a special
set of filters that coordinate with Ghostscript to create a bunch of virtual
printers. It makes a 'raw' printer, which is where you send Windows jobs, and
this is the one you share, and no filters are run against the print jobs coming
to this printer. It also sets up an 'lp', which is where you send 'lp' jobs to,
i.e. you're sitting there surfing with Netscape in Linux, and you want to
print, so you tell Netscape "lpr -Plp" and it will print that postscript job on
the deskjet or epson 850 attached to the parallel port. You can turn a color
printer with no postscript capability into a nice little postscript enabled
printer this way. Works nicely, but you may have to hack some to get the font
support beyond Times New Roman or Helvetica - whatever your Linux box has for
fonts..  And any PCl jobs coming to the same box are just data-globs from
Windows, so you get Postscript and PCL capabilty.

I'm installing a new system this morning, once I get Apsfilter installed, I'll
post the /etc/printcap ...


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