[Samba] Print Cost Capture

Don Meyer dlmeyer at uiuc.edu
Wed Jul 5 16:29:23 GMT 2006

At 10:44 AM 7/5/2006, David Mathog wrote:
> > Thanks, but that really won't help.  We need to be able to link each
> > printing job to a specific billing code, and user.  Each user needs to
> > be able to work on multiple billing codes.
>You could always roll your own through a web interface.  That is, have
>users print to a file, and then upload that through a web interface
>which requires them to fill in all the fields you need for accounting,
>for instance: username, billing code, project, target printer, number of
>copies, paper size, paper source, etc..  It wouldn't be terribly
>difficult to write but would be a minor PITA for the end users.
>Especially because you'd have to do something to keep the end users
>from ever printing directly to the printers and so bypass the
>accounting system.

We have a homegrown system for student print accounting that allows 
native printing to a central collection queue, where the jobs are 
"held".  Our users must then go to one of several nearby release 
stations where they can select their jobs, authenticate via 
IDcard-swipe or username:password, and choose to release or delete 
the job(s).   Once released, a background process moves the job(s) to 
a "feeder" queue which prints through to the printers.

This system easily supports multiple billing codes, as well as a 
simple staff/student privilege hierarchy.

The catch is that it was written around LPRng.   A couple times now, 
I have attempted to modify (update) the system to use CUPS -- but 
I've always been stymied by the lack of any functions to move jobs 
from one queue to another.

(We have not implemented Samba printing support layered on top of the 
LPD layer, but this could theoretically be done rather easily.  A web 
interface that displays a user's queued jobs and allows release & 
selection of billing code, etc. should also be do-able with enough 
time and resources.)


Don Meyer                                           <dlmeyer at uiuc.edu>
Network Manager, ACES Academic Computing Facility
Technical System Manager, ACES TeleNet System
UIUC College of ACES, Information Technology and Communication Services

   "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little 
temporary safety,
         deserve neither liberty or safety."     -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759 

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