[Samba] Different "printer preference dialog" between windows and samba

Albrecht Dreß albrecht.dress at lios-tech.com
Thu Sep 4 11:29:19 GMT 2008

IIRC, the reason for the different behaviour is the "print processor" of the windows printer driver:

Ryan Novosielski schrieb:
>> First I downloaded the printer drivers for windows from HP website (both the
>> Universal Printer Driver PCL6 and the PCL6 driver for P2105 series), and
>> installed them on my windows client, then it created a local printer on my
>> windows client.

In this case, the Win driver and the print processor both run on the Win client, giving you all extra features like n-up printing, watermarks, etc. etc.

>> Then I installed the printer drivers to samba/linux via my windows client.
>> then I connected to the remote printer on samba/linux.

If you want to have a network printer, in M$ terms this means "printer driver running on a Win server".  Here the print processor(or at least a part of it)  will run on the win server, and receive some kind of WMF file from the workstations, which is then rendered /on the server/ into the printer-specific language.  This happens even if the printer is a PostScript one (i.e. where *no* extra rendering is necessary): if you look at the data stream sent to a Win server with Wireshark, you will see a plain PS document, wrapped into the WMF frame.

As the print processor (or whatever part of the driver is running on the Win server) doesn't interact with Samba or CUPS, a printer shared via Samba always falls back to a "standard print processor" which has rather limited features.

The exact extent of features missing depends upon the vendor (i.e. the Win printer driver supplied).  We have a number of HP PS printers which have *much* less options through Samba then through a Win2k3 server, and a Konica-Minolta Bizhub (also PS), which has almost all options both through Samba and Win.

The latter example clearly indicates that it would of course be possible to implement all features in the client, at least in a fallback mode.  In the end, this is again a way for M$ to avoid fair competition, by simply kicking out alternative solutions!

Cheers, Albrecht.

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