[Samba] Samba 3.4 / 3.5: Printer settings not available for normal users

Jack Downes jax at nwmt.us
Mon Jan 17 11:13:45 MST 2011

Marc Muehlfeld wrote:
> Hello,
> since samba 3.4 we have the problem, that printer options,
> preconfigured by the admin (number of paper trays, output etc.), are
> not available for normal users. They only see the default settings.
> Domain Admins and users with SePrintOperatorPrivilege doesn't have
> this problem.
> Guenther already started fixing this issue about 3/4 year ago
> (https://bugzilla.samba.org/show_bug.cgi?id=6727), but it was never
> finally fixed. :-(
> I meanwhile found postings and bug reports on the web about the same
> or similar sounding issues, with different drivers. So it seems, I'm
> not alone. We are having the issue here with Sharp MX-2600n drivers.
> Do any others encounter the same problem? Or better: Does anybody
> found a solution?
> Regards,
> Marc
We also have this problem however we take advantage of it. I work at a
hospital where we have some 400-500 printers (depending on if you count
the clinic printers as well or not) and about 2500 users. We use ADS for
authentication, etc.

Now, the way we view Samba is as a driver deployment platform. What this
means is that as Print Operators, the IT department has full rights to
the printserver - they setup the printers and the drivers. We have
drawer settings, but for most situations it doesn't matter. Drawer
settings are not saved though this next process and you'll understand
why in a second.

So, great, now to the standard user. The standard user doesn't have any
of the privileges... So I've written a script, (it's more of an ugly
hack) which will determine which samba/winnt server the printer they are
using is on, and if there is a printer of that same name on a CUPS
server. If there is, this script installs the new printer, and removes
the old printer. It also has the advantage of naming the printer "ORADM"
instead of "ORADM on printserver". At this point the users are all full
admins of the printer - can change drivers, drawer settings, etc, but
ONLY for their PC. Their changes have no effect on their neighbors'

So... that's our fix, convert the printers from being Samba printers to
using CUPS directly. Mind you, if that script isn't run, then the user
can still print using Samba - as it just goes through cups anyway. We
are just taking out the middleman on this equation.

As it turns out, there is a nice side effect to this: network traffic
between a client PC and CUPS is considerably less than the same network
PC and a printer connected via Samba. For 2500 users, we noticed. for
2500 users, our average load went from 1.something to nearly idle all
the time.

I've go a lot of documentation on this, and eventually I aim to
contribute this back, but the project is not fully operational, as I
cannot correctly add printers - even with full rights - on a samba
server via Windows APW. Untill this part works, I'm not releasing a
broken idea... no need to feel like a moron ;)

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