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Old 04-21-2010, 03:05 AM   #1
irneb
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Linux Printserver as bridge between Vista & NT


Before I state the question, a bit about our current setup:

We've got 60+ workstations running on M$ OS's ranging from 32bit XP to 64bit Win7. The main reason behind this is our major programs (AutoCAD, Revit & 3dStudio). We can simply not find anything comparable and no way of getting anything working through Wine (except maybe a 10+ year old version of AutoCAD ... not on). So the client side is stuck to M$ unfortunately.

We have a linux file server, but due to another program (our timesheet entry system) we have a Win Domain server as well. Getting screwy aint it ? Wait it gets better!

Now our main printer is an OcÚ TDS600 - large format B/W laser. This is about 10 years old but still runs quite well. The problem is it uses a OcÚ Proprietary Rip Server running on WinNT 4.0. Just peachy ... none of the Vista / Win7 PC's have any hope of printing to this dinosour (only the XP boxes if you circumvent windows' spool service - which is only possible if your program has the capability of sending direct to a network address, as AutoCAD can).

We've asked OcÚ what to do about this. Their answer: "Upgrade to our new Win2007 Rip Server." ... Uhmm ... there's 2 problems: (1) it's expensive as hell; (2) the old printer will not work with their new server ... so we'll need to upgrade that as well ... even more expensive.

So my idea was (at first) to create a spool server on an XP box. Trying to setup a printer driver on Vista/7 to frint to a PRN file on a shared folder. Then have a custom program running on the XP box which simply polls the folder, and copies any files direct to the NT box, then deletes the copied files. Again, M$ screwed this idea. The Vista/7 printer drivers may not save to any remote location at all ... ever.

Now my question / idea: Is there any way to create a Linux box which would have a simple pass-through printer. Sharing this to allow any Windows PC to use as clients. Then simply doing a direct binary copy to the share on the NT box?
 
Old 04-22-2010, 12:45 AM   #2
tommyttt
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Quote:
So my idea was (at first) to create a spool server on an XP box. Trying to setup a printer driver on Vista/7 to frint to a PRN file on a shared folder. Then have a custom program running on the XP box which simply polls the folder, and copies any files direct to the NT box, then deletes the copied files. Again, M$ screwed this idea. The Vista/7 printer drivers may not save to any remote location at all ... ever.

Now my question / idea: Is there any way to create a Linux box which would have a simple pass-through printer. Sharing this to allow any Windows PC to use as clients. Then simply doing a direct binary copy to the share on the NT box?
The idea sounds reasonable, have each computer print to a file (as if for later printing), then copy the files over your internal network. Each computer would need to have a way to format the output to a format acceptable for the printer, probably necessitating printer driver for each. This wouldn't really need a "printer" on the linux box - drivers for your OcÚ TDS600 probably aren't available for linux anyway.
 
Old 04-22-2010, 11:39 PM   #3
irneb
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Thanks, I was fearing that would be the only answer.

BTW, the TDS uses a HPGL2 printing language (and works well with the standard - out the box - driver on Win for HP DesignJet 750). So could I possibly try that driver on Linux?

But actually I was not asking for a specific driver. All the driver really needs to do is take the stream from the client and send it direct to the printer in binary format (not text) - no need to format it as the client's driver has already formatted it correctly.
 
Old 04-23-2010, 01:26 AM   #4
tommyttt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irneb View Post
Thanks, I was fearing that would be the only answer.

BTW, the TDS uses a HPGL2 printing language (and works well with the standard - out the box - driver on Win for HP DesignJet 750). So could I possibly try that driver on Linux?

But actually I was not asking for a specific driver. All the driver really needs to do is take the stream from the client and send it direct to the printer in binary format (not text) - no need to format it as the client's driver has already formatted it correctly.
I know that windows drivers can be used in linux but they require using an ndiswrapper. Don't know how that works as I've never had to use one.

Good luck and let us know if we can be of any other help.

Tom
 
Old 04-23-2010, 02:25 AM   #5
jiml8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irneb View Post
Thanks, I was fearing that would be the only answer.

BTW, the TDS uses a HPGL2 printing language (and works well with the standard - out the box - driver on Win for HP DesignJet 750). So could I possibly try that driver on Linux?

But actually I was not asking for a specific driver. All the driver really needs to do is take the stream from the client and send it direct to the printer in binary format (not text) - no need to format it as the client's driver has already formatted it correctly.
If I were you, I certainly would try that driver in Linux, if the Windows version works.

Maybe set up samba to share an HP DesignJet 750, then set up a "virtual printer" port to lead to the NT installation?

I'm not sure how to do that, offhand, but I'm sure it can be done.

Edit:

this might be useful
http://aplawrence.com/SCOFAQ/FAQ_sco...tualprint.html

Last edited by jiml8; 04-23-2010 at 02:27 AM.
 
  


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