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Old 11-02-2013, 06:16 PM   #1
gezley
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Slackware CUPS server - printing a document to multiple remote locations


Hi.

Disclaimer: I have no experience with CUPS printing.

I have set up a Slackware Samba server at the head office of a local family business, which so far has been used just to serve files. They have 12 branch offices, each of which runs a Windows system with a high-end, USB-connected Xerox PS or PCL printer. At head-office they have Windows computers and a network printer at 172.16.1.244. (Slackware is at 172.16.1.100)

I have OpenVPN up and running on the NetBSD firewall - I have it set up with bridging so that all clients (local and remote) get an address in the 172.16.1.0/24 range.

Using RDP the remote clients can open a file at head office and print to their own local printer. What I would like to do is set up CUPS on the Slackware server so that staff at head-office can send a print job to all the remote printers in one go. Is this possible? I understand this is not Slackware-specific but Googling has made my head spin, and the instructions I have read do not cater for the topology I have here, with mostly Windows clients and point-and-click Windows users.

To be more specific with my questions:

1) do I have to set up each remote printer as a shared printer on Windows first, and then add it to CUPS;
2) do I need to use Samba print sharing - one site suggested IPP as a better option;
3) would users need to open a terminal to Slackware to do this, or can I set up a virtual printer on CUPS which will multiplex a print job to each of the remote printers in one go (making this virtual printer available to the Windows computers at head-office through CUPS)?

Thank you.

Last edited by gezley; 11-02-2013 at 06:21 PM.
 
Old 11-02-2013, 08:55 PM   #2
allend
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Quote:
1) do I have to set up each remote printer as a shared printer on Windows first, and then add it to CUPS
That would be my approach. I would add the printer as a raw print queue in CUPS.
Quote:
2) do I need to use Samba print sharing - one site suggested IPP as a better option
It is easiest to add the printers connected to Windows machines as SMB printers. You will likely need to include a valid username and password on the Windows system when setting up the connection.
Quote:
3) would users need to open a terminal to Slackware to do this, or can I set up a virtual printer on CUPS which will multiplex a print job to each of the remote printers in one go (making this virtual printer available to the Windows computers at head-office through CUPS)?
Setting up a print queue to print to all printers at once should work.
e.g. http://aplawrence.com/Unixart/dual_print.html
This link contains a reference to Tea4CUPS, which I have not used, but may be of interest.
http://serverfault.com/questions/278...inters-1-queue
 
Old 11-03-2013, 07:29 PM   #3
gezley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allend View Post
That would be my approach.
<reply snipped>

Thanks for your help. I've just spent an arduous day setting this up, and it seems as though I didn't really need CUPS at all. Since everybody is on a Windows client I just needed to share the remote printers on the clients. I then went back to the Windows server at head office and added each printer as a local printer with address //172.16.1.121/branchoffice1, //172.16.1.122/branchoffice2, //172.16.1.123/branchoffice3, and so on. I then set up a virtual printer on Win 2003 called "branches" and enabled Printer Pooling. Under Ports I ticked each printer port I need to print to - //172.16.1.121/branchoffice1, etc.

I have tested it through VNC on a couple of the remote branches and print jobs are completing without error but obviously I can't see whether the jobs are actually printing OK. That will come tomorrow when all hell breaks loose! Or not, fingers crossed!



I must add that the official CUPS documentation is absolutely awful for a beginner. I can't make head nor tail of it and hopefully I won't have to use CUPS for anything more complex than local printing.

Thank you again for your help.
 
Old 11-04-2013, 12:58 PM   #4
gezley
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Well it seems I spoke too soon. Windows printer pooling just means a print job is sent to the first available printer from a pool of identical printers. Microsoft's documentation was none too clear about this, either.

Back to CUPS and Samba then. Shudder. Have no idea where to start.
 
  


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