[kwlug-disc] Linux replacement for Windows Domain Server

Daniel Agar daniel at agar.ca
Wed Nov 25 15:23:26 EST 2009

Here's a solution I use for printing in a mixed environment.

You configure all of your printers (local, via windows sharing, ipp,
jetdirect, etc) in cups on your samba server. Then add these printers
to samba (cupsaddsmb) with the cups postscript drivers for Windows. So
when a windows machine tries to access a printer (the first time) it's
sent a generic postscript driver, and all printing is centralized with
cups. Linux machines just need cups browsing enabled and they get
access to printers automagically.

On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 15:22, unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> wrote:
> Bob Jonkman wrote, On 11/25/2009 1:32 AM:
>> It's like you read my mind.
> Some thoughts for you:
> One way to get rid of some printer sharing issues is to get NICs for each
> printer and lose the workstation connection. Go to LPR printing. Even if you
> only tell the Samba server about the printers, to get central
> authentication. Issue in the sense of an item making your life more
> complicated in trying to move forward. There are external printer sharing
> devices out there that aren't too expensive. Even some dsl routers have
> printer sharing capability - not that I'm suggesting you put routers
> everywhere for the routing use. (Cheap routers also turn out to be cheap
> localized 4 port switches. You can save running a cable by hooking a printer
> and computer into it and the net cable currently going into that computer.)
> This is also an opportunity to reduce the number of printers and,
> especially, the number of incompatible ink cartridges you have to keep in
> office supplies inventory.
> - $15 - http://www.factorydirect.ca/catalog/product_spec.php?pcode=NE6145
> - there is a gotcha, IIRC still in linux. In Windows, the act of connecting
> to a shared printer sucks down the driver for it. The same won't be true of
> other solutions. IIRC you can create a shortcut or simple link for people to
> run when they get a new computer / want to connect to that printer the first
> time. Seems to me I simply created a shortcut to a centrally stored
> setup.exe of the printer software.
> Suggestion: lose printer authentication. It's just pointless. You're trying
> to solve a human issue (Don't print on MY printer!) with a technical
> solution. Just a point of maintenance hassle that users have passed on to
> the admin because they can't govern themselves. If everyone can print
> everywhere whenever, a level of complexity / authentication just goes away.
> And for the bigwigs with their own personal printer and they won't get up
> ... don't share those.
> - usually this issue comes up with colour use. If it's a personal printer,
> train the person to turn the printer off when they leave their office.
> Problem solved. <sigh> [It's a human issue. Trust your people, people. If
> you don't trust them, they'll work around you, regardless.]
> From what you have described, you could simply add Samba to your current
> server. Perhaps this is an opportunity to add disk space to it, or even
> better, put in a duplicate server and gain some redundancy. Slap some
> external (esata) drives on one and you have a place to back up to, and
> something to grab in case of fire.
> If you can get sharing OFF local workstations, and printing, workstations
> become as generic as the phone on their desk. There are significant
> administrative (central control/monitoring - as in userids and disk space)
> and security (as in file redundancy / backup) benefits to that. But there is
> also a culture change from disassociating MY computer from MY data (that the
> admin. is responsible for safeguarding). And when a workstation dies, some
> stress is reduced when you replace it and know you don't have to try to
> recover something off the old machine.
> - this actually becomes a selling feature. "If I keep it on the server I
> know it will be backed up and my data is safe!" yada, yada.
> - the gotcha is laptop users who need their files when they're out of the
> office, and need to have it auto. sync when they get back in, so files are
> backed up.
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