Wed Apr 25 19:55:31 UTC 2018
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Documentation: Administration


Printer Administration

NOTE!: Please read "Operations Staff Docs" first if you have not already. This document assumes that you have read it.  This document only covers the "Printers", "Multiserver Control", and "Admin" menu sections. "Operations Staff Docs" covers the "Jobs/Queues" section.




Adding/Modifying/Deleting Printers and Synchronization


Multiserver Control


    The following is a description of how to add, modify, and delete printers via the phpPrintAdmin system.

    There are some important terms and concepts that must be clear for the sake of this discussion, though.

    There are three basic components to any enterprise printing environment: The client(s) that is printing a job, the print server(s) that is managing jobs, and the printer(s) that is printing the job.

phpPrintAdmin allows for the management of jobs and printers in a centralized manner. A central database on the primary server (atlas) stores all the relevant information about all the printers in the organization. Based on this database, configuration files for each print server at each office are created and delivered to them when needed.

As an administrator, you can add/delete/modify printers, as well as manage and view jobs on the servers.

This document is intended for those that already have an understanding of print servers, queues, jobs, and so forth.


Creating printer selection lists and "view printers":

When performing the operations described below, the first screen will typically be a "selection" screen, in which you are asked to give some criteria to generate a list of printers to select from for performing an operation on.  This is necessitated by the large number of printers in the printers database.

            To select a printer, simply enter some search term in the text box provided.  This search term can be a filter by either printer name, ip address, or device model. Additionally, you can further filter the list by only listing printers from a certain server – hence, the "server"dropdown menu.  The "fuzzy/exact" option will determine the search string type – whether only to find "exact" matches for the string, or to return all matches that contain the string ("fuzzy").

            In the "view printers" screen, there is the additional option of selecting what kinds of information you want to see about a printer. That’s what the checkboxes at the bottom are. This is only in the "view printers" section since most of these types of information are intended to be read-only, and therefore "viewed only"(not modified).  Please note that some printer database entries may not have all of this information available, and may result in a blank returned entry. 

Adding a Printer:

            There are two general steps in adding a printer:

1)      Add the printer via the web interface and do a synchronization

2)      Add and set Windows driver information for the printer in Samba from a Windows NT workstation at the "local server"


Adding the printer via the web interface:

             To add a printer or plotter, you must first determine some information about it.  The most important pieces of information are the following:

  • Printer Name
  • Printer IP Address (must be statically assigned!)
  • Printer Model (e.g. HP 5Si, HP 8100)
  • Printer’s Local Server
  • If the printer is a plotter or not

With this information in hand, go to http://atlas/pa, and log in as an administrator.  See the "user administration" section for a clarification of what administrators, operators, and guests are.

Once logged in, click on "add printer"under the printer section. If you don’t see the add printer option, then you’re not logged in as an administrator.

Enter the appropriate fields in. If the printer model is not in the drop-down list, please contact to make arrangements to add this printer model to the database.

VERY IMPORTANT : If you are setting up a plotter, set the "filtered" option to "no". By setting "no" for filtering, there will be no filtering of Unix jobs before they are sent to the plotter.

You may be wondering what the "Local Print Server"option is. In this option, choose the print server that is "local"to the printer itself. In other words, if the printer is in Camarillo, then the local server is "calprint". 

After that, click on any other print servers at remote locations that you want the printer to be visible at, as well. For example, if you want to allow people at the New Orleans office to print to your printer in California, you would click on "atlas", which is the local server in New Orleans. By doing this, atlas will have an entry for the printer after you do a "sync".

 VERY IMPORTANT: You MUST choose whether the device is a printer or plotter from the drop down on the right – this is important for the generation of Unix configuration files at the time of synchronization. If you’re not sure of this, you can say "printer"for the time being.

            After entering the information, click on "add printer". A message screen with some logging information will appear. If everything went okay, the last line of this screen should say something like:

Printer: your_printer added

Now you must perform a sync to update the remote servers with the new information. Please follow the instructions in the section called "How to Synchronize the Servers"for syncing servers, and then proceed with these directions.

Adding the Printer Driver(s) for Windows clients

After you have done the synchronization, the printer should now be added as a Unix print queue to your local print server. Samba should also display this added printer via a Windows browsing window.  The printer is fully set up, with one exception: The Windows driver.


The final step is to associate/install the appropriate Windows driver with the printer. This must be done via a Windows NT workstation.  Additionally, you must be set up as a "printer admin"on the Samba server. If you have not been set up as an administrator, please contact to have this arranged.


Browse to the print server via the "run"command. For example, if your print server name is "calprint", enter \\calprint at the prompt to browse there.


A list of printers should appear. At the end of this list should be a folder icon labeled "printers".   Server settings for printers can be modified in this folder. Double click on it.  A nearly identical listing of printers should appear, and your new printer should appear as well, so long as the synchronization worked okay.


Right click on your new printer, and select "properties". There should be no driver associated with it, so an error message should be displayed indicating that a driver has not been installed for the printer, and asks if you want to install one. Counter-intuitively, click on "no".  A properties window should now appear for the printer.


Click on the "advanced"tab.  Among the items listed, there should be a drop-down called "driver". First, see if the server has the driver you need for the printer already installed. If it does, select it, and then press okay.


IF the printer driver is not installed, click on "New Driver…"in the same window. A driver installation wizard will appear – follow the directions there for installing the driver to the server.


Once the driver is installed, press "apply".   You need to also set the driver settings for this particular printer. Click on the "device settings"to set the appropriate settings for the printer. For example, if the printer supports duplex printing, you would indicate something like this under the "device settings"window.  You can also indicate printing defaults for the printer, which are defaults the clients will have when they get the driver information from the print server.


After setting the settings you want, click on "okay".  The window should disappear, leaving the list of printers on the server. Close this as well.


That’s it! If everything went okay, your printer should now be available to both Unix and Windows clients.  Please contact if you have any problems, questions, or suggestions.  Please bear in mind that phpPrintAdmin will change over time, with the intent of shortening the steps involved in adding, modifying, and deleting printers. Stay tuned!

Modifying a Printer


            If have not read the section entitled "Adding a Printer", please do so before continuing.


            To modify a printer, first answer the question: "Am I modifying this printer for Unix clients or Windows clients".  Read the appropriate section for an answer.


Modifying a printer for Unix clients

            First, log in as an admin into http://atlas/pa.  Select "modify printer".  After finding your printer from the list you make, a page will appear similar to the "add printer"screen, except that some values are already in place. These are the current values for the printer. Make the changes you want to make, click on "modify printer".  This will update the printer database, but you must then do a server synchronization for the change to propagate to the servers themselves. See the section entitled ""for information on how to synchronize the servers.  Once this is done, your changes should have been made.


Modifying a printer for Windows Clients

            The only modifications that are exclusive to Windows clients is the Windows driver information for a printer. If you need to perform operations such as changing a printer’s IP address, or it’s name, then use the steps in "Modifying a printer for Unix clients".  Changes done in here will propagate to the Windows clients, as well.

            If you need to change a windows driver or it’s settings, though, you need to use a Windows NT/2000 workstation as a printer admin to make these changes.  Essentially, just follow the steps for adding a windows driver in the section "Adding the Printer Driver(s) for Windows clients", but apply these steps to the printer in question.




Deleting a printer


Deleting a printer is probably the simplest operation. Simply click on "delete printer", select a printer from the list you have generated, and then click "submit query".  A message should be returned indicating that the printer was deleted.

Afterwards, you must do a server sync to propagate the changes to the print server(s).


Adding/Modifying Remote Queues

If you have already set up a printer, and wish to make it available to other offices, then this is the option you want. You MUST have already set up the printer, though.

            Click on "add/modify remote queues", and select a printer with some search criteria.  A list will come up of available remote servers to add the printer to. If the remote server already has an entry for the printer, then the checkbox for that server will be checked.  You can check/uncheck servers you wish the printer to be visible at, and then click "modify printer".

Do a server sync to propagate the changes to the servers, and everything is complete.



Server Syncronization


            When any operation is done modifying the printer database, a synchronization must be done to "push" these changes out to the printer server(s).  Why do this manually? Because it’s important for the user to know when these changes are happening. 

            The synchronization reads the current printer database and generates print server configuration files based on it. For example, it creates a printcap (used by LPRng) and a printers.conf (used by Solaris printing commands).  After creating a custom set of configuration files for each print server, each server is notified that new files are available for them on the primary server. Within a minute, the servers should copy the new files to themselves, and reread them into LPD and Samba.


How to Synchronize the Servers

            Synchronizing the servers is easy – just click on "initiate sync"in the menu on the primary server. A screen will come up asking for a confirmation of the sync. Click on "sync servers", and the sync will commence. Various logging messages will appear showing the progress of the sync.  If everything goes well, you should see some (albeit cryptic) messages indicating that the configuration files were generated and that the remote servers were notified. Within about one minute, the remote servers should silently download their config files and everything should be in place.


            You can and should check that these settings propagated to the servers by doing a check via Windows or a Unix prompt (depending on the changes you made).  For example, if you’re adding a new printer, do a "lpq –Pyour_printer"on the local server to see that the new printer has been added as a Unix queue.





  This software is distributed under the GNU General Public License