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Samba HowTo Guide
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Central Print Serving

Configuration of a simple print server is easy if you have all the right tools on your system.


  1. The print server must require no administration.

  2. The print spooling and processing system on our print server will be CUPS. (Please refer to CUPS Printing Support, for more information).

  3. The print server will service only network printers. The network administrator will correctly configure the CUPS environment to support the printers.

  4. All workstations will use only PostScript drivers. The printer driver of choice is the one shipped with the Windows OS for the Apple Color LaserWriter.

In this example our print server will spool all incoming print jobs to /var/spool/samba until the job is ready to be submitted by Samba to the CUPS print processor. Since all incoming connections will be as the anonymous (guest) user, two things will be required to enable anonymous printing.

Enabling Anonymous Printing

  • The UNIX/Linux system must have a guest account. The default for this is usually the account nobody . To find the correct name to use for your version of Samba, do the following:

    testparm -s -v | grep "guest account"

    Make sure that this account exists in your system password database (/etc/passwd).

    It is a good idea either to set a password on this account, or else to lock it from UNIX use. Assuming that the guest account is called pcguest, it can be locked by executing:

    root#  passwd -l pcguest

    The exact command may vary depending on your UNIX/Linux distribution.

  • The directory into which Samba will spool the file must have write access for the guest account. The following commands will ensure that this directory is available for use:

    mkdir /var/spool/samba
    chown nobody.nobody /var/spool/samba
    chmod a+rwt /var/spool/samba

The contents of the smb.conf file is shown in the Anonymous Printing example.

Example7.2.smb.conf for Anonymous Printing

# Global parameters
workgroup = MIDEARTH
netbios name = GANDALF
security = SHARE
passdb backend = guest
printing = cups
printcap name = cups
comment = All Printers
path = /var/spool/samba
printer admin = root
guest ok = Yes
printable = Yes
use client driver = Yes
browseable = No
Samba HowTo Guide
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  Published under the terms fo the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire