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Samba HowTo Guide
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Printer Migration

The installation of a new server, as with the migration to a new network environment, often is similar to building a house; progress is very rapid from the laying of foundations up to the stage at which the house can be locked up, but the finishing off appears to take longer and longer as building approaches completion.

Printing needs vary greatly depending on the network environment and may be very simple or complex. If the need is very simple, the best solution to the implementation of printing support may well be to re-install everything from a clean slate instead of migrating older configurations. On the other hand, a complex network that is integrated with many international offices and a multiplexity of local branch offices, each of which form an inter-twined maze of printing possibilities, the ability to migrate all printer configurations is decidedly beneficial. To manually re-establish a complex printing network will take much time and frustration. Often it will not be possible to find driver files that are currently in use, necessitating the installation of newer drivers. Newer drivers often implement printing features that will necessitate a change in the printer usage. Additionally, with very complex printer configurations it becomes almost impossible to re-create the same environment no matter how extensively it has been documented.

The migration of an existing printing architecture involves the following:

  • Establishment of print queues.

  • Installation of printer drivers (both for the print server and for Windows clients.

  • Configuration of printing forms.

  • Implementation of security settings.

  • Configuration of printer settings.

The Samba net utility permits printer migration from one Windows print server to another. When this tool is used to migrate printers to a Samba server smbd , the application that receives the network requests to create the necessary services must call out to the operating system in order to create the underlying printers. The call-out is implemented by way of an interface script that can be specified by the smb.conf file parameter . This script is essential to the migration process. A suitable example script may be obtained from the $SAMBA_SOURCES/examples/scripts directory. Take note that this script must be customized to suit the operating system environment and may use its tools to create a print queue.

Each of the components listed above can be completed separately, or they can be completed as part of an automated operation. Many network administrators prefer to deal with migration issues in a manner that gives them the most control, particularly when things go wrong. The syntax for each operation is now briefly described.

Printer migration from a Windows print server (NT4 or 200x) is shown. This instruction causes the printer share to be created together with the underlying print queue:

net rpc printer MIGRATE PRINTERS [printer] [misc. options] [targets]

Printer drivers can be migrated from the Windows print server to the Samba server using this command-line instruction:

net rpc printer MIGRATE DRIVERS [printer] [misc. options] [targets]

Printer forms can be migrated with the following operation:

net rpc printer MIGRATE FORMS [printer] [misc. options] [targets]

Printer security settings (ACLs) can be migrated from the Windows server to the Samba server using this command:

net rpc printer MIGRATE SECURITY [printer] [misc. options] [targets]

Printer configuration settings include factors such as paper size and default paper orientation. These can be migrated from the Windows print server to the Samba server with this command:

net rpc printer MIGRATE SETTINGS [printer] [misc. options] [targets]

Migration of printers including the above-mentioned sets of information may be completed with a single command using this syntax:

net rpc printer MIGRATE ALL [printer] [misc. options] [targets]

Samba HowTo Guide
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