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Samba HowTo Guide
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Point'n'Print Client Drivers on Samba Servers

There is much confusion about what all this means. The question is often asked, “Is it or is it not necessary for printer drivers to be installed on a Samba host in order to support printing from Windows clients?” The answer to this is no, it is not necessary.

Windows NT/2000 clients can, of course, also run their APW to install drivers locally (which then connect to a Samba-served print queue). This is the same method used by Windows 9x/Me clients. (However, a bug existed in Samba 2.2.0 that made Windows NT/2000 clients require that the Samba server possess a valid driver for the printer. This was fixed in Samba 2.2.1).

But it is a new capability to install the printer drivers into the [print$] share of the Samba server, and a big convenience, too. Then all clients (including 95/98/ME) get the driver installed when they first connect to this printer share. The uploading or depositing of the driver into this [print$] share and the following binding of this driver to an existing Samba printer share can be achieved by different means:

  • Running the APW on an NT/200x/XP Professional client (this does not work from 95/98/ME clients).

  • Using the Imprints toolset.

  • Using the smbclient and rpcclient command-line tools.

  • Using cupsaddsmb (only works for the CUPS printing system, not for LPR/LPD, LPRng, and so on).

Samba does not use these uploaded drivers in any way to process spooled files. These drivers are utilized entirely by the clients who download and install them via the “Point'n'Print” mechanism supported by Samba. The clients use these drivers to generate print files in the format the printer (or the UNIX print system) requires. Print files received by Samba are handed over to the UNIX printing system, which is responsible for all further processing, as needed.

Samba HowTo Guide
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