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Samba HowTo Guide
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Raw Print Serving: Vendor Drivers on Windows Clients

Most traditionally configured UNIX print servers acting on behalf of Samba's Windows clients represented a really simple setup. Their only task was to manage the “raw” spooling of all jobs handed to them by Samba. This approach meant that the Windows clients were expected to prepare the print job file that is ready to be sent to the printing device. In this case, a native (vendor-supplied) Windows printer driver needs to be installed on each and every client for the target device.

It is possible to configure CUPS, Samba, and your Windows clients in the same traditional and simple way. When CUPS printers are configured for raw print-through mode operation, it is the responsibility of the Samba client to fully render the print job (file). The file must be sent in a format that is suitable for direct delivery to the printer. Clients need to run the vendor-provided drivers to do this. In this case, CUPS will not do any print file format conversion work.

The easiest printing configuration possible is raw print-through. This is achieved by installation of the printer as if it were physically attached to the Windows client. You then redirect output to a raw network print queue. This procedure may be followed to achieve this:

Procedure21.1.Configuration Steps for Raw CUPS Printing Support

  1. Edit /etc/cups/mime.types to uncomment the line near the end of the file that has:

    #application/octet-...
    

  2. Do the same for the file /etc/cups/mime.convs.

  3. Add a raw printer using the Web interface. Point your browser at https://localhost:631. Enter Administration, and add the printer following the prompts. Do not install any drivers for it. Choose Raw. Choose queue name Raw Queue.

  4. In the smb.conf file [printers] section add use client driver = Yes, and in the [global] section add printing = CUPS, plus printcap = CUPS.

  5. Install the printer as if it is a local printer, that is, Printing to LPT1:.

  6. Edit the configuration under the Detail tab and create a local port that points to the raw printer queue that you have configured above. Example: \\server\raw_q. Here, the name raw_q is the name you gave the print queue in the CUPS environment.

Samba HowTo Guide
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