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System Administration Guide: Solaris Printing
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Introduction to Administering Printers

After you set up print servers and print clients, you might need to perform these administration tasks frequently:

  • Delete a printer

  • Delete remote printer access

  • Check the status of printers

  • Restart the print scheduler

Administering Local Printers

A local printer is a printer that has a print queue that has been defined on a system that is local to you. A remote printer is a printer that has a print queue that is defined anywhere but your local system. These terms do not have anything to do with whether the printer is physically attached to a system or to the network. The terms strictly define where the print queue was configured, which is important to note because where the print queue is configured determines the print server for that printer. One print server can support all the printers at a particular site.

Administering Network Printers

A network‐attached printer is a hardware device that is connected directly to the network. A network printer transfers data directly over the network to the output device. The printer or network connection hardware has its own system name and IP address.

Network printers often have software support provided by the printer vendor. If your printer has printer vendor-supplied software, then use the printer vendor software. If the network printer vendor does not provide software support, Sun supplied software is available. This software provides generic support for network-attached printers. However, this software is not capable of providing full access to all possible printer capabilities.

The terms “attached” and “network” refer to the way printers are connected to the world. Neither of these terms imply local or remote. Sometimes, these terms are used interchangeably, due to the fact that local printers and attached printers tend to be the same. However, the terms local and remote refer to print queue configuration. The terms, attached and network, refer to the physical connection of the printer hardware only, not how the print queue was configured.

For information about setting up a directly attached and network printers, see Setting Up Printers on a Print Server (Task Map).

For information about using over-the-wire network printing protocols for printing on the network, see Using Printing Protocols in the Solaris Release.

Scheduling Network Print Requests

Each print client communicates directly with a print sever over the network. The communication is done between the requesting command, such as lp, lpstat, cancel, lpr, lpq, or lprm, and the print service on the print server. This communication reduces the print system overhead on client–only systems, improving scalability, performance and accuracy of data.

Print servers listen for print requests with the Internet services daemon (inetd). Upon hearing a request for print service from the network, the inetd daemon starts a program called the protocol adaptor (in.lpd). The protocol adaptor translates the print request and communicates it to the print spooler, and returns the results to the requester. This protocol adaptor starts on demand and exits when it has serviced the network request. This process eliminates idle system overhead for printing. This process also eliminates any additional system configuration for network printing support as was the case in previous versions of Solaris printing software.

Setting Definitions for Printers

Setting definitions for the printers on your network is an ongoing task that lets you provide a more effective print environment for users. For example, you can assign printer descriptions for all your site's printers to help users find where a printer is located. Or, you can define a class of printers to provide the fastest turnaround for print requests.

For information on setting up printer definitions and planning printers on your network, see Chapter 2, Planning for Printing in the Solaris Operating System (Tasks).

Administering Printers That Use PPD Files

Specific modifications have been made to incorporate the RIP feature and PPD files into the Solaris print subsystem. Two interface scripts, standard_foomatic, and netstandard_foomatic, are available. These interface scripts provide the generic Solaris interface between the Solaris spooler and the back-end process of the Solaris print server.

For more information, seeAdministering Printers That Are Associated With PPD Files (Task Map) and Using PPD Files To Set Up Printers.

Administering Character Sets, Filters, Forms, and Fonts

Depending on your site's requirements and the types of printers you have on the network, you might have to set up and administer printer-specific features of the LP print service. For example, you can assign different print wheels, filters, and forms to different printers. For background information and step-by-step instructions on how to set up character sets, print filters, forms, and fonts, see Chapter 7, Customizing Printing Services and Printers (Tasks).

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