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System Administration Guide: Solaris Printing
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Determining a Method to Use for Printer Setup and Administration

The following sections describe printing services, tools, and protocols that you might choose to use for setting up and administering printers in the Solaris release. Each tool, service, and protocol has advantages and disadvantages. Some tools and services are more appropriate for specific uses, while others can be used for all, or most, printing tasks that you might perform. Unless otherwise mentioned, all of the following printing tools are available in the Solaris Express, Solaris 10, and compatible Solaris releases. Also, all of these printing services and tools use LDAP, NIS, and NIS+.

Selecting Printing Tools and Services

This section describes the tools you can use to perform printer setup and related tasks.

The following tools are available:

  • Solaris Print Manager

  • lpadmin command

  • PPD File Manager (ppdmgr)

  • OpenSolaris Print Manager (in the GNOME Desktop Environment)

Solaris Print Manager

Solaris Print Manager, /usr/sbin/printmgr, is a Java technology-based GUI that you use to perform setup tasks for local and remote printers, either directly attached and network‐attached.

For directly attached and network‐attached printers, you can perform the following tasks:

  • Create a print queue.

  • Modify a print queue.

  • Delete a print queue.

For remote printers, you can use Solaris Print Manager to define access to the print queue. Note that a remote printer is a printer that has a print queue that is defined on a system other than the local system. For more information about terminology that is commonly used in this book, see Glossary.

lpadmin Command

The lpadmin command, /usr/sbin/lpadmin, is a command-line tool that you can use to perform all of the tasks that you can perform by using Solaris Print Manager performs. Several additional tasks that cannot be performed by using Solaris Print Manager can be performed by using the lpadmin command. For more information, see Setting Printer Definitions.

PPD File Manager

You can use the PPD File Manager utility, /usr/sbin/ppdmgr, to administer PPD files on Solaris systems. The PPD File Management utility is the preferred method for adding PPD files to a system's PPD file repository. For more information, see Chapter 9, Administering Printers by Using the PPD File Management Utility (Tasks).

OpenSolaris Print Manager GUI

The OpenSolaris Print Manager GUI is available in the GNOME Desktop Environment. When you initiate your desktop session, the tool is started. The tool monitor printing events, such as when a printer is attached to a system or detached from a system. When you connect a new printer, the system discovers the device through the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) and begins the print queue configuration process. A dialog that contains preconfigured printer information is displayed, enabling you to configure the new printer or reconfigure a print queue for an existing printer. For more information, see Automatic Printer Discovery and Configuration in the Desktop Environment.

To use all of the features of the Print Manager tool, you must be running at least the Solaris Express 1/08 release. For more information about this support, see Chapter 10, Setting Up and Administering Printers From the Desktop (Tasks).


Note - For printer setup, the GNOME Desktop tools and the Solaris Print Manager tools are easier and more convenient to use than the lpadmin command. These tools provide sufficient printer attributes in most situations. However, you might need to use the lpadmin command when setting up printers with printer attributes that cannot be defined by using Solaris Print Manager or GNOME Desktop tools.


For more information about setting up printers, see Chapter 4, Setting Up Printers (Tasks).

Determining Which Printing Protocol to Use

The Solaris Print System uses two over-the-wire protocols for sending print requests from a print client to the print server. The following table describes the printing protocols that can be used for printing in the Solaris OS.

Table 2-1 Supported Printing Protocols

Network Printing Protocol

Server-Side Support?

Client-Side Support?

For More Information

Internet Printing Protocol (IPP)

Server-side support for the IPP listening service is available, starting with the Solaris 10 release.

IPP client-side support is available, starting with the Solaris Express 8/06 release.

Appendix A, Using the Internet Printing Protocol

RFC-1179 protocol

Supported in all Solaris releases.

Supported in all Solaris releases.

Overview of the RFC-1179 Printing Protocol

SMB protocol, through Samba


Note - The SMB protocol, through Samba, is an implementation that enables interoperability between Linux and UNIX servers, and Windows-based clients.


Supported, starting with the Solaris 9 OS.

Supported, starting with the Solaris 9 OS.

Using the SMB Protocol

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  Published under the terms fo the Public Documentation License Version 1.01. Design by Interspire