Thoughts on printer management solutions

Hi All,

I’m re-installing quite a few machines at the moment (as customers are realising, 18 months later, that my suggestion to move from W7 to W10 was a good idea…) and by far the biggest time sink seems to be configuring printers.

I’m talking about sites where each printer is networked and is accessed directly not via a dedicated print server and where we are not running an AD domain so pushing via GPO is not an option.

It got me to thinking about print job management and tracking as well. I’ve used papercut in the past for educational establishments and played with cups years and years ago (with no real sucess). Just wondered if there was a go to open source / linux based printer tracking and management system out there.

Any thoughs?

So really you have 2 problems

  1. You need a print server
  2. You want to have the print servers automatically added to the machines without intervention.

I have a few suggestions. If AD is not an option you can write a script to deploy a GPO using LGPO.exe (just google it) and as far as a print server goes you can use a windows box to share the printer or if you want something in the Linux world then cups is really going to be your best bet.

If I were you I would get those machines on an AD domain because if you don’t then you are going to be playing this game anytime you need to make changes to lots, if not all managed machines.

On a side note though I did see a product called nethserver (Centos I think). It is very feature rich and you can get those boxes on a domain and have a print server all on the same box and it does a TON of other things.

I think I have 3 problems (probably 99 really).

1/ print server
2/ auto install
3/ print usage tracking.

Will take a look at nethserver, thanks. I don’t mind having to run a script on each box every now and again but this site has no windows servers so AD is out although we are using Azure AD but only the version that is included with Office 365 Business Pro.

It was more a thought about is there an opensource thing that does the above or 2 out of 3.

Now I come to think about it, I do have a Zentyal file server running at one of these sites, that might do some print sharing stuff.