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Print Services - Pandemic Planning


In a pandemic situation you would expect that most of us would be off site and that printing wouldn't be used very much. However, assuming there is a skeleton crew on board someone should try to keep the printing services ship shape. There are two primary print servers, one for staff and postgrads, and one for the undergraduate teaching labs. These have DNS aliases - infcups and atkrbcups, where the krb stands for kerberised. In addition some admin staff particularly on MDP machines route their printing through the IS print service, which is sometimes better at dealing with Microsoft based outputs. The E-Financials system also routes directly from an IS server completely by-passing our print servers.

Staff and Postgraduate Printing (AT Offices and Forum)

The main server for the Forum and AT Offices is This is also the router between the printer wire and various services outside such as the IS print servers and the Xerox supplies system. It is also the mail gateway for scan to email and the DHCP server for the printer wire. If this server goes down then a lot can break. If it needs to be replaced then all those services need to run somewhere else.

Undergraduate Printing (Student Labs)

The main server for Undergraduate teaching labs is This then passes job control to the IS print-charging system which queues the jobs and charges students for usage. Monitoring atkrbcups is straightforward but we'll need to refresh the knowledge of how to monitor jobs at the far end in IS. See

E-Financials and MDP printing

E-Financials has two different ways of printing information. The basic printing from web pages just works the way this would normally, but the printing of Purchase Orders requires set-up by the user, and in the case of setting up a new printer liaison with IS/FIS. Any difficulties here are usually in the setup stages and printer selection. Printers that are E-financial printers have firewall holes so that the IS print server can access them.


All scanning is now scan to email. We don't support scanning to file anymore. This requires that all MFDs know to send mail to the gateway/router machine currently infcups. In the event that Infcups is down it should be possible to get the backup print server to act as mail router by copying the configuration from the main one.

Supplies and Support

The Xerox MFDs order their own supplies when needed, usually reasonably well in advance. Each consignment should carry the serial number of the machine requiring supplies. (Note separating boxes tied together can lead to boxes with no destination serial number on them). Forum reception has a list of serial numbers and MFD locations and contacts the relevant admin office to arrange collection. Each admin office stores their own MFD supplies.

Sometimes the Xerox supply mechanism slips up and we find ourselves short of something, usually exactly as it needs to be replaced. In this situation you can try to find a spare locally, in the first instance try Level 1 admin office. If we don't have the relevant part then sometimes it is possible to get them from the IS Select Print team who can be contacted through the usual IS channels or by contacting Angus Currie directly. If you've borrowed a spare from somewhere or just want to order a part then you can do it through the Xerox Fleet Management Portal (FMP)

Access to the Xerox FMP is available at Username and Password available on request from Services Unit. User support also have a copy hopefully in a safe place. Use the serial number of the machine in question as a search filter. The rest of the user interface is fairly self-explanatory.

You can use the Xerox FMP to arrange a visit from an engineer to fix any problems requiring technical support.

This FMP service unfortunately has a bad habit of expiring passwords if unused for a while. In a pandemic situation someone should check we have access and keep it live. All Xerox MFDs have firewall holes so that they can communicate with the xeroxserver system.

HP Printer supplies are co-ordinated within the school depending on the location of the printers. Supplies for the printers in the tower are currently divided between ISS student printers, kept in the support and level eight admin who co-ordinate supplies for the upper floors.

In the Forum supplies for HP printers are kept in the low cupboards at the front of the Support area.

For current supplies levels see

Some Technical details

The header files controlling the infcups and atkrbcups are cups-server.h and cups-kerborised-server.h The component is lcfg-cups. There is a backup print server,, which sits mostly idle but gets used for testing etc. It could be used to stand in for one or other of the main print servers, although it is only currently configured as a non-kerberos server. The printer network is wire-N Nearly all of the Xeroxes have their network configs set manually rather than by DHCP because they were frequently losing their configurations and then were unable to post scans to users. This means that if infcups was moved then they'd need to be reset to the new smtp server manually.

Information on how to configure Windows Managed Desktop Printers can be found on the computing help site.

-- GordonReid - 03 Apr 2015

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Topic revision: r4 - 03 Apr 2015 - 14:40:02 - GordonReid
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