Project 46 - Replacement of LPRng with CUPS

Most of this project was completed by Alison Downie before and just after the move into the Forum, including installation of the CUPS component and documenting it. Neil Brown provided the wrapper script that handles the old -Z options to lpr and accompanying documentation. Ian Durkacz provided invaluable help in sorting out routing to and from the printer network for eFinancials. Craig Strachan wrote the user documentation.

The server side of CUPS is managed by the CUPSng component on the print server (infcups.inf.ed.ac.uk currently astrotype) via the live header CUPSng-server.h. This defines the printers, network permissions, browse hosts etc.

Documentation is on the wiki here ServicesUnitCupsSetup

Some aspects of the project were hived off into other projects, specifically the print quotas option, which has not been implemented. A new project is intended to complete this for the start of the new academic year in Sep 2010. Also although printing for self-managed machines was originally a separate project that was subsumed by this project.

After CUPS was installed and running on DICE and MDP clients the final process towards shutting down of the LPRNG servers was getting self-managed and eFinancials users off of the print servers. Around 40-50 former BP and current AT based users were still using the LPR file servers linotype and powell as was the eFinancials purchase order printing.

Self managed users were contacted and advised to consult the local CUPS user documentation. Most complied without problem or complaint although some had problems following the documentation. Some clarifications were made.

IS were contacted and details sought about the eFinancials users and printers they had listed in our 'area'. eFinancial uses lpr and elsewhere in the university is configured so the MIS server communicates directly with each printer. By setting up the appropriate routing and firewall holes and testing with a new eFinancials printer queue it was possible to test this and then roll it out to all the eFinancials users. (Note this is only for purchase-order printing. Reports generated by eFinancials on web pages do print through CUPS)

Notes on the current eFinancials setup are here ServicesEFinancialsPrinting

Issues for consideration

Currently authorisation to print to our server is based on networks, not userids or Kerberos. This is not ideal because it means that jobs from self-managed machines come with non-UUN names and it can be difficult to account for who is actually printing.

Things we didn't consider but which cropped up, included - clearer documentation (including diagrams) for MAC users and Windows Vista. Printing from Eduroam. Printing from central wireless (this is possible with - VPN). Easy provision of printer drivers and the feasibility of using advanced features of Canon printers. Also according to the printer logs some people are still using samba to print which may not be desirable.

Some printers seem unable to use DHCP and can only be brought up using BOOTP. Since nothing was actually routing off the printer wire the default gateway in the DHCP config was initially wrong, pointing to a non-existent server.

-- GordonReid - 27 Jan 2010

Topic revision: r1 - 27 Jan 2010 - 17:59:34 - GordonReid
 
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