Chapter 10. Sharing Printers Over a Network

In This Chapter

  • Understanding printer service

  • Creating print queues and printer pools

  • Publishing printer queues to Open Directory

  • Helping Mac and Windows clients print

Printer sharing, or print serving, is a useful feature for both users and network administrators. For users, a print server eliminates waiting for a printer when it's busy. Administrators get management tools that can keep track of how often different printers are used and who's using them, as well as keep track of print errors.

Mac OS X Server allows you to set up a shared print queue for any printer. When users hit their Print buttons, the print job doesn't go to the printer, but instead goes to the shared print queue on the server. The print server feeds print jobs in the queue to the printer one at a time. You can also schedule printing and assign priority.

Mac OS X Server also allows you to set up a printer pool, which is basically a queue that can feed print jobs to multiple printers. This is useful for where there's a lot of printing is going on, such as in a school's computer lab.

A Second Helping of Protocol Soup: IPP, LPR, and SMB

One great thing about Snow Leopard Server's print service is that any client can print to any printer connected to the server. Without a server, the user's computer communicates directly with the printer, and the computer and the printer both need to support the same technology. When you throw a print server into the mix, here are the two steps ...

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