Sharing a printer to XP: Samba vs IPP
On Tue, 18 Mar 2008 10:00:49 -0400
"Benjamen R. Meyer" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> David Blamire-Brown wrote:
> > Hi,
> > This is a question about a small home network set-up for printing. I can't tell if this is OT for this list, but that doesn't seem to be a firm restriction in this part of the world in any case!
> > I have a locally attached printer on a Gentoo machine. I have a Windows XP laptop. I would like to print from my XP laptop over the network to the printer.
> > I have followed the guide on gentoo.org. I've sort of got printing working via Samba, but haven't been able to configure it for XP users to print without having to login to Samba. So I'm looking back at using IPP on the XP laptop.
> > Anyway, the main question is, is Samba a preferred option, or is it just more complicated than using IPP? There are a couple of brief lines about printing via IPP in the Gentoo Printing Guide, but a whole separate guide on using Samba. I can't find any information on use of IPP vs Samba via a brief Google, but maybe I'm just not searching very well.
> I would think Samba would be more an option for when you already have a
> Windows/Samba domain running for the network that everyone authenticates
> through. Granted, as another poster provided, you can enable
> public/guest access, which would make it like a Win9x/Me printer share
> though XP should do fine with it.
> However, I think CUPS/IPP would be a better option. It's very easy to
> configure (I just followed the Gentoo guide for it). And it makes it
> very easy to install on any Windows system. If you have CUPS configured
> properly, you can even have it provide the drivers automatically to the
> Windows systems - I haven't tried that yet. It really impressed me how
> quick and easy it was to install CUPS - both on other Linux systems and
> on Windows.
> There is a Samba/CUPS guide, so I think you can even mix the two a bit.
> There is also one other issue to consider - AFAIK, the SMB protocol does
> not do spooling - so you could get job conflicts, while IPP makes the
> printer a true network printer running via a print server (e.g. CUPS) so
> it has spooling inherent to it. (Someone please correct me if I am wrong
> on this.) So you'll be safer using IPP. I have worked in environments
> where printers were shared similarly - no print server - and it causes
> problems when two people try to print something at near the same time;
> the printer will ignore one job, or switch jobs in the middle - never
> predictable what it would do, though I think ignoring jobs was what
> primarily happened. It's a pain - and that's even with printers that had
> built in network interfaces.
> Just something to consider.
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As far as I can tell from reading the various bits of documentation, using Samba to share a printer relies on the local printing subsystem as well (eg CUPS as you mentioned), so it has no effect on the spooling capabilities of CUPS. CUPS is still providing the print service and spooling capabilities. Samba in and of itself doesn't provide any printing services. It merely moves a file from a SMB client to a spooling area and invokes the local printing subsystem [http://us1.samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/classicalprinting.html]
IPP appears to be a more elegant solution, in that it is far simpler. I can't see any specific advantages of using Samba over IPP. I did seem to get most of the set-up for using IPP and CUPS working. The only issue came when I tried to complete the process of adding the printer in XP. At this point, the XP laptop seemed to hang and I could see no evidence of any activity on the Gentoo machine to suggest why it was hanging. I suspect I have missed something in the network settings on either the XP laptop or on the Gentoo box that led to something not being able to get through to respond to a request from the XP laptop for drivers or similar. In any case, as posted elsewhere, I seem to have got sharing via Samba working.
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