Dancing the SAMBA: An Introduction to Living with Windows

Linux as a Printer Server

So, how do you make Windows talk with our server? There are three ways:

  1. Make Windows talk the standard lpd protocol with your printer server. This is easy to set up (on the server side). Simply install the cups BSD command support package for your distribution (In Debian, cupsys-bsd) and enable the server in your inetd configuration. Then, configure your Windows machine to use a network printer server as described in your Windows documentation.
  2. Use Samba and share your printer the Windows way. A HOWTO is available. You should use a Windows machine to upload the drivers to the server and share it. The main problem with this approach is that the processing is done on the client rather than the server, and server dumps raw data to the printer. Sometimes, you would have to disable bidirectional communication in the printer driver to enable this mode.
  3. A hybrid approach. Use Samba and CUPS to share your printer as a PostScript printer and supply a PostScript driver for Windows. A HOWTO is available for this approach as well.
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