[Printing-architecture] CUPS printserver + Mac clients?

Douglas Kosovic doug at uq.edu.au
Tue Aug 20 01:58:24 UTC 2013

Hi Alex,

> I'm curious, what is the current paradigm for Mac clients to discover and add
> printers on an enterprise network, if the printers are managed by a central
> CUPS printserver. As I see it, CUPS on Mac OS X 10.7+ doesn't support neither
> BrowsePoll, nor client.conf redirection.
> DNS-SD records?

At my workplace we are using Wide Area Bonjour to advertise 150 CUPS print queues that are accessible across 20 VLANS and VPN.

For the DNS-SD records, I wrote a python-cups script that queries a specified CUPS server and dumps a partial DNS zone file which contains the records for all the shared queues and classes/pools. I can make the script available somewhere if you are interested.
On the print server (CUPS 1.6.3 on Linux), I'm using slightly modified PPD files from OS X 10.8 (if available for the printer), the advantage being that on the OS X clients, the corresponding driver (which has the custom panels and icons) will be automatically downloaded from Apple Updates, but still use the preconfigured PPD file from the print server. The PPD file modifications include the following lines:

*cupsFilter: "application/vnd.cups-postscript 0 -"
*cupsFilter: "application/vnd.cups-command 0 commandtops"
*cupsCommands: "AutoConfigure PrintSelfTestPage ReportLevels"

I also add a *1284DeviceID line to help with auto-selecting the correct PPD when configuring the print queues. There are some other custom modifications I sometimes do, but it varies from printer to printer.

> Anything else that I might be missing?

I think there are some OS X Server based options that allow pushing configurations out to OS X clients, but they weren't practical in our case as we have many visitor and personal Macs that can't be managed.


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