In this article with corresponding how to film we are going to explain how to connect printers in UCS. Univention Corporate Server offers a printing system that can be implemented even in complex environments. Printers and printer groups are managed in the Univention Management Console, UMC for short. The print services are based on CUPS – that’s the Common Unix Printing System. The printer queues are managed by CUPS and UMC.
PPD files (PostScript Printer Description) describe the technical capabilities of the printers. These files contain information about the printers’ features, i.e. whether it’s a color device, whether duplex printing is possible, which paper trays are available, which resolutions and which printer command languages are supported (e.g. PCL or PostScript). UCS provides a variety of PPD files, so most printers can be accessed and configured without having to install additional drivers. If you have to set up extra PPD files, please have a look at our manual.


Film: How to Connect Printers in UCS


Connecting a Printer

Install the Print Server CUPS app from the Univention App Center. If you also installed the app Active Directory-compatible Domain Controller or Windows-compatible Memberserver, UCS will automatically make the printer shares available as Samba printer shares additionally to the CUPS printer share.
To connect to a device, it has to be attached directly to the UCS server (USB or parallel port) or be accessible in the network. Now, let’s add a local printer first. Open the Printers module in the UMC, either by clicking the menu entry right after installing the app or from the UMC start page (Devices / Printers). Select Add, then Printer Share: Printer and choose a name. If necessary, you can also assign a Windows name. Next, select the print server from the drop-down menu (“ucs.home.intranet” in our test environment) and a protocol (usb:/ in our case). For more information about the available protocols and the destinations, have a look at the UCS manual.
So, it’s time to enter the destination (Canon/BJC85?serial… in our example), select the manufacturer (Canon) and the model (we chose Canon BJC-85 Foomatic/gutenprint-ijs.5.2). Optionally, you can enter a location and a description. Click the checkbox Enable quota support to activate print quotas for your users. Finally, click on Create Printer – done.

Adding a Network Printer

Now for another example: a network printer. In our next example we are going to connect a HP Color LaserJet CP3525. The first step is to create a new computer object in the management console. Choose IP managed client as a system role (Type) and assign a new name, i.e. “colorlaser”. The name is important as it defines the printers’ address later. Next, select the network and enter the MAC address of the printer. If you can’t find the MAC address on the back, open the printer’s network configuration page (web interface). Make sure to enter the correct IP address and click on Create Computer.
You can configure the new printer via the UMC Printers module now (see previous paragraph). In our example we chose the address ipp://colorlaser.home.intranet/ipp. Adjust the path and the protocol to your own environment. As a driver we selected HP Color LaserJet CP3525 Postscript (recommended) (color).


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Access Control and Printer Management

As a final step, we can adjust the printer’s configuration and define which users are allowed to print on it. Open the printer in the management console and choose Access control in the menu on the left side. If you don’t want to grant unlimited access to a printer, you can create rules and allow certain users or groups to print on that device. It’s also possible to block users or groups specifically. How you configure your printers is entirely up to you – we do recommend organizing the users in groups, though. Click Save to finish the setup.

CUPS organizes printers in classes, and they are implemented as printer groups in UCS to increase the availability of the print services. A print job automatically goes to the first available printer in the group. The selection of printers works according to the round-robin principle which ensures a balanced utilization.
The print server app offers an additional module called Print jobs (section Devices in UMC). Here you can see a list of all print jobs and manage them (pause, resume, delete). Additionally, you can deactivate a printer. If you’ve enabled quotas, this is where you manage them. To delete a printer, go to Devices / Printers, select the device and click Delete.

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Michael began his training as an IT specialist for system integration at G&M IT-Systeme GmbH in 2007. There, he subsequently provided support for small and medium-sized enterprises in the Support, Administration and IT Security departments. He also completed further training as an IT security manager. In 2013, he joined Univention’s Professional Services Team as an Open Source Software Consultant and has been head of this area since early 2019.

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