Samba and CUPS

Spent the day yesterday setting up CUPS at work as part of our general “kill the NT4 domain controller” plan. Well, that’s not entirely accurate, it’s more like “Spent an hour installing and configuring CUPS for all our printers, five minutes configuring Netatalk to use CUPS, and six hours getting the Windows drivers and Samba to play nice.”

Getting the Windows drivers to auto-download reminds me a lot of the “who’s to blame” question in 28 Days Later. In the movie, the animal rights activists at the beginning definately have the direct responsibility for releasing the virus. I empathise with the activists ideals and goals, (since the university was torturing animals—to create some drug that would be useful in keeping the population docile) but when a dude in a lab coat is screaming at you to not open the cage because “the animals are infected,” you don’t open the cage. But, of course, if the lab wasn’t inventing apocalyptic, zombifying, contagious diseases, and testing them on hapless monkeys, there wouldn’t have been a problem in the first place.

Likewise, though the problem turned out to be with Samba, libnss_winbind, and the way they map permissions (and a co-worker who suggested I add a broken line to smb.conf which I forgot to take out), if Windows didn’t require an absolutely batshit insane way of handling the “Print” button by forcing it through their drivers, I wouldn’t have had to do anything special in the first place. After all, with Netatalk 2.0.2, it was simply a matter of adding one line to papd.conf and restarting the service.

Oh, and about an hour of that time was spent searching for the cups-samba drivers for Windows, which is not only unbelievably difficult to find, but also doesn’t appear to work properly — and cupsaddsmb doesn’t work at all. 😦

2 thoughts on “Samba and CUPS

  1. At work we went through this problem about 6 months ago, the windows > samba > cups was not reliable at all. Upgrade any part and it broke.

    So we removed samba from the printing equation. All our systems are Windows 2000 and XP which can print directly to cups using IPP. Throw the relevant PPD file from on there with the Cups windows driver and it all works perfectly.

    Currently we’re setup with a netlogon script that connects the printers on login, only hickup is you have to login as a network admin first to install the drivers, but that is only once.

    It’s been working relabily and faster for a good 6 months now.

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