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can a thin client print straight to a printer?

Started by Tony Scott , 14 September 2009 - 12:57 PM
18 replies to this topic

Best Answer Nancy Rickard , 23 October 2009 - 02:02 PM

Hi Tony,

This sounds about right, but let me walk you through it step by step though so I don't miss anything:

_In remote office:_
1 - Setup local and/or networked printers using best driver (through OS if possible, check them against Citrix compatibility list). Although networked printers will not be accessed in Citrix, local printers will be so this is important.

_In central office (where Citrix boxes are):_
1 - Build print server and map to the network printers by IP at the remote office. Take care to use the exact same driver level or you may run into issues.
2 - Create AD groups for your users to determine who gets mapped what printers and who can/cannot have local printer access.
3 - In Citrix, create a policy to prevent client printers from mapping. We setup 3 in this order so they process correctly:
a) Policy to prevent all client printers from being mapped for users in the NO LOCAL PRINTERS group.
b) Policy to map local client printesr only for users in the YES LOCAL PRINTERS group.
c) Policy to prevent drivers from being installed on the server and force printers to use Citrix UPD if driver isn't available, apply this to the servers. This is for server printing stability.
4 - On the Citrix servers, installed the Citrix compatible drivers (must be the same as the ones on the print server) for each of the printers on the print server.
5 - In AD, apply a login script to map the default (we did secondary printers aswell) for each user based on the groups you setup in step 2 above.

_Now for the Neoware units to get the drivers installed:_
1 - Determine what drivers are compatible with each of your printers (i.e. if they will all work with the HP LaserJet Series II driver use that as it will save space and make the print server setup alot easier but you will need to make sure any print servers at remote locations are also using this driver).
2 - Login as admin and install the driver (Printers>Server Properties>Add Driver) but do not map the printers.
3 - Login as the user and map your printers, the drivers should already be installed so this should be instant.

If you run into space issues on the Neowares, here are some tips:
*Remove any language packs you are not using from the Control Panel.
*Remove TeemTalk unless you use it (we don't)
*Remove Adobe Reader and change to FoxIT PDF Reader
*Under C:\XPeLanguagePacks we removed any folders for languages we don't use and under English we also removed the folders for TeemTalk and Citrix 7 as we have upgraded our Citrix client and don't use TeemTalk.
*Remove uneeded user profiles, from the factory the build has 1 extra profile which they forgot to remove. I can't remember what it's called.
*Remove Citrix - We use a Web Interface so we removed the Program Neighborhood client then manually installed the web client

When mapping the networked printers on each of the client computers, make sure you map them as networked printers rather than creating a port and setting them up as a local printer. This will make things much smoother.

I hope this helps, it's worked like a charm for us. If you run into any trouble or need more help, let me know and I will do what I can.

Nancy

Tony Scott Members

Tony Scott
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Posted 14 September 2009 - 12:57 PM

Hi,

Does anybody know of the best way to get a user that is logged in via a thin-client to print directly to the printer rather than sending the print job back to the print server? (the thin-client users' are in a remote office, so this is causing some perfoamce issues)

Also, how can I ensure that each user gets his or her correct default printer when launching a published application? (as there is no underlying guest OS, there are also no local printers setup for the users). I'm figuring a logon script may be the best option, but could do with a point in the right direction.

Thanks.



Sven Heide Members

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:02 PM

Hi Tony,

well it depends on your thinclients on on the os version which they are useing, but i suggest you to place a small server on this remote office and then map the printers via script framework based on some rules... client "xyz" in subnet "whatever" map printer "123" from on printserver "whateverserver".

If you take care of the printer drivers on both sides (terminal-server and print-server) you will never have problerms, or maybe yoiu can use only universal printerdrivers.



Tony Scott Members

Tony Scott
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Posted 15 September 2009 - 08:18 AM

Hi Sven,

Thanks for your reply...

Unfortunately we're restricted by what hardware we can have at this particular site - we only have thin clients and nothing else.

We're using neoware thin clients with Embedded Windows XP - do you have any idea if it would be possible with this configuration?



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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:16 AM

do you have more users sitting on that site? how many?

embedded xp?

i am, not very experienced with this os... can you install a printer locally on that device?

I also once used some thintunes (that was before neoware baught thintunes). But i only used linux os.

I dont think you can use the printer directly like shared on a fat client.

you could only enable the lpr port on the thinclient and from that moment on you can create an lpr port with the thinclients ip adress on the printserver, and on the printserver you can share the printer... so the print server will spool the job and send it to the ip adress of the thinclient.

check if you can connect a local printer to that thinclient... is there somehow a way to do that via the management software?

but then you still need to get this printer into you session, the only way i could imagine is to share that prionter on the client and connect to the printer via network printer, but then you need to use a universal printer driver for that specific printers. I am also not sure about the reliability of that thinclient spooler.

But if i where you i would use a print server on that site... this would make printing much more reliable for these user there... i am sure you will get into some techn. troubles if you are doing it in a another way...


Helpful Answer

Joe Robinson Members

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:34 PM

You should be able to install a printer locally on the XP Embeded machines. I've never used the Neoware XPe devices, but I've used theones from Wyse and HP and they were pretty much the same. Before you install the printer, you'll probably have to disable some sort of filter to allow the changes to be saved. Once you're done installing it, you should re-enable this filter. The filter is to protect the machine from unwanted software, as well as saving the hardware from wearing out by writing everything to the flash drive.

With that said, this type of administration can quickly become an admin nightmare. I recommend that you use citrix policies to publish session printers. With the session printers, you can allow the user to choose their own default printer. Once they've chosen one, it will be stored in their citrix profile.

You may need to apply bandiwdth setting policies if to reduce the priority of the printing traffic as well.


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Nancy Rickard Members

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 09:39 PM

Hi Tony,

We have a similar setup here with a mix of Neoware NTe, XPe and HP XPe thin clients.

This is what we've done:

1 - Installed the printer drivers on the thin clients at the remote offices and mapped directly to the printers there.
2 - Installed the remote printers on a printer server at the same location as our citrix boxes.
3 - Within citrix, our users don't have their local or networked client printers installed. Instead, we map to the printers on the printer server using a login script.

This has done 3 things for us:

1 - HUGE improvement in login times.
2 - Improved network speeds.
3 - Reduced confusion over printer names for end users when in Citrix and end users are convinced printing is faster because it disappears off their screen quicker.

The Neoware thin clients can be a bit tricky to get the drivers installed, let me know if you need any tips and I will do what I can to help.

I hope this helps.



Tony Scott Members

Tony Scott
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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:03 AM

Hi Nancy,

Sorry, I haven't been keeping an eye on this thread...

That sounds like exactly the sort of solution that we require, as logon times are definitely a problem!

I haven't worked with these thin clients before, so would you mind expanding on what you did?

I'm assuming that you mean the following, but please correcdt me if I'm wrong:

1. Identified the best suited drivers for the printers on the same site as the thin clients (preferably the built-in drivers from the Windows OS) and installed them locally on the thin clients.

2. Identified the user's local printer and mapped it through the OS using the Add Printer/Local Printer - detect manually and set up a new port with the IP Address of the local printer.

3. Set up the remaining printers in the office on a print server back in the office where the Citrix Presentation Servers are, and then setup a login script to mapp the printers from the print server to the client.

4. The user then has the ability to choose the other printers, and then print via the print server in the head office but also has a single locally attached printer as a default.

Sorry - A bit new to this!

Regards,

Tony.



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Posted 23 October 2009 - 01:37 PM

Waiting for more information



Nancy Rickard Members

Nancy Rickard
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Posted 23 October 2009 - 02:02 PM

Hi Tony,

This sounds about right, but let me walk you through it step by step though so I don't miss anything:

_In remote office:_
1 - Setup local and/or networked printers using best driver (through OS if possible, check them against Citrix compatibility list). Although networked printers will not be accessed in Citrix, local printers will be so this is important.

_In central office (where Citrix boxes are):_
1 - Build print server and map to the network printers by IP at the remote office. Take care to use the exact same driver level or you may run into issues.
2 - Create AD groups for your users to determine who gets mapped what printers and who can/cannot have local printer access.
3 - In Citrix, create a policy to prevent client printers from mapping. We setup 3 in this order so they process correctly:
a) Policy to prevent all client printers from being mapped for users in the NO LOCAL PRINTERS group.
b) Policy to map local client printesr only for users in the YES LOCAL PRINTERS group.
c) Policy to prevent drivers from being installed on the server and force printers to use Citrix UPD if driver isn't available, apply this to the servers. This is for server printing stability.
4 - On the Citrix servers, installed the Citrix compatible drivers (must be the same as the ones on the print server) for each of the printers on the print server.
5 - In AD, apply a login script to map the default (we did secondary printers aswell) for each user based on the groups you setup in step 2 above.

_Now for the Neoware units to get the drivers installed:_
1 - Determine what drivers are compatible with each of your printers (i.e. if they will all work with the HP LaserJet Series II driver use that as it will save space and make the print server setup alot easier but you will need to make sure any print servers at remote locations are also using this driver).
2 - Login as admin and install the driver (Printers>Server Properties>Add Driver) but do not map the printers.
3 - Login as the user and map your printers, the drivers should already be installed so this should be instant.

If you run into space issues on the Neowares, here are some tips:
*Remove any language packs you are not using from the Control Panel.
*Remove TeemTalk unless you use it (we don't)
*Remove Adobe Reader and change to FoxIT PDF Reader
*Under C:\XPeLanguagePacks we removed any folders for languages we don't use and under English we also removed the folders for TeemTalk and Citrix 7 as we have upgraded our Citrix client and don't use TeemTalk.
*Remove uneeded user profiles, from the factory the build has 1 extra profile which they forgot to remove. I can't remember what it's called.
*Remove Citrix - We use a Web Interface so we removed the Program Neighborhood client then manually installed the web client

When mapping the networked printers on each of the client computers, make sure you map them as networked printers rather than creating a port and setting them up as a local printer. This will make things much smoother.

I hope this helps, it's worked like a charm for us. If you run into any trouble or need more help, let me know and I will do what I can.

Nancy


Best Answer

Tony Scott Members
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Tony Scott
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Posted 26 October 2009 - 03:43 PM

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for the info! Exactly what I need!! I'll be working on this over the next few days, so I'll let you know how I get on...

Regards,

Tony.



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Tony Scott
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Posted 17 November 2009 - 05:27 PM

Hi Nancy,

I have finally got round to trying to implement the solution you outlined (been on other projects unfortunately), and I'm still having a few problems.

Here's the detailed post that you sent, with any questions/issues that I have underneath the original point marked with 'TS':

Hi Tony,

This sounds about right, but let me walk you through it step by step though so I don't miss anything:

In remote office:
1 - Setup local and/or networked printers using best driver (through OS if possible, check them against Citrix compatibility list). Although networked printers will not be accessed in Citrix, local printers will be so this is important.

+TS: Do you mean install the printers (local & remote) on the Neoware Thin Clients whilst logged in as the user? (we have an autologon set to use a local user, so that the domain user actually authenticates when they run Program Neighborhood).+

TS: I'm using the HP Universal Driver (HP UPD PCL6 v5.0), as it should work for all our printers, and it is recommended by Citrix.

In central office (where Citrix boxes are):
1 - Build print server and map to the network printers by IP at the remote office. Take care to use the exact same driver level or you may run into issues.

TS: I have created the printers as 'Local printer attached to this computer' (unchecked 'Auto detect & install my plug & Play printer'), then created a new 'Standard TCP/IP Port', and specified the IP Address and the same driver (HP UPD PCL6 v5.0) as on the Neoware.

2 - Create AD groups for your users to determine who gets mapped what printers and who can/cannot have local printer access.

TS: I have created three Global Security Groups in thier own OU, and I have blocked inheritance on that OU so as to avoid any other policies loading. The three groups are called 'No_Printers', 'Local_Printers_Only', 'Local_and_Network_Printers'.

3 - In Citrix, create a policy to prevent client printers from mapping. We setup 3 in this order so they process correctly:
a) Policy to prevent all client printers from being mapped for users in the NO LOCAL PRINTERS group.

TS: Created a policy called 'No_Local_Printers' and set 'Printing/Client Printers/Auto-Creation' to 'Enabled - Do not auto-create client printers'. I then applied this policy to users in the 'No_Printers' Global AD group. I'm confused as to who goes into this group though - all Neoware users?!?

b) Policy to map local client printesr only for users in the YES LOCAL PRINTERS group.

TS: Created a policy called 'Yes_Local_Printers', and set Printing/Client Printers/Auto-Creation to 'Enabled - Auto-create local (non-network) client printers only'. I then applied this policy to all users in the 'Local_Printers_Only' Global AD group. This AD group has a test Citrix user in it.

c) Policy to prevent drivers from being installed on the server and force printers to use Citrix UPD if driver isn't available, apply this to the servers. This is for server printing stability.

TS: Created a policy called 'Prevent_Driver_Install', and set 'Printing/Drivers/Native printer driver auto-install' to 'Enabled - Do not automatically install drivers'. The I set 'Printing/Drivers/Universal driver' to 'Enabled - Use universal driver only if requested driver is unavailable'. I then applied this to both servers in the farm.

4 - On the Citrix servers, installed the Citrix compatible drivers (must be the same as the ones on the print server) for each of the printers on the print server.

TS: I installed the same driver (HP UPD PCL6 v5.0) as used previously on both servers in the farm. This is the only driver installed at present, as I have deleted all other drivers to aid in troubleshooting. I installed the driver by going into 'Server Properties/Drivers/Add'.

5 - In AD, apply a login script to map the default (we did secondary printers aswell) for each user based on the groups you setup in step 2 above.

TS: I think that this is where my problem could be... KIX is already installed in a directory called 'KIX' under 'C:\WINDOWS\SYSVOL\sysvol\domainname.local\scripts', so I have created a new kix script from a post that I found detailing how to map a printer using kix (here: http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/20028/kix-script-for-printing.html ) There's a link to the syntax that I have ammended.

I have also started the kix script in a batch job that utilises the Clientnfo utility, as this is how the other kix scripts in this location have been set up to start - something to do with Clientnfo.exe basically returns the ICA client data in INI file format which makes the output easy to use with KIX.

Do you know of a simpler way to do this?

Now for the Neoware units to get the drivers installed:
1 - Determine what drivers are compatible with each of your printers (i.e. if they will all work with the HP LaserJet Series II driver use that as it will save space and make the print server setup alot easier but you will need to make sure any print servers at remote locations are also using this driver).

TS: I have identified the same driver as before (HP UPD PCL6 v5.0), as this will work with all of our printers.

2 - Login as admin and install the driver (Printers>Server Properties>Add Driver) but do not map the printers.

TS: I installed the driver on the Neoware client as suggested, but I'm confused, as didn't we already do this in 'Step 1' of 'In Remote Office' section at the top?!?

3 - Login as the user and map your printers, the drivers should already be installed so this should be instant.

TS: I have logged in, but as previously mentioned, we have autologon for the Neowares set to a local user, so this is where I added the printers by selecting 'Add Printer/A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer' and using the UNC path to the printers. Should I have set up local printers here? If so, I will have to enable that option somehow, as it is greyed-out when logged in as the standard user. (I can add local printers if logged in as Admin, but I think you answer my question in the paragraph below)

When mapping the networked printers on each of the client computers, make sure you map them as networked printers rather than creating a port and setting them up as a local printer. This will make things much smoother.

I hope this helps, it's worked like a charm for us. If you run into any trouble or need more help, let me know and I will do what I can.

Nancy

TS: Sorry for the rambling message! I'm sure you have better things to do with your time, but if you can help it will be most appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

+Tony.+



Nancy Rickard Members
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Nancy Rickard
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Posted 25 November 2009 - 02:26 PM

Hi Tony,

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond, I have been out of the office and haven't had a chance to check my e-mail.

I'm just catching up now but will go over your questions later tonight or tomorrow morning and help out where I can.

Nancy



Tony Scott Members
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Tony Scott
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Posted 30 November 2009 - 10:05 AM

Hi Nancy,

No problem at all...

I've got a bit of an update based on what I've tried over the last week or so...

I've now got the Print server set up with the best drivers installed, (I'm using the HP Universal Print driver in the most part, as it ha been tested with Citrix, and it supports most of our printers) and the printers set up as local printers on Standard TCP/IP ports.

I have then shared these printers out, and mapped the shared printers on the client via a login script. I have found that this doesn't even need the print driver to be installed locally on the thin client - is this expected behaviour?

I haven't set up local printers on the thin clients, as so far, the published apps have picked up the mapped shared printer, and they appear to work within citrix - I have noticed that this removes the print job from the virtual channel, so that you can see it in the device print queue on the print server when you print something, as opposed to it not appearing in the print queue if you print through a session printer, or a local printer mapped directly to the device. Is this what you have done?

Anyway, let me know your thoughts when you have time.

Regards,

Tony.



Nancy Rickard Members
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Nancy Rickard
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Posted 30 November 2009 - 05:06 PM

Hi Tony,

It sounds like what you have setup is only slightly different than what we have but I don't see why it wouldn't work, you may run into issues though if you need local printing from the thin clients (we do which is why we couldn't setup the way you have it).

We ran into issues when the print drivers on the Citrix print server didn't match those on the remote print server, it causes the spooler to crash. This is not an issue if you map directly to the printer by IP as the HP printers can generally handle the multiple drivers just fine. Our older thin clients do not have room for the Universal driver so this was a big headache for us.

I have done up a diagram of our setup (I'm no artist though so I do apologize) which might help better explain what we have.

At the corporate/central office:

1 - Print server with local printers setup using the IP address of the remote printer for the port (or the network share on the server if it is physically connected to the remote print server but you will need to enable anonymous printing on the remote server for this to work).
2 - Citrix server where clients are assigned printers from the corp print server in their login scripts.

At the remote office:

1 - Thin clients connected to local printers either by mapping to IP directly or printer share on local print server.

In Citrix/AD:

1 - Login script to map appropriate printers from citrix print server.

For us, the print jobs are also visible in the print server queues which makes it easier to see what is happening when there is an issue. Not all of our support techs have admin rights so they can't necessarily see what is in the user's print queue in Citrix, however we have given them manage printer access for the central print server so they can troubleshoot issues.

Let me know if this helps and if there is anything else I can help with, I don't mind at all. I am a bit slow at responding thouch so I apologize in advance if I don't get back to you right away.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!!

Nancy

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Tony Scott Members
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Tony Scott
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Posted 02 December 2009 - 05:21 PM

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for this - The diagram really helps!

The main difference between our setup and yours by the look of it is that we don't have a local Print Server - we're not allowed to have any servers on this site, so there's not a lot we can do about that one.

I think I have set up the Print Server in the head Office along the same lines as yours, but we're obviously only relaying on printing from the shared printers as opposed to having local printers too. Is there any reason why you would need local printers for Citrix Published Applications in a general configuration? (i.e. outside of what you specifically need them for in your infrastructure) I'm just trying to ensure that I've got every base covered, as so far, the shared printers seem to work with standard Published Apps.

I'm hoping that removing the session printer policies from the logon process, and also removing the print jobs themselves from the virtual channel will result in quicker logon/logoff times! I guess I'll have to wait and see when we start UAT next week!

I have updated your diagram to depict how I have set everything up here (I think!), so would you mind taking a look and giving me your opinion? (and you thought you were no artist ;o)

Many Thanks!

Tony.

Edited by: Tony Scott on 02-Dec-2009 12:32

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Nancy Rickard Members
  • #16

Nancy Rickard
  • 133 posts

Posted 11 December 2009 - 02:54 PM

Hi Tony,

I'm sorry, I didn't get the watch e-mail when you posted ... got to love those spam filters!! LOL

Your diagram makes sense, I think I understand better now what you are looking it.

It looks to me as if everything is setup properly if you don't need the printers at the actual thin clients.

We have users who need to be able to print from the Internet (shipping company sites, goverment forms, etc) so we needed to provide some functional at the remote offices. We don't allow Internet access through our Citrix servers.

Other than what they need for their jobs, we really don't have a need for them to be able to print locally.

How did your testing go? Did taking the policies out help your login process?

Nancy



Tony Scott Members
  • #17

Tony Scott
  • 52 posts

Posted 14 December 2009 - 11:26 AM

Hi Nancy,

We officially went live this weekend, and so far, it has made a huge difference! We've reduced login from >45 seconds to <10 seconds, so the users are happy - Thanks!!!

I'll keep an eye on things, but it seems pretty stable, and assuming the print server handles everything without any issues, I think this one can be signed off... One last question, am I right in thinking that it doesn't really matter what print drivers I have installed on the Citrix servers any more, as the printing functionality is completely outside of Citrix now? I won't copy the print drivers from the Print server to the Citrix servers if there is no need that's all...

Anyway, thank you so much for your help!

Tony.



Nancy Rickard Members
  • #18

Nancy Rickard
  • 133 posts

Posted 14 December 2009 - 02:45 PM

Hi Tony,

There is no need to install drivers manually, as folks login the correct drivers from the print server should be installed automatically.

Because you've already made sure each driver will work in Citrix, I don't think you'll run into any issues with stability.

What we have on our Citrix boxes is the Citrix UPD (to handle the local printers at the thin clients which you don't have) and the 4-5 drivers from the printers that are mapped on the print server. We are using Server 2008 as our base now so we are changing over the the HP UPD but that is a whole other story! LOL

I'm glad to hear that everything is working and I'm glad I was able to help!

Nancy



DON POST Members
  • #19

DON POST
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Posted 19 April 2010 - 07:16 PM

can you guys post the login script you used for printing?

my environment is a little different. I am only publishing apps so no desktops and i am using igel thin clients that have windows embedded.

i need to set it up so that our Phoenix office can not print nor see printers in our Georgia office. i have 55 offices and each office has 1-2 network printers and the print-server is in our corp HQ.

any suggestions on how to do this would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by: DON POST on Apr 19, 2010 3:18 PM



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