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I have the first leg of my network up (1 doze terminal and router configured as gateway). I’m trying to set the printer up on multiple laptops and I’m bumping ...
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  1. #1
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    Many NT +file sharing +printing +VM +app questions in doz/nix mix


    I have the first leg of my network up (1 doze terminal and router configured as gateway).

    I’m trying to set the printer up on multiple laptops and I’m bumping up against hardware limitations again. I’ve tried a few things that didn’t work. After doing some reading I just wanted to check in for some feed back to see if I’m on the right track for a solution. And to fill in the gaps on some stuff I’m not 100% sure on.

    If I understand things correctly I need to set up a server, physically connect the printer to the server and install the printer drivers to the server. Then I install the printer drivers to the laptops and set up a print and file sharing network between the laptops and the server?

    If that’s how it works can it be done all wirelessly through the router? Or do I need to wire the server to the router? If I do it all wirelessly do I need to set any static routes? Or will it “just work” if I let the router handle DHCP? (Or should that be handled by the server?)

    Also, I’m looking at Amahi on Ubuntu 12.04 for the server. I’d appreciate any feedback from anybody with experience with Amahi on ease of use for noobs. For my first go round I’m looking to have set up happen as automagically as possible.

    My printer only has old *nix drivers; newest is Ubuntu 9.10. Can that be made to work on UB12.04 / Amahi. Or would I be better off setting up a UB 9.10 VM on the Amahi server and just networking the VM to the server?

    If I have to go with a 9.10 VM on a 12.04 host will the printer driver still need to be installed to the 12.04 host for things to work? Will I need to configure CUPS on both the host and the VM? Or just one of them?

    For *nix VMs on a doze host that is running the printer driver do I need to install the printer driver to the *nix VM as well to get printing working? Or will the *nix VM print functions just “piggyback” on the host? If the *nix VM print functions just piggybacks on the host will I need to configure CUPS in the VM to get it all working?

    Server hardware: I’m thinking of using the old Inspiron 1501. IIRC it has a 1.7GHz dual core AMD with 1GB RAM. Is that enough hardware resources to run a low load server? Plus a VM for the printer driver installation if necessary?

    Server setup: Should I make it headless to save on system resources? Can a headless install work with a wireless connection?

    Server VM: If I need one to run the printer driver? One of the techs at work mentioned ZEN. The only VM software I’ve used is virtualbox and vmware player. On both (at least that I know of on the free versions) the minimum CPU resources that can be allocated to the VM is 1 core / thread. The tech said that on ZEN you can break it down in to shared CPU resources and give the VMs less than 1 core / thread each. How noob friendly is ZEN? Can I set ZEN up to share CPU resources with the host and effectively set it up so the host has 1.5 cores and 768MB RAM and the print driver VM has .5 cores and 256 RAM?

    As always I’ll keep digging. But, any time saving insights or links in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie arespi's Avatar
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    Hi

    If your printer has a ethernet port or wifi you can connect it directly to your router and skip the print server, if not you need a print server and install the printer and share it on the server.
    Do you know if your printer supports PCL or even better Postscript (PS)? these are languages that are used by the computers to send information to the printer, if your printer has any of these you can use other drivers, not necesarily made for your printer but that speak PCL or PS.

    Check this out:

    Ubuntu Guide For Windows Users: Connecting To Shared Printers On Windows Computers

    and this

    How do I share printer from ubuntu 9.10 to windows, to Mac OS X, and to other Ubuntu hosts? - Super User

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback and links. They explained a lot.

    Unfortunately the printer is a dell rebranded lexmark and neither company is very good about supporting open source. Heck, the driver I need for UB 9.10 has a known typo in it and you have to recompile it to get it work. This has been a known issue for years and nobody has fixed it; just shows you how much they care about us.

    Two, but not all, of the laptops have built in wifi hot spots. I can directly link only one of those to the printer. But when I try to connect the second one the intel wifi management software breaks the link with the first one. Even if I manually copy over all the details. I think it's because the intel GUI has no place in it to set the ports, only the IP. So I think things are getting gummed up with two printers trying to access the same port on the same IP. And evidently the printer cannot handle more than one IP. Also, the printer does not have a a physical ethernet port. Nor does the router have a physical printer port.

    And I can't always get the driver to recompile to fix the typo. I've found a tutorial. For reasons that are beyond me some times it works and some times I get tons of permission errors. It seems to vary randomly between the UB machine being VM or hardware. Although why that would effect the root permissions needed to recompile a driver makes no sense to me.

    There's nothing in the spec sheet about the printer having PCL or PS capabilities. You wouldn't happen to know of a site where someones' built a list / index which I can compare my printer against to see if I have any other driver options?

    Thanks for the help.

  4. #4
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    I *may* have found a solution. I'll have to dig and play and see. The printer is a v515w. I dug around dell and found an expanded .pdf manual on it. Supposedly it has a driver for fedora 10 (which hopefully won't have the same typo as the .deb driver or at least won't get all wonky when I try to recompile it) and amahi has a repo for f10. Sooo, fingers crossed, I'll be able to set up an f10 / amahi server and run the printer off of it along with shares / backups / DC or AD / etc.

  5. #5
    Linux Newbie arespi's Avatar
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    Yep, propietary printers drivers can be a nightmare. What I would do is to set up the printer on the windows termnal and share it from there, and from the linux stations start testing with any lexmark driver I could find, maybe you will find something compatible.

    Maybe this is the same tutorial you found , if not, it might help.

    Installing Dell V515w Printer on Arch Linux - KASL Network

    Good luck

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