Q

Is there a quick and easy way to migrate printers to Samba?

Is there a "quick and easy" method for migrating several hundred printers away from an NT4 server onto a Linux server running Samba 3.0?
No. The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide addresses the nuts and bolts of how printing works with Samba. It does not address the specifics of migration of printers.

My recommendations would be to use CUPS on Linux. Install all printers using the native CUPS drivers. Then install all printer drivers on Microsoft Windows clients to print to simple postscript printers and let CUPS do all the smart hard work. This solution treats all printers as if they were the same type of printer and removes all complexity from the Windows management task. This, as with any other Windows-to-Samba migration proposition involves complete reinstallation of printers, not just migration. Look at what problem you are trying to solve, then implement the best solution for the total platform you are migrating to.

This was first published in October 2003

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