[svlug] linux (gentoo) and printing to win2k print server

Akbar S. Ahmed akbar501 at dslextreme.com
Mon Nov 24 23:33:35 PST 2003

Anthony Ettinger wrote:
> I need to be able to print from my linux (gentoo) box
> to my printer which is attached to a win2k box (LAN).
> I've seen instructions on how to setup a print server
> for linux, using cups and samba, but I want to have
> linux be the client. Any ideas how I can accomplish
> this?

This depends on the type of printer you have installed. You need to make 
sure the printer is supported by Linux.

If it is supported then use Samba, smb://

Also, Windows does a funny thing with networked printers whereby the 
rendering of the print job is partially done on the client and then the 
remainder is done on the server. The separation of rendering makes it 
difficult to integrate Linux when the printer and Windows use GDI. The 
actual layer that does the rendering is called Graphical Device 
Interface (GDI) on Windows. Basically, GDI takes some of the work that 
would typically be done by the printer and moves that functionality into 
the OS itself, and then splits the functionality between the client and 
server. If you have a printer that is using GDI then you may have some 
issues. However, I could be wrong about this, but this has been my 

If the printer is not supported by Linux, then there are hacks that will 
enable you to print from Linux, but these are not in wide use. We wrote 
a hack for exactly this type of problem in my company.


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