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On computers running Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2, you can share printers on a network and centralize print server and network printer management tasks using the Print Management Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. Print Management helps you to monitor print queues and receive notifications when print queues stop processing print jobs. It also enables you to migrate print servers and deploy printer connections using Group Policy.
Tools for managing a print server
There are two primary tools that you can use to administer a Windows print server:
- Server Manager
- Print Management
On Windows Server 2008 R2, you can use Server Manager to install the Print and Document Services server role and role services. Server Manager also includes an instance of the Print Management snap-in, which you can use to administer the local server.
Print Management provides current details about the status of printers and print servers on the network. You can use Print Management to install printer connections to a group of client computers simultaneously and to monitor print queues remotely. Print Management can help you to find printers that have an error condition by using filters. It can also send e-mail notifications or run scripts when a printer or print server needs attention. On printers that provide a Web-based management interface, Print Management can display more data, such as toner and paper levels.
To manage a remote print server, you must be a member of the Print Operators or Server Operators groups, or the local Administrators group on the remote print server. You do not need these permissions to monitor remote print servers, though some functionality will be disabled.
Services for print servers and network printers
The Print and Document Services role in Windows Server 2008 R2 includes the following three role services that are relevant for managing your print servers and network printers. You can add these role services while you are installing the Print Services role using the Add Roles Wizard of Server Manager. Or you can install them at a later time by using the Add Role Services Wizard of Server Manager.
Because Windows 7 is a client operating system, it does not include role services. Instead, it includes the Print Management snap-in. Windows 7 also includes LPD Print Service as an optional Windows feature. You can install LPD Print Service from Control Panel using Programs and Features. Windows 7 does not include the Internet Printing feature or Distributed Scan Server role service.
Print Server is a role service that installs the Print Management snap-in. Print Management is used for managing multiple printers or print servers and migrating printers to and from other Windows print servers. After you share a printer, Windows enables the File and Printer sharing exception in Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.
The Line Printer Daemon (LPD) Service installs and starts the TCP/IP Print Server (LPDSVC) service, which enables UNIX-based computers or other computers that are using the Line Printer Remote (LPR) service to print to shared printers on this server. It also creates an inbound exception for port 515 in Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.
No configuration is necessary for this service. However, if you stop or restart the Print Spooler service, the TCP/IP Print Server service is also stopped, and it is not automatically restarted.
To print to a printer or print server that uses the LPD protocol, you can use the Network Printer Installation wizard and a Standard TCP/IP printer port. However you must install the Line Printer Remote (LPR) Port Monitor feature to print to a UNIX print server. To do so, use one of the following methods:
- In Control Panel, click Programs and
Features, click Turn Windows features on or off, expand
Print and Document Services, select the LPR Port
Monitor check box, and then click OK.
- In Server Manager, click Add Features,
select the LPR Port Monitor check box, and then click
The Internet Printing role service in Windows Server 2008 R2 creates a Web site hosted by Internet Information Services (IIS). This Web site enables users to:
- Manage print jobs on the server.
- Use a Web browser to connect and print to
shared printers on this server by using the Internet Printing
Protocol (IPP). (Users must have Internet Printing Client
To manage a server by using the Web site created by Internet Printing, open a Web browser and navigate to http://servername/printers, where servername is the UNC path of the print server.
To install the Internet Printing Client, use one of the following methods:
- In Windows 7: in Control Panel, click
Programs and Features, click Turn Windows features on or
off, expand Print and Document Services, select the
Internet Printing Client check box, and then click
- In Windows Server 2008 R2: in
Server Manager, click Add Features, select the Internet
Printing Client check box, and then click OK.