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I'm currently in an 100 person office with about 10 network printers. I'd like to have it so that any new employee who comes into the network won't have to spend time connecting to all 10+ printers to be able to print to any of them. I'd like them to be able to connect to one thing and not have to worry about it. This has to work on both Windows and Mac and across multiple printer manufacturers. Is there a way to do this?

UPDATE: To clarify further, this needs to work on Windows 7 and OSX 10.6 and above. In addition, we have a lot of people who bring in laptops from home and I'd like to be able to have this work on those laptops as well.

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migrated from Aug 4 '12 at 14:58

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

Don't assume hardware - software will come into play as well. – cutrightjm Aug 4 '12 at 1:49
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Create print queues on a central server, then use configuration management tools to deploy them to all of your clients.

For Windows, you'll use Group Policy Preferences, most likely. For OS X, you can use WGM if you run Open Directory, or you can push it out with any number of tools like JAMF Casper, ARD, radmind, or even Puppet. It all depends on whatever tools you already have in place. Since you have 100 workstations, I assume you already have some tools in place for this already, use them!

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This depends a lot on which OS you are using.

If you use a windows file server and windows clients, then you can set up the all the printers on the file server (essentially extending it to a print server).

  • Install all printers with the driver for your server.
  • Set the printers to shared.
  • Optionally fill in extra fields (e.g. office, or as description 'printer at finance' etc.
  • For each printer, add extra drivers for the clients.
  • Say that the FS is named 'fileserver01', then add a single shortcut to the client PCs (read: the workstations) pointing to \\fileserver01. If they follow this link it should show all the printer.
  • The end user can now double click on the printer and it will be installed. If drivers are needed they will be fetched from the print server (that is why you added those 3 steps ago).

If you are in a mixed situation using windows, OS/X, BSDs, Linux etc then please add that to the OP. This answer just assumes windows only.

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I already pointed out I needed it to work on both Windows and Mac. We also have some Linux users but the priority right now is Windows 7 and OSX (10.6 and above) support. – Zweihander Aug 6 '12 at 17:17
Sadly I have no experience with OS/X in an office environment. Regardless of that both my answer and that from MDMarra are based on the same point which hold true for all OS'es: Create a single server with all print queue's. Than point your clients to that server. – Hennes Aug 6 '12 at 18:32

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