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I need to create an Active Directory lab that contains printers and test out various printer-related functionality (adding printers in AD, clients attaching to printers, printers, etc)

Is there a good way to properly simulate printers on a network? Or does there need to be real physical printers somewhere that eventually are attached, even if no output comes out.

How would you solve this problem?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

a printer is a "logical" construct and does not have to correspond to a real physical device. You can add, share and publish printers to the directory without having real physical printers. Select LPT1 or File as the port when creating them.

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Setup printers and use the FILE port. When you print you will be prompted to save a file somewhere.

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Or NUL: would work too :-) – mfinni Nov 12 '13 at 20:29

There's plenty of things that can simulate printers. You can always make a printer attached to LPT1 on a server and share it out. You could install software like Adobe Acrobat or other PDF "printer" software, assuming you can find one that allows itself to be shared.

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All of the above are good suggestions, but If it were me, I would ask windows to create a new local port and set it to something like d:\temp\print.out and make sure there's a scheduled task to clean it out periodically. Setting a printer to print to the file port results in a dialogue box asking where the print should be saved, which doesn't happen when you print to a "real" printer. Using a local port, just writes the resulting output to that file, no questions asked.

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