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?

4 Answers 4


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.


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

  • 2
    Or NUL: would work too :-)
    – mfinni
    Nov 12, 2013 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.


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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