Common iOS Printing Questions

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PaperCut supports tracking printing from your iPads (and other iOS devices) to your organization’s printers. As well as plain printing, the PaperCut iPad App also provides the rich functionality desktop users are used to such as authentication, balance display and selecting / charging to shared accounts when printing.

A quick how-to video is shown below. It covers setting up iOS printing from scratch, and includes a couple of troubleshooting tricks:

Q. Is PaperCut’s iPad/iPhone Printing App distributed in the App Store?

No. PaperCut’s application is custom configured for your site based on your network, print environment and settings. Hence it’s not a generic app that’s distributed in the App Store. Specifically it’s a Web Clip App distributed via an iOS configuration profile. You make this profile available only to users in your organization/network. Installation is actually easier than installing software from the AppStore. No iTunes account is required. Your users/students/staff simply need to type in a URL in the browser and the App will automatically install.

Q. I’m deploying iPads in my school/college. What is the best way to deploy the PaperCut iPad printing App across hundreds of devices?

Asking users to manually enter/hit the install URL is one solution, however if you have hundreds of devices and are using Apple’s profile management tools, other methods may be more convenient/appropriate. Check out the Advanced App Deployment methods outlined in Chapter 21.

Q. I’ve set up PaperCut on the Mac and my printers are not showing up on the iPads / iOS devices. What could be wrong?

Check the following items are in place:

  • Ensure that PaperCut is installed on the Mac system acting as a print server.
  • Ensure that the print queues are shared (through System Preferences → Printers).
  • There can sometimes be a slight delay in broadcasting - check again after a minute or two.
  • Ensure that the Mac server is on the same subnet as the iOS devices. Bonjour/mDNS, the protocol used to publish/advertise the queues, will only broadcast to the local subnet without further configuration (a “reflector”, the configuration of which is beyond the scope of the documentation).
  • If the print server is connected to a wireless network, make sure the connection method is not preventing mDNS broadcasts. For example, some customers have reported success by connecting the server to a wired network rather than replying on a wireless network card in the Mac system for connectivity.
  • Try rebooting the Mac server. This will refresh the list of available printers and restart the Bonjour services that publish them.

Q: I see the printers available on the iOS device, but when I sent a print job, it tells me that I don’t have permissions to print

  • Check that under System Preferences → Sharing → Printer Sharing → [select print queue] → confirm that ‘Everyone’ is set to ‘Can Print’.
  • Go into the CUPS web interface (http://localhost:631/ on the mac print server), then Administration → Server → Server Settings, and confirm that ‘Allow printing from the Internet’ is checked. CUPS may ask to be restarted after applying that setting.

Q: My users can select the print option OK, but when I open the PaperCut App, the jobs don’t list?

There could be a number of reasons for this. The first step is to check that the job has arrived in the Mac system’s print queue. It should be listed under the user “guest”. The guest job needs to be authenticated. PaperCut does this by matching the job’s originating IP address with the IP address of the iPad. This is done using the PaperCut Web Clip app on the iPad. If there is a proxy server in between the iPad and the PaperCut server, this IP address matching may fail. Please see this KB article for more details: iPad Printing and Proxy Servers.

Q. I’m using PaperCut’s iPad Printing support and have problems with double sided (duplex) printing. Why?

We have found that selected iPad firmware versions have problems with double sided printing (duplex) - silent failure with no print. Our analysis suggests that it’s a problem with iOS because no network traffic is sent through to the print server. The only known workaround at the current time is to print single sided. We hope Apple address this in a future iOS update.

Update: with more recent versions of iOS, we’ve found that we can change some of the behavior in the Bonjour advertisement that fixes most of these failures. If you’re finding that you’re seeing this issue in your environment, make sure that you upgrade to version 15.3 or greater - and also take a look through this overview and troubleshooting reference.

Q. Can I publish my Windows print queues?

PaperCut supports Windows print servers by integrating with best-of-breed solutions like Presto. For sites that would prefer a 100% Apple solution, you can add a secondary Mac print server (e.g. a Mac Mini) to provide iOS printing support.

Q. Which version of Mac OS is required?

Avoid bad mDNS versions which are Yosemite versions prior to OS-X 10.10.4

Q. Which version of iOS is required?

We are officially supporting devices with iOS 5, and we recommended running the latest version of iOS wherever possible. If your organization has iOS 4 devices that you do not wish to upgrade, we are not aware of any reasons they will not work, but you may encounter compatibility issues due to the older patch levels.

Q. Jobs won’t print.

Are you printing double sided? Try turning double sided off. There seems to be issues with double sided printing on some iOS devices, as of iOS 5.0.1. note: this should now be fixed with PaperCut version 15.3 or later - see this KB article for more information!

Try printing with PaperCut tracking disabled (using Control Printer Monitoring.command) to help diagnose the problem. When PaperCut is disabled from the queue, “it’s one less variable”. If printing problems persist after disabling, then check the CUPS event log and/or look at the print queue/driver configuration/setup.

Q. I’m seeing printers show up as ‘Offline’ when trying to print from iOS. What should I check?

We’ve seen this happen in some network environments. To test, try this fix:

  • Stop the pc-iosprint service found in [install directory]/providers/iosprint/mac using disable-iosprint.command
  • Edit the file [install directory]/providers/iosprint/mac/pc-iosprint.conf
  • Uncomment the line noalias=on
  • Restart pc-iosprint service found in [install directory]/providers/iosprint/mac using start-iosprint.command

Q. Can an iPad print job be controlled via a hold/release queue (secure print release)?

Yes. This is possible. Once an iPad print job has entered the PaperCut system, it’s treated like any other job. This extends to job release. An iPad printing job can be released from a release station (sitting on any operating system, including Windows), or even from an embedded application running on an MFP (if you’re running PaperCut MF).

Q. Can I have multiple Mac print servers running PaperCut (e.g. to provide different printers to different subnets)?

Yes! Alternatively, to provide the same printers to multiple subnets, consider using Bonjour/mDNS “reflectors” (although you’ll need to work out that part!).

Q: Does PaperCut use AirPrint?

AirPrint is a technology that exists on printers to support direct printing from an iOS device to a printer. PaperCut can’t work with this technology because it needs to intercept the print job before it reaches the printer (e.g. to stop the job if the user is out of print credit or is violating a print policy rule). For PaperCut’s iPad printing, the iPads pass the job via CUPS - the print queue system installed by default with Mac OS X.

See also


Categories: Apple AirPrint, Apple iPad Printing, Apple iOS, Apple Mac OS X


Keywords: iPhone printing, iOS printing, enterprise iPad printing, printing app, print quotas on the iPad, iPad school deployment

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Article last modified on August 18, 2016, at 08:30 AM
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