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Quick install: Linux (CUPS and/or Samba)

Important:

The following section assumes the reader has knowledge of general Unix/Linux system management including using the command-line, creating users, editing configuration files and understanding file permissions.

Step 1 - System Requirements

Before proceeding with the installation the SysAdmin should take a few moments to verify system requirements. Is the operating system version supported and are patches up-to-date? Take a few minutes to verify the system is current and supported (see System Requirements).

Are printer(s) installed and hosted on this system and are they exposed to the network either via CUPSCommon User Printing System (CUPS) is a printing system for Unix operating systems that allows a computer to act as a print server. A computer running CUPS is a host that can accept print jobs from client computers, process them, and send them to the appropriate printer. or SambaSamba is a Windows interoperability suite of programs for Linux and Unix. It is used to integrate Linux/Unix servers and desktops into Active Directory environments. It can function as both a domain controller or as a regular domain member.? Administrators should ensure that the print queues are set up and working as expected before attempting to install PaperCut NG.

In a multi-user environment, printers are often shared with other network users. Other workstations should connect to these printers as "Network Printers". Ensure workstations are configured to print to the shared print queues. For example, a Windows workstation can connect to a samba exposed printer via \\[samba_server]\[printer]. Other Linux or Mac workstations use IPPThe Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) is an Internet protocol for communication between a print server and its clients. It allows clients to send one or more print jobs to the server and perform administration such as querying the status of a printer, obtaining the status of print jobs, or cancelling individual print jobs. IPP can run locally or over the Internet. Unlike other printing protocols, IPP also supports access control, authentication, and encryption, making it a much more capable and secure printing mechanism than older ones. via CUPS.

If the printers are currently not installed and configured, perform and verify this task before proceeding further.

Step 2 - Create the host user account and firewall settings

PaperCut NG runs and installs under a non-privileged user account called "papercut". The installation location for the application is the papercut user's home directory. Create a user account on this system called papercut. This is usually done by logging in as root and using a user management GUI tool or at the command prompt entering:

shell> useradd -m -d /home/papercut papercut

The syntax for useradd and groupadd can differ slightly on different versions of Linux. They can also be called adduser and addgroup.

The user's home directory (the -d option) denotes the install location. /home/papercut is the recommended location. Administrators can, however, also consider alternate install locations depending on personal preference. Alternatives include:

  • /usr/local/papercut

  • /opt/papercut

Important:

This quick start guide assumes the install location is /home/papercut. If an alternate home location is defined, some of the paths listed in subsequent sections will require modification.

Some Linux distributions impose strict resource usage limits on user accounts (ulimit). The papercut account is a special account used for hosting an application and needs to be granted satisfactory resource limits, such as, the ability to open many files. The methods of setting user-level ulimit levels vary from distribution to distribution, however, the common solution is to add the following line to /etc/security/limits.conf:

papercut - nofile 65535

Many Linux distributions have strict default firewall policies. PaperCut NG uses TCP ports 9191 (for HTTP) and ports 9192 (for HTTPS/SSLSecure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. The protocol uses a third party, a Certificate Authority (CA), to identify one end or both end of the transactions. To be able to create an SSL connection a web server requires an SSL certificate. When you choose to activate SSL on your web server you will be prompted to complete a number of questions about the identity of your website and your company. Your web server then creates two cryptographic keys - a Private Key and a Public Key.) and these ports must be open. Take some time now to ensure these ports are open. Consult your distribution documentation for details on how to open firewall TCP ports.

Step 3 - Download and installing

Important:

Make sure you download the correct architecture for your distribution. i686 is for 32-bit operating systems. x64 is for 64-bit systems (also known as x86_64 or amd64).

PaperCut NG is supplied as a self-extracting and self-installing archive. The installation is performed as the newly created papercut user and installs to that user's home directory. Temporary root access is required for part of the install. Make sure the root password or sudo password is handy. For more detail about the install process including installing to a different location, see PaperCut NG on Linux.

Log on as the newly created papercut user and download and execute the installer. You can execute the file from any directory.

shell> su - papercut

shell> wget [download url from PaperCut Software website]

shell> sh ./pcmf-setup-*-linux-*.sh

Follow the installation instructions and enter the root password when requested.
Important:

Ensure you login as the user papercut so that the user's environment is sourced so the home directory (install location) is correctly defined.

The installation process takes between two and five minutes depending on the speed of the system. A system restart is not required but administrators are advised to perform installation on live production systems during periods of low activity - for example, not during backup operations or other administration activities.

Step 4 - Configuration Wizard

After installation, you are prompted to open a web browser at http://[server-name]:9191/admin to complete configuration. The configuration stages are explained below:

  1. Administrative password

    1. Complete the following fields:
      • Password—enter the master password for the main in-built admin account. This password is independent of the operating system or domain passwords. The password must be at least six characters. Keep this password secure.

        Tip:

        Treat this password the same as your router/modem management passwords. It is independent of your domain accounts and needs to be kept secure.

        If you forget your password, you can reset it. For more information, see Resetting the Admin Password.

      • Verify password—re-enter the password.
      • Location—select the system's physical location and language.
    2. Click Next.
  2. Organization type

    The Organization type screen is displayed.

    This selection determines which system defaults are used on setup. For example, in a Professional (Client Billing) organization, where it is useful to charge-back printing to customers, an advanced client popup is provided with additional features useful for dealing with large numbers of client (shared) accounts. You can change these default settings chosen for an organization type after installation.

    1. Select your organization type.
    2. Click Next.
  3. Default cost for printing

    The Default costs for printing screen is displayed.

    You can change this setting on a per-printer basis after installation. Choosing a sensible cost now helps minimize future setup. For example, in the USA, a value of $0.10 would be appropriate for many standard black & white printers.

    1. Complete the following fields:
      • Color (cost per page)—enter the default cost per page for color printing on all printers.
      • Grayscale (cost per page)—enter the default cost per page for grayscale printing on all printers.
    2. Click Next.
  4. Initial user credit (Education organization type only)

    If you selected Education as the organization type, the Initial user credit screen is displayed.

    If you selected Small/Medium Enterprise (SME) or Corporate) or Professional (Client Billing) as the organization type, go to step 5.

    1. Complete the following fields:

      • Initial user credit—enter the amount of credit each/quota each user will receive when the system is first enabled. You can change these settings after setup.
      • Deny access when users run out of credit/quota—select this check box to prevent users from printing when they run out of credit/quota.

        Tip:

        If you are evaluating PaperCut NG it might be appropriate not to disable printing when a users funds run out. This way you can be assured that user printing is not disrupted during the evaluation.

    2. Click Next.

  5. User/group synchronization

    The User/group synchronization screen is displayed.

    PaperCut NG extracts user information out of the system or domain.

    Tip:

    During evaluation, most sites import all users from the system/domain into PaperCut NG.

    1. In User source, select the source of user account data:

    2. Select one of the following options:

      • Import all users—import all domain user accounts.
      • Import users from selected groups—import a subset of users from a given group. This is useful when only a subset of users will use the printers.
    3. Use the Test Settings to test and confirm your settings before continuing.
    4. Click Next.

    More information on user/group synchronization on Linux is available in PaperCut NG on Linux.

  6. User Client options (Professional (Client Billing) organization type only)

    If you selected Professional (Client Billing), as the organization type, the User client options screen is displayed.

    If you selected Education or Small/Medium Enterprise (SME) or Corporate, go to step 7.

    The User client allows users to allocate print jobs to client (shared) accounts. The process works by:

    • Pausing all jobs that enter the print queues.

    • Displaying a popup on the user's workstation asking them to allocate the print job to an account. This is done by selecting the account from a list.

    • After the user has responded to the popup, the job is released to the printer.

    For more information about the account selection process and shared accounts, see Shared accounts.

    The account selection popup option is enabled at the user level. Once the option is enabled, the user must run the client software. If the client software is not running, the popup cannot display, and the job remains paused in the print queueA print queue displays information about documents that are waiting to be printed, such as, the printing status, document owner, and number of pages to print. You can use the print queue to view, pause, resume, restart, and cancel print jobs.. This option is considered high impact. You are presented with two strategies that allow you to choose the implementation approach that best suits your needs.

    1. Select the account implementation strategy:

      • Minimal impact (Initial single user testing)—In this strategy the account popup is only initially enabled on a single user for testing. You need to nominate the testing account; this can be an existing system/domain account used for testing purposes or even your own user account. The username should be in the format used to log in to the domain/system (usually the short form).

        The minimal impact strategy allows you to test the popup with the nominated test system/domain user account, after which you can enable the Advanced Account Selection Popup option for other users as appropriate.

      • Immediate implementation (Enable for all users)— This strategy enables the account selection popup on all users, and is often preferred for smaller networks as it minimizes the required post-install configuration. Once the client has been deployed, the system is operational. If this option is selected, install the client software on user desktops immediately to prevent disruption of user printing services.

        If in doubt, select the minimal impact strategy. This ensures the impact is isolated to only the nominated test account.

    2. Click Next.

  7. Verify setup options

    The Verify setup options screen is displayed.

    1. Check the settings you have entered. If you want to change any of the settings, you can return to any of the prior configuration screens to alter options.
    2. Click Finish.

  8. Setup complete

    After completing the configuration wizard you are presented with a user synchronization status screen, showing the progress and results of the setup.

    1. Close the Setup Complete screen.

Step 5 - Printer Configuration

Unlike Windows and Mac with single print system environments, Linux is a more complex environment with a choice of print system implementations. At this stage some manual printer configuration is required. See Linux print queue integration and follow the steps for integrating with the print queues in your environment before returning to this section and following on with the next step.

Printers hosted on a machine other than the PaperCut NG server, require additional installation steps to be configured as 'secondary' servers. See Configuring secondary print servers and locally attached printers for details.

Step 6 - Sharing Client Software

The PaperCut NG client software is located in the directory [app-path]/client. It is useful to share this directory over the network so workstations can access/install the client application. Common sharing methods include:

  • Samba - used to share files to Windows based workstations. Mac OS X Server tools such as the Workgroup Manager or other 3rd party tools such as SharePoint can help with sharing the client directory via Samba. Similar GUI tools exist on Linux.

    Advanced SysAdmins can share this directory by hand-editing the /etc/smb.conf file. The following configuration shares the directory in read-only form:

    [pcclient]

    path = /home/papercut/client

    comment = PaperCut Client

    public = yes

    only guest = yes

    read only = yes

  • NFS - a popular sharing method used for Linux/Unix based workstations.

Step 7 - Deployment for a Professional (Client Billing) installation

Note:

This step is a requirement for a Professional (Client Billing) installation.

Now that the system is tested and working, it is time to deploy the client software and enable the account popup for their use. It is important to deploy the client software before enabling the popup, otherwise users' printing is stopped/paused.

Deploy the client software

As discussed earlier in the section the client can be run directly from a network share (which is automatically configured on Windows). There is also the option to install the software locally on each workstation, however, this is not usually recommended because it makes the process of updating the client software more complicated.

For more information about client deployment options, see User Client deployment. Follow those instructions to deploy the client software, and then enable the popup as described below.

Enable the advanced client popup

Once the client software is deployed on user workstations, you can set the Account Selection. In a Professional (Client Billing) configuration, users who print jobs for clients are often given the Advanced account selection popup, however, other Account Selection options might be better suited for some users based on their job function. You can enable the popup on one user at a time or update for all users in bulk. Use the User Details page to enable the popup for a single user. To enable the popup for all users in bulk:

  1. Click the Users tab.

    The User List page is displayed.

  2. In the Actions menu, click Bulk user actions.

    The Bulk User Operations page is displayed.

  3. In Perform operations on users, select the target group. To enable for all users select the [All Users] group.

  4. In the Change setting area, select the Change account selection setting check box.

  5. Select Show the advanced account selection popupThe advanced account selection popup is a mode for the desktop client that caters for professional businesses with a large number of accounts. It provides powerful features that allow users to quickly assign printing to accounts selected from a large list of clients or projects, such as, keyword search, recently selected accounts, and preferred accounts. You can also apply cost adjustments to a print job at time of print. option from the list.

  6. If you do not want to allow users to charge printing to their personal account, clear the Allow user to charge to their personal account check box.

  7. Click OK.

  8. A confirmation window is displayed.

  9. Click OK.

  10. Once completed, the account popup is enabled for the selected users.

When the popup is enabled for all users, perform some testing from users' desktops. To test, log in to the user workstation, perform a print, and check that the account popup is displayed and the job is logged as expected.

 

Step 8 - Testing

Following a fresh installation, it is highly recommended to test core features of the system. For further details, see Testing the Installation.

What next?

Take some time to explore the features of PaperCut NG before continuing reading at Implementation by example or Tour. Business users might be interested in trying the popup client software as covered in Client Software. If desired, the client software should also be deployed to other workstations. This procedure is detailed in User Client.


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