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PRODUCT MANUALS

PaperCut NG & PaperCut MF Manual

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Handling unauthenticated (non-domain) laptops

Schools and colleges commonly allow students to use their personal laptops for printing to campus printers. They also want to allocate/charge printing from these unauthenticated users to the correct person. However, if the systems haven’t authenticated with the network, then user credentials are not provided with the print job (or worse, their personal laptop username is associated with the job). For example, on Windows networks, the jobs might list as guest. Mobility Print offers a solution for this problem by allowing users with unauthenticated laptops to print. For more details, see Mobility Print.

Alternatively, PaperCut NG/MF also addresses this problem by providing alternate print authentication options. This section provides a step-by-step guide to configuring these authentication options.

Before continuing it is highly recommended to read the introduction to print authentication (see Print authentication). It introduces the important concepts required to understanding print authentication.

Option 1: Popup authentication for unauthenticated laptops

Having chosen popup authentication to authenticate your laptop users, you should review Popup authentication for a detailed explanation of the feature.

Step 1: Decide whether to enable popup authentication on all printer queues

First decide whether to enable authentication for all queues, or only the queues accessed by unauthenticated laptop systems. For more information, read Handling partially authenticated networks.

If you enable authentication only for your unauthenticated laptops, you must configure a second set of unauthenticated print queues. These queues can point to the same physical printers as your authenticated queues.

Often the simplest way to set up these unauthenticated queues is to configure a separate print server that allows anonymous printing. You can make use of a firewall or operating system permissions to ensure that the anonymous users cannot access the “authenticated queues”. On Windows networks, you might need to enable the guest account on the domain/system so users running the “Home” editions of Windows can print to these queues.

Step 2: Install/run the User Client software on laptops

To use popup authentication, the client software must be installed and running on the unauthenticated laptops. You should make the client available for your users along with instructions of how to install the software on their laptops. You can easily install the software on all common operating systems (Windows, Mac and Linux).

For more information on installing and deploying the client software see User Client.

Step 3: Mark the printer queue as “Unauthenticated”

By default PaperCut NG/MF trusts the usernames that are associated with the print job. When printing from unauthenticated laptops this username cannot be trusted. By flagging the printer queue as “unauthenticated”, PaperCut NG/MF no longer trusts the username and prompts the user to authenticate.

Advanced: An alternate approach on Windows networks is to enable the unauthenticated option at the user-level on guest only rather than at the queue level.

To flag the printer as Unauthenticated:

  1. Click the Printers tab.

    The Printer List page is displayed.

  2. Select a printer.

    The Printer Details page is displayed showing the Summary tab contents.

  3. In the Configuration area, select the Unauthenticated printer check box.

  4. Click OK.

  5. Repeat this process for each printer that requires popup authentication enabled.

Step 4: Test the popup authentication

It is important to test the popup authentication once enabled. To do this:

  1. Start-up an unauthenticated laptop/workstation.

  2. Ensure that the User Client software is installed and running.

  3. Perform a test print job to the queue on the print server you flagged as Unauthenticated.

  4. The client software should popup the authentication dialog box. The print job should not print until you successfully authenticate.

  5. Once authenticated, verify that the print job completes and the job is logged against the correct username in Printers >Print Jobs.

Option 2: Release Station authentication for unauthenticated laptops

Having chosen Release Stations to authenticate your laptop users, you should review Secure print release for a detailed explanation of the feature.

Step 1: Decide whether to enable Release Station authentication on all print queues

First decide whether to enable the hold/release queue for all print queues, or only the queues accessed by unauthenticated laptop systems. For more information, read Handling partially authenticated networks.

If you enable the hold/release queue only for your unauthenticated laptops, you must configure a second set of unauthenticated print queues. These queues can point to the same physical printers as your authenticated queues.

Often the simplest way to set up these unauthenticated queues is to configure a separate print server that allows anonymous printing. You can make use of a firewall or operating system permissions to ensure that the anonymous users cannot access the “authenticated queues”.

Step 2: Choose which Release Station interface to use

You can choose between the Standard Release Station interface and the User web interface. The standard Release Station:

  • Requires a dedicated workstation nearby the printers that is configured to run the Release Station.

  • Requires less user education because when they walk up to fetch their print jobs it is obvious they need to use the Release Station to user the job.

The User web interface Release Station:

  • Requires no workstations configured near the printers. Users use a web browser to log in to the User web interface and release their jobs.

  • Users must be provided with instructions on how to print and then log in to the web Release Station to release their print jobs.

After choosing the Release Station interface, proceed to the appropriate step below.

Step 3a: Run and configure the Standard Release Station

If using the standard Release Station:

  1. Deploy the standard Release Station to workstations located nearby your printers. See Configure a Release Station for information on deploying the Release Station.

  2. Run the Release Station in “Release Any” mode, which allows users to log in and see all print jobs awaiting release. When they release a job it is charged to their user account. For more information see Release Station Modes.

Step 3b: Enable and configure the User web interface Release Station

If using the User web interface Release Station:

  1. Click the Options tab. The General page is displayed.

  2. In the User Features area, select the Allow users to view held jobs (hold/release queues) check box.

  3. In Users have permission to, select Release any jobs (charge to their account).

  4. Click Apply.

Step 4: Enable the hold/release queue for the print queues

By default, PaperCut NG/MF allows the jobs to be printed without any interaction from the user. The hold/release queue feature holds the print job until the user logs into a Release Station and releases the job. To enable the hold/release queue for a printer:

  1. Click the Printers tab.

    The Printer List page is displayed.

  2. Select a printer.

    The Printer Details page is displayed showing the Summary tab contents.

  3. In the Hold/Release Queue Settings area, select the Enable hold/release queue check box. This ensures that jobs are held in the print queue until users are ready to release their jobs.

  4. In Release mode, select one of the following:

    • User Release—(default) allows users to release and view only the jobs printed under their name/user account.

    • Admin/Manager only release—jobs can only be released by administrators or hold/release queue managers.

  1. Click OK.

  2. Repeat this process for each printer that requires the hold/release queue enabled.

Step 5: Test the Release Station

It is important to test the Release Station once enabled. To do this:

  1. Start-up an unauthenticated laptop/workstation.

  2. Perform a test print to a print queue with the hold/release queue enabled.

  3. For the standard Release Station, go to the print Release Station and log in as a user. Select the job you printed; then click the Print link to release the job.

  4. For the User web interface Release Station, log in to the User web interface at http://[yourserver]:9191/user. Select the Jobs pending release link. Select the job you printed; then click the [print] link to release the job.

  5. Log in to the PaperCut NG/MF Admin web interface and verify that the print job was allocated to the correct user in the Printers > Print Jobs area.

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