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Deploy print queues using other Apple MDMs and Print Deploy

This page applies to:

This topic provides generic steps to deploy the PaperCut Print Deploy client to a macOS client managed by most MDMs. For an example of a more-specific  MDM workflow, it’s recommended that you review our steps on deploying printers with JAMF here.

At a high level, the Print Deploy client is provided as a ‘.dmg’ that you can deploy to your MDM. The client has a few flexible options to support most MDM solutions so you can deploy the appropriate print queues with appropriate print drivers.

Before you start

This topic is for the following minimum software versions:

  • PaperCut NG/MF: 19.1.0
  • macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or higher

You’ll generally need to be an administrator (or have relevant permissions) for your MDM, and should have already:

  • macOS clients managed by your MDM
  • existing, and appropriate groups in your MDM.

You’re also a PaperCut NG/MF administrator (or have relevant permissions), and should have already:

  • made sure that the PaperCut NG/MF Application Server is accessible via TCP 9191, 9192, 9195, 9174 from the targeted client machines—preferably by a FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) rather than an IP address
  • set up your PaperCut Print Deploy Reference computer
  • deployed and manually tested at least one print queue.

Deployment options

Depending on your MDM platform, you can decide which option is best for you. The basic points that need to be addressed are:

  • how to install the client software on your Mac devices
  • how to tell the client software where to find your Print Deploy server.

The process

First, you’ll need to find the format for the installer that your management platform supports best (usually PKG or DMG). Consult the documentation for your MDM provider for guidance.

Next, you can push the necessary configuration to the devices in a few ways ranging from MDM-agnostic, to fully utilizing the specific features for your particular management platform.

Pick a format for the installer package

PaperCut provides a DMG-formatted installer package by default. However, some MDM configurations support PKG more directly than they do DMG format. If necessary, you can extract the PKG file from the DMG.

How to convert the client DMG to PKG

If you need to extract the PKG file from the provided DMG container:

  1. Log in to your PaperCut NG/MF server, for example,
  2. Click Enable Printing > Print Deploy. The Print Deploy page is displayed.
  3. At the bottom of the page, next to Download clients , click the macOS button.
  4. Save the .dmg file to your Documents folder.
  5. Look at the filename and check that the hostname between the square brackets is correct, for example, pc-print-deploy-client[].dmg.
  6. Double-click the .dmg file and copy PaperCut Print Deploy Client.pkg to the Desktop.

Configure the client to connect to the Print Deploy server

You can use the client filename or a .plist to configure the client.

Use the client filename to configure the client

If there are no other configuration options present in the install, the client will refer to its own name to determine the location of the Print Deploy server.

For example, if the client DMG file is called pc-print-deploy-client[].dmg, the client will refer to the content in the square brackets to find its server name. This option still works with administratively-deployed options, as long as your MDM can provide DMG files to your clients.

Use a .plist file to configure the client

The PaperCut Print Deploy Client can use a .plist file to set its server address. You can share and deploy these files in many different ways, such as with a .mobileconfig file, a file-copy command, or a scripted file creation on the client.

To create the .plist file:

  1. Open a terminal and issue the following command: 
    defaults write ~/Documents/com.papercut.printdeploy.client server_host hostname

  2. Replace the word ‘hostname’ with the FQDN from the ‘.dmg’, for example,

  3. Convert the .plist file with the following command:
    /usr/bin/plutil -convert xml1 ~/Documents/com.papercut.printdeploy.client.plist
    This will ensure that the file can be read correctly.

  4. Verify the contents of the new .plist with the following command:
    defaults read ~/Documents/com.papercut.printdeploy.client.plist
    The output should be:

    macOS:Documents localadmin$ defaults read ~/Documents/com.papercut.printdeploy.client.plist
    "server\_host" = "";
    macOS:Documents localadmin$

Deploy your .plist file

As long as the file exists with the correct format in the correct directory (the file must be in/Library/Managed Preferences/ - if that directory does not exist, you’ll need to create it and drop the config there), the PaperCut Print Deploy client will honor the settings the file provides.

Common options for getting this file onto your clients (in order from the most generic to the most MDM-specific) include the following:

  • Push a script out to create and modify the .plist file on the client.
    • Use the syntax in the section above in a script so that the actions are completed on each client.
  • Copy the file with an MDM command.
    • Some MDMs allow you to push specific files out to your clients. You can use this function to drop your pre-generated .plist file into the correct directory on each of your client computers.
  • Use a configuration setting to push the contents of the .plist file.
    • This is most similar to our JAMF configuration. This option involves leveraging an interface within the MDM to set the settings and push the contents out to the correct location.

Did that work?

You’ll know your deployment is up and running if you can log in to the client successfully and don’t receive any errors displayed in the client (including invalid username/password for a known good username and password).

“No Printers Found” can be indicative of either a failed connection to the Print Deploy server or a Zone misconfiguration (the user doesn’t belong to a zone). Double-check that your Print Deploy username matches the user from PaperCut!

Reach out to PaperCut support if you need assistance deploying with your Apple MDM.