Duplicate Printer Advertisements on Mac OS

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Q Why do I see duplicate Printers advertised over bonjour when running PaperCut on a Mac Server?


Background:

You’ve got a Mac server, and installed PaperCut on it (either as a Primary App Server, or a secondary server). You’ve then set up printer sharing, and shared out the printers to iOS devices as detailed on the iOS Printing Setup pages.

However, now when you browse for printers from a Mac on the same subnet, you’ll see duplicate entries for your print queues. For example:

  • LibraryPrinter
  • LibraryPrinter @ MacServer


What’s happening in the background:

When you check the box ‘Share this printer on the network’ in System Preferences → Printers and Scanners, that will advertise that print queue over bonjour, at the OS level. This part is completely outside of PaperCut and is controlled by OSX. Printers shared like that will appear as Printer @ Server and listed as ‘Bonjour Shared’ in the Add Printers dialog box as seen below:

Sadly Apple do not allow you to share printers at the OS level to iOS devices over bonjour (the difference being a couple of extra flags in the bonjour advertisement which tells iOS that it’s an iOS-enabled queue). If you’re interested in that kind of thing, then you can use a tool like Bonjour Browser to display the different flags and details associated with the different broadcasts, to see the difference between them.

What that means is that when PaperCut is installed, currently we can’t ‘edit’ the current advertisement, but instead have to create a new advertisement - which is the Printer version of the queue that you’ll see in the Add Printers dialog - listed as type ‘Bonjour’ (again seen in the screenshot above).

Note that you will only see the ‘PaperCut’ version of the advertisement from iOS devices, so the duplicate queues will only appear when browsing bonjour printers from OS X on a Mac.

What can be done about it?

If you’re not using iOS printing at all, but you’ve just installed PaperCut on the Mac, then you can disable iOS printing completely as detailed in that link.

Alternatively if you only want to advertise a subset of printers to iOS devices, then you can stop sharing to iOS on a printer-by-printer basis as detailed in the unshare a particular printer section.

Unfortunately at the moment there isn’t a way to merge the advertisements into one.


Categories: Implementation / Deployment, Apple iOS


Keywords: duplicate, bonjour, advertisement, printers, double, yosemite, mavericks, Mac OS, OS X

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Article last modified on January 07, 2015, at 11:59 PM
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