Duplicate Printers

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“Help! When I try to add a printer or send a print job from my device, I see each printer appearing twice! What can I do to fix this?”

If you see this issue with PaperCut Mobility Print

This can happen for a couple of different reasons on any type of Mobility Print client (including macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, or Chrome). Fortunately it is fairly easy to resolve.

  • One possible cause for users seeing duplicate printers is that the DNS records for Mobility Print were set up, but mDNS is still enabled. After verifying the DNS records using Mobility Print “Configure DNS” wizard, the mDNS broadcast should be turned off. However, if this step was been skipped, and the clients and the server are in the same subnet then you may run into a situation where clients see the printer being advertised twice through mDNS as well as DNS.
  • It can also happen if there are extra, unnecessary DNS records. If you’re not sure whether these have been set up correctly, then have a look at these examples of Mobility Print records to see how this should be configured. Feel free to send us a screenshot of the records on your DNS server if you’re not sure or have any questions at all.
  • If you see the same printer being advertised multiple times on just macOS and iOS devices, but with a slightly different name, you could be looking at a printer that has Bonjour turned on and is advertising itself. If you have a macOS or Linux server, it may be that CUPS sharing is turned on. Alternatively if you have a Windows print server, you may see the duplicate print queues listed with the type Open Directory, which means that they are being shared through Active Directory.

If you see this issue with PaperCut iOS Print

Please note that this information pertains to an older PaperCut BYOD printing solution called iOS Print which will only work on macOS PaperCut servers. However we recommend a newer solution called Mobility Print which is much more versatile and robust. It also can be installed on any type of PaperCut server and enable BYOD printing for a broader variety of devices.

This may also happen if you have a macOS print server with PaperCut, you’ve set up printer sharing, and you’ve shared out the printers to iOS devices as detailed on the iOS Printing Setup pages.

Unfortunately now when you browse for printers from a Mac on the same subnet, you see duplicate entries for your print queues. Like this example below, where each printer has a doppelgänger that ends with “@ MacServer”.

Why would this happen?

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.

For more information about Mobility Print, check out the Mobility Print Help Center.

Categories: Implementation / Deployment, PaperCut iOS Print, Mobility Print Articles

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


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Article last modified on June 28, 2018, at 09:39 PM
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