Hide the print job owner from a Find-Me Virtual Queue using the PaperCut NG/MF LPD Service

“I want to improve the privacy of print jobs that are submitted to my virtual queue; ideally I want to hide the owner of a print job entirely. Is there any option in Papercut NG/MF to do this?”

You have a few options here, if it’s only the Print Job Owner you’re worried about, you can consider using some of our PaperCut NG/MF BYOD solutions such as Web Print, Email to Print or Google Cloud Print to achieve this but perhaps you don’t want to deal with the requirements that come with each of those features, or maybe more simply you don’t need BYOD printing.

There is already the ability to hide just the document name in a print queue on a Windows 2012 Server onwards. If you’re using Windows Server 2008 or earlier, or a macOS or Linux Server, there’s also the hidden document name feature provided by PaperCut NG/MF.

Both of those methods are great, but your users can still right click on a print queue and select the “see what’s printing” option to see who else is submitting documents to your virtual print queue. These documents may have their document name hidden via the methods described above but their usernames are still clearly seen. What if you want to hide the print job entirely from a virtual Find-Me queue? Well we can do just that by instantly moving your print jobs to a secondary hidden virtual queue that your users don’t have published to them, thus obscuring both the Print Job Name and the Print Job Owner from view on your end-client computers.

Preparation

If you’re not sure on the finer details of printing with PaperCut NG/MF in this article, we would strongly recommend having a read through our information on Find-Me printing with a virtual queue, Secure Print Release, what a nul port is on either Windows or macOS and on how to use PaperCut NG/MF LPD Service. You can skip this preparation but it might make the following steps a bit confusing.

Setup

For the following steps we will be using two virtual queues to achieve our print job owner anonymity. Throughout these steps we are using the virtual queue names “Incoming” and “Find-Me”. We are using a Windows Server as our default example for the Operating System for the setup of the queues.

  1. Install the PaperCut NG/MF LPD Service and set it up via the instructions outlined above in the “Preparation” section of this article.
  2. Create a new Virtual Queue named “Incoming” on a nul port as the incoming queue using whatever universal or generic driver you would prefer, in this instance we are going to opt for our PaperCut Global PostScript driver. On Windows Server this will be done using the PrintManagement.msc application to create the Virtual Queue.
  3. Next, create another virtual queue called “Find-Me”. When configuring it, add a new Standard TCP/IP port (in Printer Properties > Ports) and populate it with either the Hostname or IP Address of your existing PaperCut NG/MF Application Server.
  4. On the Additional port information window, select Custom > Settings on the next Device Type section and then select the LPR Protocol rather than the default RAW Protocol. Subsequently you’ll need to populate the LPR Settings field with your new “Incoming” virtual queue Hostname that you created in step 2.
  5. Login to the PaperCut NG/MF administrator web interface as a PaperCut Administrator and head to the Printers tab. Find the new “Incoming” virtual queue, click it and in the Configuration section, set the Queue Type drop down menu to This is a virtual queue (print jobs will be redirected to a different queue).
  6. Next, tick the “Enable hold/release queue” tick box in the Hold/Release Queue Settings section.
  7. On the Job Redirection section, select the destination queues that you want to release print jobs to from the “Incoming” virtual queue. Then smash that Apply button at the bottom of the page.
  8. Return to the Printers tab once more and this time click on the “Find-Me” virtual queue and make sure that in the Configuration section you have set the Queue Type drop down menu to This queue points to a physical device (device).
  9. Next, un-tick the Enable hold/release queue tick box in the Hold/Release Queue Settings section.
  10. Head on over to the Charging tab at the top of the page and set the Charging Type to Simple and set the print job costs to 0. If you do not do this step your print job will be charged twice. Once again, smash that Apply button.
  11. In order to prevent print jobs being logged twice; once in the “Find-Me” queue and again in the “Incoming” virtual queue, you need to ignore the “Find-Me” virtual queue in the PaperCut Print Provider. This will be done in the print-provider.conf file found in [app-path]\PaperCut NG/MF\providers\print\win. For example: IgnorePrinters=Find Me. If you want more information on this feature, please see here.
  12. Testing! Open both the “Find-Me” and “Incoming” virtual queue and see if the test print job moved over from the “Find-Me” queue to the “Incoming” queue. Also check for the user that sent the test print job is logging only one print job document in Logs → Job Log of the PaperCut Administrator web interface.
  13. If everything looks good, deploy your “Find-Me” virtual queue to your end users for use.

Still have questions?

Let us know! We love chatting about what’s going on under the hood. Feel free to leave a comment below or visit our Support Portal for further assistance.


Categories: How-to Articles, Print Queues, Security and Privacy

Keywords: hidden, ignore, security, privacy, LPD, LPR, find-me, virtual queue,

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