Unauthenticated Printing

KB Home   |   Unauthenticated Printing

“Help! Papercut is tracking jobs under the wrong username! How do I get the user to authenticate when they print the job so that it always tracks properly?”

Papercut tracks print jobs by retrieving the username from the spool file of the print job which reflects the user that was logged in at the time of printing. But what happens when the user that is logged in to the workstation does not match the actual user that is submitting the job? Papercut addresses this issue in the form of Unauthenticated Printing (popup authentication).

For more detail on how popup authentication works, see here: https://www.papercut.com/support/resources/manuals/ng-mf/applicationserver/topics/printer-popup-auth.html

The Scenarios

There are two basic scenarios for when Unauthenticated Printing might be of use:

A public workstation that uses a generic user login

Let’s say you have a workstation in the library where any user that uses this station will log in with the same user credentials, maybe something along the lines of ‘student’. The problem is that every print job sent from this workstation will appear under the ‘student’ user and not the actual person who printed the job.

This issue is solved by flagging the generic user account being printed from as an Unauthenticated User. With this in place, any job submitted under the ‘student’ user will now come with a popup requesting that the user enter their individual credentials. Provided that the credentials entered are correct, the job will now be accounted for under the proper user account in Papercut.

A public printer that receives print jobs from non-domain workstation

Going back to the library example, let’s now say we have a printer in this library that users can bring their own devices to print to. The problem we encounter here is that since the device that the print job is coming from is not managed by your organization, it is likely that the username that the user has created for themselves will not be recognized by Papercut.

Papercut can solve this issue by flagging the printer itself as an Unauthenticated Printer. With this option, any print job sent to this print queue will now prompt the user for authentication. The user can then enter their user-specific credentials that match the credentials in Papercut and have the job properly account!

The Solution

There are two locations Unauthenticated Printing can be enabled, each of which will yield slightly different results. Make sure to look at the scenarios above to see which functionality works best for your environment.

Unauthenticated User

Here is how to configure an Unauthenticated user in Papercut:

  1. Navigate to the Users tab on the Papercut Admin interface
  2. Select the user you wish to flag as ‘Unauthenticated’
  3. Check the ‘Unauthenticated user’ checkbox in the Advanced Options section
  4. Apply

With this enabled, any print job coming into Papercut from this user will now prompt a pop-up to the user requesting that they enter their user-specific credentials!

Unauthenticated Printer

Here is how to configure an Unauthenticated Printer in Papercut:

  1. Navigate to the Printers tab on the Papercut Admin Interface
  2. Select the printer you wish to flag as ‘Unauthenticated’
  3. Check the ‘Unauthenticated printer’ checkbox in the Advanced Configuration section
  4. Apply

You will now be prompted for authentication on every job submitted to this printer!

Video Walkthrough


Categories: Configuration, Tips & Tricks

Keywords: Authentication, Popup Authentication


Share your findings and experience with other PaperCut users. Feel free to add comments and suggestions about this Knowledge Base article. Please don't use this for support requests.

Article last modified on July 23, 2018, at 09:40 PM
Printable View   |   Article History   |   Edit Article