How To Setup
Mobility Print is all about making life easier for the end users. This magic is, however, only possible with some behind the scenes superhero SysAdmin work! Well… we hope with this best-practice setup guide we can make it a little easier for you too.
We recommend approaching your Mobility Print setup in four phases:
|Step 1: Preparation||Making sure your print environment is ready for installation, and you have the appropriate resources at hand.|
|Step 2: Installation & Setup||Perform the installation and setup step-by-step.|
|Step 3: Testing||Undertake some client printing tests before deploying to end users.|
|Step 4: Sharing||You’re ready to go! Share the end user setup instructions|
Step 1: Preparation
Like all good cooking, a little bit of preparation helps! Mobility Print runs on a system (server or desktop) that is permanently connected to your network. Before you install Mobility Print, you need to:
- Select a host for Mobility Print (usually an existing print server)
- Set up a the print server (if one does not exist)
Select a host
If you already have an existing Windows Print Server… bonus! You can jump to Step 2.
Mobility Print needs to be installed on a system that is permanently connected to your network. This can be:
- An existing Windows print server
- An existing server running other software that can host a Windows application.
- A new system (even a desktop system) that’s permanently left on.
- A virtual machine running Windows. This machine must have its own IP address so cannot be behind a NAT (Network Address Translation).
Warning: Do not install Mobility Print on a DNS server.
For more information, see system requirements.
Set up a print server and integrate with PaperCut NG/MF
- Ensure the host system is connected to the same TCP network that will be used by your end users.
- Set up all your printers on the Windows system using the manufacturer’s provided print drivers.
Tip: Make sure your printers have logical names. It’s harder to change later - users get use to names!
- Perform a test print on each printer to make sure it works (don’t forget to put paper in the printer!)
- Install PaperCut secondary server (Print Provider).
- Check print jobs are tracked by PaperCut.
Step 2: Installation and Setup
Like all good install packages, just download, run, and click “Next” a few times… done! See… that was easy.
During the installation you’ll be prompted to optionally install GhostTrap. This is strongly recommended. It will help you support the widest range of Windows versions. GhostTrap is open source software used to convert PostScript to PDF in a secure sandbox.
This is what you should see after completing installation:
Welcome to your Mobility Print admin interface. It shows:
- the server status
- what’s going on now, such as, how long the server has been up, the time since the last print job, and who last printed
Take some time now to explore. Above each of the client OS icons, the number “0” is displayed. This is a count of the number of print jobs sent from that type of client. You will see these numbers increment when you do some testing in the next phase.
Printer Discovery (mDNS and DNS)
It’s important that you learn how Mobility Print publishes printers. This is referred to a Print Discovery. The Discovery Options determines how devices discover the printers.
For most small organizations, the default should just-work™! You can jump right to the testing phase and give it a go. If you experience problems finding the printers, you may need to come back to this section to understand a little further. Larger organizations with more complex networks, or SysAdmins with a technical inclination, read on!
We’ll first cover a little bit of “how it works” (for the full story check out the How It Works section).
Mobility Print advertises or publishes a list of printers using one of two options:
MDNS, also known as Bonjour, zero-conf, or RFC 6762 to it’s friends. It’s the same protocol that iTunes uses to find your iPhone, or your Apple TV.
- Small offices or businesses
- Small networks - primarily those with a single subnet.
- It’s on by default - it works out of the box
- May not be reliable on networks with high packet loss
- Not a good choice for large networks with multiple subnets
DNS Discovery, also known as “hierarchical decentralized naming system for computers and services” to know-it-alls, an alternative to mDNS. In short, the published printers are encoded in DNS records.
- Medium to larger organizations (e.g. Schools, Corporate offices)
- Networks with multiple subnets
- Networks where reliability is important
- It’s robust and works reliably on networks of all sizes
- More complex to setup
- You may need to make friends with your DNS admin!
Try mDNS first. If you encounter printer discovery issues, or you’re a DNS expert, you can set up Mobility Print using DNS Service Discovery.
Printer selection (optional)
By default, all printers connected to the Mobility Print server are published. You can chose to not publish some printers if required. This is managed via the Select Printers button.
- The change is effective immediately (no submit).
- It might take a couple of minutes for some printers to disable due to system caching.
Configure the print authentication mode
You can configure the way in which end users authenticate when printing. Mobility Print allows you to configure the following printer authentication modes:
- Per printer—allows authentication details to be reused. If the device remembers the authentication details, authentication is required only once for each printer, and is done when the printer is first used by any user on a particular device. This means that for shared devices, once a printer is authenticated, any subsequent users of that device may not need to authenticate when they print.
- Per job—authentication is enforced for every single print job. Use this setting for shared devices.
Note: Per job authentication is not supported on Windows devices. If you configure per job authentication for a printer, then that printer will not be available in the Windows Printer installer. If a printer had previously been installed on a Windows device, and the configuration for that printer is changed to Per job authentication, then any print jobs sent to that printer will be rejected.
Using the Mobility Print Admin interface, you can set the printer authentication mode individually for each printer.
- In the Mobility Print Admin interface, click Select Printers. By default, Per printer authentication is configured.
- If you want users to authenticate every print job, for each printer, click the toggle switch. It is enabled when the toggle is on the right side of the Authenticate per job toggle.
Site Server support
Current Mobility Print does NOT automatically detect the Application Server details when it is installed on a site with a Site Server rather than an Application Server.
In this situation, the following additional steps are required on each Mobility Print server:
- Open the following file in a text editor:
- Set the following values:
- ApplicationServer=[Application Server IP address]
- Save the file.
- Restart the Mobility Print service.
Note: Mobility Print will not work if the connection between the Application Server and the Site Server is down.
Step 3: Testing
Remember the zeros next to each one of the client OS icons? Now it’s time to get them clocking over. Put your gaming hat on and level-up!
This count represents the number of jobs printed from end-user devices. Your aim during testing is to validate printing works correctly from all device types, or at least the devices used on your network.
For each client OS you want to support:
- In the Mobility Print Admin interface, click the Setup Guide link.
- Follow the client setup instructions.
- On each type of device, send a test print job (e.g. XKCD, or an ASCII table if the boss is around).
- Verify that the document printed correctly
- Check the job counter in the interface. It should have moved off “0” to “1”.
- Repeat for each printer…. look for any errors in the admin interface!
If you managed to successfully test all device platforms, a “You’ve Leveled Up” achievement badge will automatically print on all printers . Not really, but it’s a good idea… I’ll let the developers know!
Step 4: Sharing
Almost there! It’s now time to unleash all this awesomeness on your end users. But before you do, here are some tips:
- Turn off each printer’s own discovery/sharing via the printer’s admin pages. For example, some printers have their own AirPrint or Bonjour discovery. If you don’t do this, printers might appear in the end user’s printer list multiple times causing confusion.
- Ask yourself, “Do I need to publish all my printers?” If you don’t, turn on/off printers via Select Printers button.
Ok time to push the button and unleash! The easiest way to do this is to share the URL you’ll find here: Of course, you should test the URL first as you may need to use a different hostname.
We know that most SysAdmins like “command line interfaces” and Art was never a strong subject… so… we’ve prepared a poster for you. Have a crack at passing it off as your own handywork - let us know if you manage to convince anyone!
Alternatively, you can
- Send the link out via email
- Add a link on your intranet homepage
DONE - Coffee time! Check out the How it Works section.