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PaperCut NG & PaperCut MF Manual


Scenario: The university

West Face University has a student population of 10,000 full-time students and off-campus and part-time students. IT services centrally control the network, however, individual faculties and departments also offer and manage some of the specialist IT infrastructure. All major operating systems are in use on both the workstations and servers.


  1. Centrally managed printers are hosted in a clustered print server environment. The solution needs to support clustering.

  2. IT services want to provide the option for department labs to also have their printers controlled via the central system.

  3. User Client needs to be optional. It would be preferable for students to have access to their account details via a web browser.

  4. The design of the web interface should be customizable.

  5. The system must be secure and support SSL-based encryption.

  6. The system should run on top of a database system and allow data access to facilitate custom reports using packages such as Crystal Reports or JasperSoft Studio.

  7. An open source system would be preferable.


  • Initial installation

    University-wide deployments can be quite involved. Most large universities that have deployed PaperCut NG/MF have worked closely with the PaperCut NG/MF development team during implementation. A lot can be gained by arranging a teleconference or similar with the development team. We’re always happy to help our customers deploy the ideal solution.

  • Requirement 1

    PaperCut NG/MF supports clustering at all application layers including the print server, the database server, and the Application Server on both Microsoft Windows and Linux. Setting up PaperCut NG/MF in Microsoft Clustering Services is covered in Clustering and high availability. The PaperCut NG/MF development team has experience using Linux-HA (High-Availability Linux) and other tools to support customers who use Linux.

  • Requirement 2

    Printers and labs hosted by individual faculties and departments outside the central IT services area can optionally be joined into the campus-wide system via PaperCut NG/MF’s secondary server support. Central IT staff can approve these secondary servers via IP address and grant selected staff administrator level access to the system’s Admin web interface on a case-by-case basis. See Configuring secondary print servers and locally attached printers for more information on secondary servers.

  • Requirement 3

    PaperCut NG/MF’s User Client, which is optional is most environments, allows users to access their accounts and view their account balance, transaction and printing history, and use advanced tools such as TopUp/Pre-Paid Cards and transfers. More information on the web-based users tools is available at Interface levels.

  • Requirement 4

    You can easily change the design and layout of the User web interface using HTML and Cascading Style Sheets. Customizing the User web interface design is covered in Customize the User web interface.

  • Requirement 5

    PaperCut NG/MF provides secure connections for report access and administration via SSL-based encryption. Larger universities often have their own certificate signing procedure for SSL based servers. PaperCut NG/MF can even accept these signed certificates. SSL-based encryption is set up by default and is accessed via a URL such as:


    Information on using a custom SSL certificate is covered in Generate SSL/HTTPS keys.

  • Requirement 6

    Hosting the PaperCut NG/MF system on top of an external database system such as Microsoft’s SQL Server offers a number of advantages including easy data access, better performance and scalability, and the ability to take advantage of existing backup processes. More information on external RDMS support is available at Deployment on an external database (RDBMS).

    The data structure is simple and administrators with report writing skills will quickly be able to access the data for custom reporting via tools such as MS Access, Crystal Reports, or JasperSoft Studio. You can schedule and run JasperSoft Studio reports directly from PaperCut NG/MF.

  • Requirement 7

    PaperCut NG/MF is a commercial system with commercial level support. However, unlike many other commercial applications, PaperCut Software Pty. Ltd. does offer source code access. A number of universities have used the source code access for:

    • auditing - verifying that the software is secure.

    • customization - knowing how the application works and how to implement add-ons.

    Large universities should also look at the large school scenario. Features such as shared accounts and secure printing are also applicable to many university environments.