Use the PDAgent LPD service for a local print queue

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Use the PDAgent LPD service for a local print queue

By default, any Windows print queue that is ‘Matched to device’ will be controlled by the PDAgent. This means the spool data is accessed by reading the spool file while the job waits for the release command from the PDAgent. This has a few disadvantages:

  • The jobs get paused as they arrive in the queue. On Windows 8/10, the users then receive an operating system popup message stating their job is ‘paused’. This can cause confusion for the user and unnecessary IT support tickets being created.
  • On a print server, the jobs waiting in the queue in the ‘paused’ state are visible to other users who are connected to the same queue. This may raise some confidentiality concerns as document names and usernames are visible.
  • Some drivers don’t convert the GDI print data (e.g. V4/Class drivers) until the jobs are sent through the printer port. This means the PDAgent won’t be able to insert the authentication data into the datastream required for post-tracking support (e.g. Enhanced Server).
  • Some Microsoft applications (e.g. Edge, Photos) use the new XPS print path. This results in a similar problem as the V4 drivers (i.e. XPS data in the spool file). PDAgent does have a workaround to support this but using the built-in LPD service resolves this problem altogether.

Apart from resolving all the issues described above, the PDAgent LPD service is also able to authenticate the user with a different username than the currently logged in user. This assists in those cases where PCs are not on the domain and the local user account doesn’t necessarily match their domain account (if it exists). Instead of having to rename the local user account, we can insert the required username into the LPR Queue field (details below).

Configuring the PDAgent

Before we change the port settings on the local print queue, we must enable the LPD service on the PDAgent, and ensure that a queue exists.

Ensure a print queue exists that is matched to a device

When the PDAgent receives a job from LPR, it needs to know which print queue it should use for the job’s processing (i.e. the device settings for the queue’s Matched Device and whether to send to the device’s main network adapter or the Fiery adapter if it has one). First it will try to match a queue using the Queue field it receives from LPR. If it can’t match a queue it will simply use the first queue it can find that is matched to a device.

Enable the LPD service on the PDAgent

On the specific PDAgent, enable the LPD service and choose the default print queue. If you want jobs to be authenticated using a different username to currently logged in user, choose extract username between curly braces from the First try drop down. Otherwise, leave First try set to LPR User Name. Note: if this queue is on a print server (i.e. a shared queue), you would always authenticate based on the LPR User Name. This is because jobs arrive into a shared queue with the relevant username for the user that sent the job. We would only use the extract username between curly braces functionality for a non-shared queue on a user’s PC.

As soon as this PDAgent refreshes, it will be able to receive jobs via LPR. Note that if the Windows LPD Service is installed and running, the PDAgent will stop it.

Changing the port settings on the queue

  • Open the Printer Properties for the queue.
  • Click the Ports tab.
  • Click Add Port.

  • Choose Standard TCP/IP Port and click New Port.

  • Now the Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard will open. Click Next.
  • In the Printer Name or IP Address textbox, enter and click Next.

  • Now there will be a delay while Windows tries to connect to the IP address. It will take a few minutes to time out, until the port configuration form opens. Change the Device Type option to Custom and click Settings.

  • Change the Protocol to LPR and ensure both LPR Byte Counting Enabled and SNMP Status Enabled are unticked.
  • In the Queue Name field, enter the name of the queue on the PDAgent (e.g. PrintDirector). If you want the jobs to be authenticated under a different user than the currently logged in user, you need to append the user’s Login Name in curly brackets after the queue name (e.g. PrintDirector{JohnS}). See above for the correct PDAgent setting required for this.

  • Now click Next in the port configuration wizard and then Finish.
  • In the Printer Properties form, click Apply and then Close.

Refresh the PDAgent

Now that we have changed the port settings on the queue, the PDAgent will stop monitoring the queue (and pausing the jobs) and instead receive the job data on its LPD port. Refresh the PDAgent before doing a test print.

  • Open Resource Manager.
  • Right click the PDAgent on the left and choose Refresh.

Now the queue status should no longer be ‘paused’.

Perform a test print

Send a test print to the queue to confirm that it is working as it should. If the device is configured for Secure Release, check that the job is available for release:

  • Open Resource Manager and click PDAgents.
  • Right click the PDAgent on the right and choose View Print Jobs.

  • Ensure the user’s job appears in the list:

Document revision date: 2019/11/20
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