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Print sever Capacity

I have a network with 40 users running win98. There are currently about 15 printers. Each printer is attached to a workstaion and shared for the 3 to 5 people near by.
I am considering installing a computer to be used for a print server. I am considering 500mhz amd with 10gb hdd and 128 ram with Rh 6.1 and samba.
I'm currently experiencing some labor as these people move a lot and I'm always setting up printers and changing names etc. I thought a print server would help. What do you think?

1. Is this a good idea
2. will this machine handle the load and growth to 50 users and 20 printers?
3. Can I restrict some printers to just certain users (accounting)
4. What other factors should I consider before trying this?


Linux Networking

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lewisg
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lewisg
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1. It is an excellent idea! I have never liked the idea of sharing resources on user's machines since one user can screw up everybody else in the area. Additionally when a print job comes in to a user's machine it slows down and may exibit erratic behavior.

2. Yes it should. Actually if there is another linux machine already running on the network it may be able to handle the increased load.

3. Since you can restrict access to the print spools with samba you should be able to restrict users to certain printers. However in practice you most likely won't have to do this unless your users are the sort that like to dink around in the win9x printer settings.

4. The architecture of what you are looking to do will require a bit of investment. In addition to the linux box you will need a TCP/IP print server (and network drop)per printer. These are typically about $100-$150 each (I have purchaced 10 on eBay for $300 before, so shop around). The advantages of this setup should outweigh the cost if speed and reliability are concerns.
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davidpm
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ASKER

As for the load requirements how do you go about sizing something like this. Will the Harddrive be used much.
I expect a spool file will open then close and unless it's a 500 page job will be empty or nearly empty most of the time.

Again are you saying that this should be two Samba servers for this number of printers.
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lewisg
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>are you saying that this should be two Samba servers for this number of printers?<

No. I am saying that your proposed "500mhz amd with 10gb hdd and 128 ram with Rh 6.1 and samba." should be able to do the job. However if you already have a linux samba machine running on the network for file services (and it is not overloaded) I would try putting the print spools on it before spending money on another machine.

>how do you go about sizing something like this?<

I don't know of any formulas. Use the "top" command to check linux system load.
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ASKER

What is the first sign of an overloaded print server?
Do new jobs take longer to start to spool?
Do currently spooling jobs stop printing or slow down.
I'm being so fussy about this because this is a big change for this company and they do a lot of printing.

To save some maintance labor and cause even the slightest trouble to the users would not be good.
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Thanks for the advise will do as you suggested.
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lewisg
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Good luck! Here are some of the applicable file parts that work well for me...

/etc/smb.conf
[global]
   workgroup = WORKGROUP
   printcap name = /etc/printcap
   load printers = yes
   printing = bsd

[printers]
   path = /var/spool/samba
   browseable = no
   guest ok = no
   writable = no
   printable = yes

/etc/printcap
4019office:\
        :sd=/var/spool/lpd/lp0:\
        :mx#0:\
        :sh:\
        :rm=172.20.1.25:\
        :rp=Office_pcl:

Linux Networking
Linux Networking

The variety of Linux distributions creates myriad issues relating to configuration and operations when computers are networked, not the least of which is the use of various network management applications, some of which are included with specific distributions, while others are standalone applications.

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