CUPS printing and windows clients

I am in the process of testing a ubuntu 10.04 linux server along with CUPS and samba to build a print server. Our existing Microsoft print server is not what we thought it would be from a stability standpoint, coming from Novell iPRINT there is no comparison. I have windows and mac clients in my network and would like to use CUPS if possible to add printers like I do from the Microsoft IPP webpage. Is this functionality even available in CUPS? I need any ideas from experts on what they have encountered with using a CUPS print server. Tips and tricks, success stories anything that will enlightment me before I make this infrastructure/system decision. Thank you,

Tech78i
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tech78iAsked:
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tech78iConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:

Noci --

What I mean is if you install IIS Internet Printing you get a website you can go to and install the printer from a client machine by choosing the printer and clicking "Connect". This copies down the drivers from the server to the client machine. I do have samba running on this cups server but I want to have my users install the printers from an interface like this instead of the "APW" short for "Add Printer Wizard". I thought my request was simple but I guess its not. Let me know if that makes sense? Thank you!

Tech78i
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nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
Did you already try to connect to the cups server using a browser? (from a different system?)
The port to access it is 631..

http://{your cups system's ip}:631/

and go from there.
If connections from a different system fail, you may need to first enable access from other systems to your cups server.
Using the browser you can add/modify/remove printers/groups  etc.
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Darr247Commented:
It doesn't need to be from a different machine... http://localhost:631/admin works, too.

And from a different machine I think https is required, instead.
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nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
@Darr247,

If localhost works and from a different machine doesn't work, you can be pretty sure that printing from a different machine also will not work..., you can configure then but not print.. (All work printing/configuring is done using HTTP formatted requests through port 631, and can be using plain, SSL of TLS enabled.
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tech78iAuthor Commented:
Guys the system is setup and working but let me attempt to clarify more. We want to be able to add the CUPS printers from a list of printers like we do on the Microsoft side of the world. I don't want the users to have to go to the Add Printer Wizard and put in the URL for IPP. I want to connect to the printers like I do with the Microsoft print system. I understand the CUPs management website but I need something highly simple for my end users to use to add printers that's it. Thank you!

Tech78i
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Darr247Commented:
> (All work printing/configuring is done using HTTP formatted requests
through port 631, and can be using plain, SSL of TLS enabled.

I'm not sure what you mean by that; I just tried changing a simple option in CUPS (like, 'Save debugging information for troubleshooting') using http://cupsmachineIP:631 and it refused, telling me https was required... and TLS is checked in Tools->Options under Advanced on the Encryption tab in Firefox.
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nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
Ok, not a lot of browsers can use TLS i am not sure that cups can force the upgrade.
Anyway try  https://cupsmachineIP:631/ instead to get secure access.

@tech87i,
Please clarify a thing, what do you mean with:  "We want to be able to add the CUPS printers from a list of printers like we do on the Microsoft side of the world."
Microsoft uses SMB protocol to access disks & printers over the network. So if you want your printers  visible at the same place in the "windows world" then you need a samba server installed as well. (Samba will autoconfigure all cups printers if you want to).
If you use ipp: any ipp client can get a list of printers, either by query-ing servers for it or by listening to the broadcasts done by all servers. (servers also do this amongst each other).

When running linux apps that can print I can see ALL printers in my network that are served out. If the server fails none are visisble so all printer dialogs clearly request that info.

To: summarize, if you want your cups printer visible in the windows world you also need some extra tooling like samba, and you need to integrate with AD to get that to work (if "Advanced Directory" is used).
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nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
BTW, w.r.t. the https://item/... presented, it is a link you can click to access the function needed.
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tech78iAuthor Commented:
After speaking with some linux buddies I found out that this functionality is best done through the add printer wizard which is what we wanted to avoid. Question closed.

Tech78i
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