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Email->Printer software for Linux or Windows

Posted on 2014-02-24
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Last Modified: 2014-03-14
Does anyone know of a way to set up Email->Printer on either a Linux or a Windows machine?

I have a network printer, and I have a Windows server, and a Linux server.

I want one of these servers to check for new emails via POP3 on a special email address I will set up (e.g. printer@mycompany.com). When a new email arrives, it prints the email, along with any attachments inside the email (e.g. if there's a PDF inside the email, it prints the PDF). After it finishes printing, it discards the email.

Basically this way I can forward an email to the special email address and it causes it to get printed out my printer.

I can imagine cobbling something together in Linux with a combination of Fetchmail and CUPS, but I was hoping there was something a little more 'turn-key' out there.
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Question by:Frosty555
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5 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:sarvjita
ID: 39884733
Add a rule in outlook,
1. select apply this rule on messages i receive, then click next
2. select criteria as required or applicable, next
3. select 'print it'
4. select 'delete it'
5. finish
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Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 39884997
sarvjita's post should do the job - if you use Outlook (and Windows). Which email client do you use? As for attachments, there is no easy way I know of to set that up. You could try it with a macro (using AutoHotkey for example), but I can see all kinds of problems, e.g. a spreadsheet that's set up for an A3 printer, and you only have A4.

Some printers are able to print emails sent to them (but not the attachments). What printer do you have?
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Author Comment

by:Frosty555
ID: 39886333
Hi guys,

I'm currently using Google Apps for my email. I didn't know that Outlook could automatically be configured to print emails like that, that's pretty nifty, but I'm looking for a server-side solution that will run on my server, not inside of Microsoft Outlook or an email client on my personal computer or via macros that require control of the client computer (after all, if my personal computer is turned off, or I take it with me somewhere then nothing will print)

The printer is a Brother MFC 9120CN. I know some HP printers have the ability to do this (it's basically what their "ePrint" smartphone app does behind the scenes). Basically I was trying to "roll my own" version of this functionality. I also have a number of clients who would be very interested in having similar functionality.

Alternatively, is there a way in Windows or Linux to set up a "hot folder" where anything dropped into that folder is printed, and then deleted from the folder? I could probably work with that and set up fetchmail to drop emails into that folder.
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Accepted Solution

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wyliecoyoteuk earned 250 total points
ID: 39887333
Batchnprint pro in windows, in linux, it is possible to print to anything using CUPS, pipe it to a script, print to a pdf printer, etc.
I use a script to print to fax using cups and hylafax, not terribly complicated.
There are probably scripts out there to poll a folder and print anything in it.
In windows filemonkey will do that.
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Assisted Solution

by:hdhondt
hdhondt earned 250 total points
ID: 39887374
In Windows something along the following lines should work - for PDFs. I cannot test it on the PC I'm at, as I do not have enough privileges.

:restart
If not exist "c:\Print_Dir\*.pdf" goto :waitawhile
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Foxit Software\Foxit Reader\Foxit Reader.exe" /t c:\Print_Dir\*.pdf "
del c:\Print_Dir\*.pdf
::  delay 30 seconds by pinging a non-existent IP address; change 30000 to suit
:waitawhile
ping 1.1.1.1 -n 1 -w 30000 > nul
goto restart

It should be easy to write an equivalent Linux script. I do not know of a way to print _any_ filetype from a command line - you need to specify the application to print it. Hence, you could change the script to check for all the expected filetypes individually, and add the appropriate command to print it. For .TXT files you could use:

notepad /p *.txt
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