how to send link to install printer on a mac

ttrbrtsn used Ask the Experts™
how can i send a link to install a printer on a mac ? i know how to on a windows environment by sending a link \\printeserver\printername\.

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If this is a Windows printer, you can try this:

  • Open “Print & Fax” in “System Preferences”
  • Click “+” to add a new printer
  • Control-click (or right-click) on the toolbar at the top of the window and select “Customize Toolbar…”
  • Drag the “Advanced” icon to the toolbar and select “Done”
  • Click on the “Advanced” icon … and be patient … after a moment or two, you can select “Windows” from the “Type” dropdown-menu
  • Enter the SAMBA URL of the shared windows printer in the “URL” textfield:
  • If the shared printer does not need a password, you can use smb://USERNAME@…
  • Fill out the other fields “Name” and “Location” as you prefer
  • When printing the first time you will get prompted for your USERNAME and PASSWORD. Fill in your windows printserver username and password and enable the “Add this to your keychain” checkbox.

This comes from this link.

If this printer is shared on a Mac then, as far as I know, you can only browse to it from System Preferences > Print & Fax > Add Printer.
You can add printers via the COMMAND LINE also on OSX but you really need to know what you're doing ..

There are a few factors .. if the printer doesn't need custom drivers its easier
lpadmin -p Printer_Name -L "Printer Location" -E -v ipp:// -o printer-is-shared=false

If the printer needs a PPD file you need to include the local path* for it
lpadmin -E -p "PrinterName" -v "PrinterURL" -P "PPD" -o printer-is-shared=false

-E Enables the printer
"PrinterName" can be anything that describes your printer
"PrinterURL" is the URL or IP address of the printer
-P "PPD" is the PPD file you wish to use (including the path it must already be installed locally - if not you need to do this first )
-o printer-is-shared=false turns off printer sharing

*The PPD files are usually located in the /etc/cups/ppd directory. If the printer you want to use is not listed, you can download the PPD from the OpenPrinting site or copy it from another similar mac which already has the printer working.

There's a web interface to the printer system on OSX called CUPS .. . it's off by default but you can enable by running the following command in Terminal
sudo cupsctl WebInterface=yes

Then open any browser and enter

The nice thing with CUPS is you can easily see all the settings of the installed printers and copy the relevant values from a Mac where the printer is already installed and set the links for other macs to use
There isn't a similar facility on the Mac.  You have to manually enter it in some way.  Because of system permissions, Mac GUIs are meant for single user usage.  You'd send the link with forward slashes instead of the Windows backslashes.  They'd have to open the Printers Preferences and add an LPD printer using //printerserver/printername/.  The Mac should also be joined to the domain to avoid having to be rejected for not having the correct Windows permissions, and to avoid entering a password in a plain text readable configuration file.

Generally, you don't want to have everyone connect to the printer individually in an office.  You want to set group policy and just have it appear on the their systems without user intervention.  It's less prone to error once it's set correctly.  This way there's better and easier control of the printer queue when you need to service the printer.

To do multiuser work on Macs, you go to the BSD Unix command line.  You can set up the printer on one computer, either through the GUI or command line, then just copy the cups folders from /etc/cups/ and the printer drivers from /Library/Printers/ from one computer to the next.  One way is to zip it up from one computer, then extract it on another, but you'll need to sudo to access the file, and that means command line.  Another is to rsync it.  I suggest that you join the Macs to the domain, or you'd have to create a special lower privileged printer account just for connecting printers.  That username and password will be save in text readable value.

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