TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacEnterprise: Printing with Leopard in the Enterprise

Volume Number: 24 (2008)
Issue Number: 06
Column Tag: MacEnterprise

MacEnterprise: Printing with Leopard in the Enterprise

Changes for Mac Administrators

By Greg Neagle, MacEnterprise.org

Introduction

Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" continues the trend of enhancements and modifications to printing on the Mac. Changes in the CUPS configuration and in the printing utilities in Leopard have the potential to simplify or complicate your environment. With a few simple changes, you can customize printing behavior in Leopard to more closely match its behavior in Tiger, and ease the transition for your users and support staff.

More Security, More Support

Printing in Leopard largely behaves as it did in Tiger. One particular change, however, might be of interest to Mac administrators: for the first time since Mac OS X was introduced, a user must be an administrator to add and remove printers.

Presumably, Apple made this change to improve security – Leopard has many changes to increase the security of Apple's OS. For most home users, where at least one user's account is an admin account, this change really doesn't affect the user experience much. But in an enterprise environment, this change can be more problematic.

In many enterprise settings, most users do not have administrative privileges. They cannot install or remove software, and cannot make many configuration changes. This provides a more stable and secure platform for enterprise users and administrators, and makes support of these machines easier. Restricting the addition of printers to admins has the potential to increase support costs, since any time a user needs to print to a new or different printer they have to contact support.

For some organizations, making the addition of printers an administrator-only function might be a good thing, especially if you tightly control printer usage. But if in your organization, the pre-Leopard behavior is a better fit, there is a way to allow non-admin users to add printers and reduce the burden on support.

CUPS configuration

To allow non-admins to add printers, we'll need to edit the cupsd configuration file, located at /private/etc/cups/cupsd.conf. You'll need to use sudo, and your favorite text editor. Look for this section:

  # All administration operations require an administrator to authenticate...
  <Limit CUPS-Add-Modify-Printer CUPS-Delete-Printer¬
CUPS-Add-Modify-Class CUPS-Delete-Class CUPS-Set-Default> AuthType Default Require user @SYSTEM Order deny,allow </Limit>

Remove or comment out this section and replace it with:

# Allow non-admin users to add printers
 <Limit CUPS-Add-Modify-Printer CUPS-Delete-Printer ¬
CUPS-Add-Modify-Class CUPS-Delete-Class ¬
CUPS-Set-Default> Require valid-user Order allow, deny Allow all </Limit>

Now look for this section, which should be directly below the section you just modified:

  # All printer operations require a printer operator to authenticate...
  <Limit Pause-Printer Resume-Printer Enable-Printer ¬
Disable-Printer Pause-Printer-After-Current-Job ¬
Hold-New-Jobs Release-Held-New-Jobs Deactivate-Printer¬
Activate-Printer Restart-Printer Shutdown-Printer Startup-Printer ¬
Promote-Job Schedule-Job-After CUPS-Accept-Jobs CUPS-Reject-Jobs> AuthType Default Require user @AUTHKEY(system.print.admin) @admin @lpadmin Order deny,allow </Limit> \

Change it to:

# Allow non-admin users to pause and resume printers
  <Limit Pause-Printer Resume-Printer¬
Enable-Printer Disable-Printer Pause-Printer-After-Current-Job¬
Hold-New-Jobs Release-Held-New-Jobs Deactivate-Printer Activate-Printer¬
Restart-Printer Shutdown-Printer ¬
Startup-Printer Promote-Job Schedule-Job-After CUPS-Accept-Jobs CUPS-Reject-Jobs> Require valid-user Order allow, deny Allow all </Limit>

These changes allow any authenticated user perform the CUPS actions defined – the key actions we are interested in are adding printers and the ability to pause or resume printers. In many cases, the changes to the section to allow pause/resume may not be needed, because by default, any user who is a member of the lpadmin group can perform these functions, and all local users are automatically added to the lpadmin group when they are created. You might need this change in an environment with network accounts, where network users are not members of the lpadmin group.

Now test the changes. Login as a non-admin user and open a document. Choose Print from the File menu. The standard Print dialog will open. In the Printer pop-up menu, select Add Printer... You should be able to add a printer without being prompted for an admin password. Note that using the Print and Fax preferences pane in System Preferences still requires an admin password, so tell your users to add printers using the method described above (from the Print menu), or make the additional change described below to provide another way to add printers. Additionally, as the Print menu does not offer an option to delete printers, there is no user-friendly way to remove printers without allowing access in the preference pane.

If you want to revert your changes, you can simply copy /etc/cups/cupsd.conf.default to /etc/cups/cupsd.conf to restore the CUPS configuration to Apple's default settings.

Replacing Printer Setup Utility

Prior to Leopard, there were at least three ways to add a printer: using the Print and Fax preference pane, using the Printer Setup Utility in /Applications/Utilites, and by choosing Add Printer... from the Print dialog in any application (which then opens the Printer Browser in the Printer Setup Utility).

In Leopard, Apple has simplified matters somewhat by removing the Printer Setup Utility. This may confuse your users who you've upgraded from Tiger. If they are not admin users, the Print and Fax preference pane will be of no use to them, either. You can of course tell them to use the Add Printer... item in the Print dialog. But you may want to increase the chances they'll figure things out for themselves by partially restoring the missing Printer Setup Utility.

We'll do this by creating a symlink in /Applications/Utilities named "Printer Setup Utility.app" that links to the AddPrinter application in /System/Library/CoreServices:

sudo ln -s /System/Library/CoreServices/AddPrinter.app \
/Applications/Utilities/Printer\ Setup\ Utility.app

Now when you users go looking for a tool in the Utilities folder to help them add a printer, they'll find one.


AddPrinter.app

This isn't a perfect solution. AddPrinter doesn't act like a standard application, since it wasn't designed to be one. It doesn't have a menu bar, it doesn't appear in the Dock, and it doesn't automatically come to the front when opened. This may confuse your users. You may want to decide whether or not making it available in this way will lessen your support burden or increase it.

Conclusion

If Leopard's printing changes have caused support issues in your environment, you now have a few tools to use to help your users help themselves!


Greg Neagle is a member of the steering committee of the Mac OS X Enterprise Project (macenterprise.org) and is a senior systems engineer at a large animation studio. Greg has been working with the Mac since 1984, and with OS X since its release. He can be reached at gregneagle@mac.com.

The MacEnterprise project is a community of IT professionals sharing information and solutions to support Macs in an enterprise. We collaborate on the deployment, management, and integration of Mac OS X client and server computers into multi-platform computing environments.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

FileZilla 3.23.0.2 - Fast and reliable F...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. Version 3.23.0.2: Bug Fixes and Minor Changes Speed up icon... Read more
PDFpen 8.3 - $74.95
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
TunnelBear 3.0.8 - Subscription-based pr...
TunnelBear is a subscription-based virtual private network (VPN) service and companion app, enabling you to browse the internet privately and securely. Features Browse privately - Secure your data... Read more
Safari Technology Preview 10.1 - The new...
Safari Technology Preview contains the most recent additions and improvements to WebKit and the latest advances in Safari web technologies. And once installed, you will receive notifications of... Read more
Ableton Live 9.7.1 - Record music using...
Ableton Live lets you create and record music on your Mac. Use digital instruments, pre-recorded sounds, and sampled loops to arrange, produce, and perform your music like never before. Ableton Live... Read more
BetterTouchTool 1.963 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
NeoFinder 7.0 - Catalog your external me...
NeoFinder (formerly CDFinder) rapidly organizes your data, either on external or internal disks, or any other volumes. It catalogs all your data, so you stay in control of your data archive or disk... Read more
Coda 2.6 - One-window Web development su...
Coda is a powerful Web editor that puts everything in one place. An editor. Terminal. CSS. Files. With Coda 2, we went beyond expectations. With loads of new, much-requested features, a few surprises... Read more
PDFpenPro 8.3 - $124.95
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Create fillable forms and tables of content... Read more
File Juicer 4.51 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. In computer... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

PINE GROVE (Games)
PINE GROVE 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A pine grove where there are no footsteps of people due to continuous missing cases. The case is still unsolved and nothing has... | Read more »
Niantic teases new Pokémon announcement...
After rumors started swirling yesterday, it turns out there is an official Pokémon GO update on its way. We’ll find out what’s in store for us and our growing Pokémon collections tomorrow during the Starbucks event, but Niantic will be revealing... | Read more »
3 reasons why Nicki Minaj: The Empire is...
Nicki Minaj is as business-savvy as she is musically talented and she’s proved that by launching her own game. Designed by Glu, purveyors of other fine celebrity games like cult favorite Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Nicki Minaj: The Empire launched... | Read more »
Clash of Clans is getting its own animat...
Riding on its unending wave of fame and success, Clash of Clans is getting an animated web series based on its Clash-A-Rama animated shorts.As opposed to the current shorts' 60 second run time, the new and improved Clash-A-Rama will be comprised of... | Read more »
Leaks hint at Pokémon GO and Starbucks C...
Leaked images from a hub for Starbucks employees suggests that a big Pokémon GO event with the coffee giant could begin this very week. The images appeared on Reddit and hint at some exciting new things to come for Niantic's smash hit game. | Read more »
Silent Depth Submarine Simulation (Game...
Silent Depth Submarine Simulation 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Enneas Saga lets you lead your own demon...
Defend the land of Enneas Continent from the forces of evil in the new fantasy MMORPG from Lyto Mobi: Enneas Saga. Can’t wait? No problem. It’s available to download now on Android devices. | Read more »
Great zombie games in the spirit of Dead...
Dead Rising 4 arrives tomorrow, giving enthusiasts a fresh chance to take selfies with zombies and get up to other ridiculous end-of-the-world shenanigans. To really get into the spirit of things, we've gone and gathered the best zombie games that... | Read more »
Amateur Surgeon 4 Guide: Advanced tips a...
Amateur Surgeon 4 is still tackling the competition at the top of the App Store charts, so if you haven't tried it out yet, you should probably do that right away. If you've been at it for a while, though, perhaps you're ready to start expanding... | Read more »
Amateur Surgeon 4 Guide: Become the worl...
It's time to wield your trusty pizza cutter again, as Amateur Surgeon has returned with a whole fresh set of challenges (and some old, familiar ones, too). Starting anew isn't easy, especially when all you have at your disposal is a lighter, the... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Back in stock: Apple refurbished Mac minis fr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Twenty-Five Years Of Apple Laptops – A person...
Among many other things, the often tumultuous 16th year of the new century marked the 25th anniversary of Apple laptop computers, not counting the optimistically named 16-pound Mac Portable of 1989.... Read more
Landlordy iOS App Adds Support For Appliances...
Riga, Latvia based E-protect SIA is releasing major update (version 1.8) to its Landlordy app for managing rental business financials on the go. Landlordy is iPhone and iPad app designed for self-... Read more
Holiday sale, Apple iMacs for up to $200 off...
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
Holiday sale: Mac minis for $50 to $100 off M...
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $629 $70 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini: $899 $... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP, ref...
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3699, $... Read more
12-inch WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for up t...
B&H Photo has 12″ WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for up to $50 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749 $50 off MSRP... Read more
9-inch Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for $20-$...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for $20-$50 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 256GB WiFi iPad Pro: $779.95 $20 off MSRP... Read more
Apple refurbished 2015 15-inch MacBook Pros a...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available starting at $1699. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro... Read more
Back in stock! 13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook...
Apple has Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pros (MF839LL/A) available again for $1099 including free shipping. That’s $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Philade...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- San Ant...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Products Tester Needed - Apple (Unit...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
SW Engineer *Apple* TV Frameworks - Apple I...
The Apple TV team is looking for a software...create features that reflect the look and feel of Apple TV. Description: Were looking for someone who is Read more
Hardware Design Validation Engineer - *Apple...
The Apple Watch team is looking for a Hardware Design Validation Engineer. This person will be part of the Apple Watch hardware team with responsibilities for Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.