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The_Great_Sephiroth
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:17 pm    Post subject: Gentoo-based print and scan server... Reply with quote

I am trying to setup a print/scan server using Gentoo on a box with 2GB of RAM and a 64bit dual-core CPU. Shell only, SSH access only. I know I can setup network scanning with SANE and I know I can share printers via CUPS. The printer/scanner units are identical and will be plugged in via USB. The questions I have below relate to printing and printer pooling.

How can I setup a pool with the two units so that it alternates printing between the two. In other words, I print a document and it goes to printer A. I (or anybody else) prints another document after that and it goes to B. The next document goes back to A. This way both printers are being utilized instead of only one.

The catch to this is that when the front office wants to print payroll checks, how could we force it to print those checks to the unit with the actual checks in it?
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cboldt
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have an answer yet, looks like an interesting and useful problem. I do have a question. Are both printers part of the same "unit"? Or do you have two "units," each comprising a computer and a printer/scanner?

Obviously, all print requests will have to pass through some central authority that toggles between the two printers, except toggling is overridden for one user who will have the ability to direct a certain job to a specified printer.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Code:
   You can easily take advantage of the CUPS load balancing feature. This is done via the "class" feature. Add the two printers to a class and use the class as the print destination. CUPS will distribute jobs evenly between the printers contained within the class.


From other remarks I've run into, any overriding of this is done by the user calling for a print job, specifying a printer at the time of sending the job.

See too https://lists.cups.org/pipermail/cups/2006-September/010347.html
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The_Great_Sephiroth
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These units are two identical all-in-one units. I do not have the model number in front of me but my boss has one on his Gentoo system and it works fine. So there will be two identical printers plugged ito USB ports on the server and CUPS/SANE will be sharing them out.
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The_Great_Sephiroth
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait, I just read your second post. I am assuming that if I pool two printers behind CUPS, CUPS will share out a "virtual" printer and this is all my users will have on their end. When they print to this printer the server (CUPS) will decide which one to print to. Am I wrong here? It would seem to me that if the workstation had two printers the user would always print to one or the other anyway, defeating the point of the pool.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I read that, a user has the option of printing to a CLASS or to a PRINTER. Load balancing occurs automatically when print jobs are sent to the CLASS.

I believe your users would retain all the control, they could print to the CLASS, or to PRINTER1, or to PRINTER2. Cups would be set to default to the class.
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The_Great_Sephiroth
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I will be trying this next week, so we will see.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look, I'm a necromancer! Necrodancer? Either way, I finally got the company to move on this and we put things in. Monday will be the test for this system. I will let you know how it works out and post information on exactly how to do this. Basically, I created a class and added both printers to it. My fingers are crossed!
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