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Client Print Protocols Supported by Lion Server

You can set up a shared print queue for any printer in Lion Server and the print service in Mac OS X Server can communicate with user client computers with one of three network printing protocols. You set up a print queue with one more of these print protocols:

  • Internet Printing Protocol (IPP): Mac, Windows (XP and later), and Unix/Linux clients can all use IPP to print. When Mac OS X clients print to a non-PostScript printer, they can use the printer’s native driver installed on the client to have access to the printer’s special features. This isn’t available with LPR.

  • Line Printer Remote (LPR): Mac, Windows (XP and later), and Unix/Linux clients can all use LPR to print.

  • Server Message Block (SMB): Windows clients only, including older versions of Windows.

Client computers can use any of these protocols to transfer PostScript print jobs to the server. If you have a printer that uses a proprietary, non-PostScript print driver, it will use IPP to send print job data with.

A USB printer connected to the server Mac is a network printer as far as the client computers are concerned. So although a USB printer doesn’t use a network printing protocol to talk to the server, the clients do use a network printing protocol to send jobs to the server.

If the USB printer is a raster (non-PostScript) inkjet printer, the client computers can use any printing protocol to send a PostScript job to the server. The server converts the PostScript job to what the inkjet printer expects to receive.

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