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Citrix Universal Print Server (Tech Preview)

My thoughts on Citrix Universal Print Server (UPS)

Citrix Universal Print Server Technical Preview is now available as a download at citrix.com

Citrix have talk about this product for many years, and now its here. When i was at Citrix Synergy SF in May  2011 i went to a session where Citrix talked about the Citrix Universal Print Server and that they where very close in releasing a build. In the audience there were 2 employes from ThinPrint and they didnt look happy when Citrix digg-in their product and what they would be able to solve regarding print.

Will Citrix be able to virtualise print server and eliminate the need for installing multiple printer drivers on XenApp/XenDesktop environments and all the issues we have been fighting with for many years. Well if they can do what ThinPrint and UniPrint does then this is a big step for Citrix and all customers that use Citrix.

Thomas Koetzing (CTP) have writen a great article about the Citrix Universal Print Server, how it works, the architecture and how you deploy it. I recommend you read it. Kudos to Mr. Koetzing
Read Thomas Koetzing article on Citrix UPS here

Citrix Universal Print Server explained:

The Citrix Universal Print Server Technical Preview extends XenApp 6.5 and XenDesktop 5.5 Universal printing support to network printing. This feature eliminates the need to install numerous network printer drivers on XenApp and XenDesktop hosts, and enables more efficient network utilization. The new Citrix Universal printer driver supports direct network printing on Windows and non-Windows clients.

After you install the Universal Print Server components and configure the new policy settings, a user can add and enumerate network printers through the Windows Provider and Citrix Provider interfaces. The Universal Print Server feature comprises a client component that you install on XenApp and XenDesktop hosts, and a print server component that you install on a print server.

System Requirements

Client component:

  • Supported on servers running XenDesktop 5.5 with a hotfix or XenApp 6.5 with a hotfix. For the Technical Preview, the required hotfixes are supplied with InstallServicePatchOnVDA.bat for XenDesktop 5.5 and InstallServicePatchOnXAServer.bat for XenApp 6.5.
  • The client component installer enables or installs the following items, if they are not already present:
    • Visual C++ 2005 SP1 and 2008 SP1 runtime libraries.
    • .NET 3.0 SP1 Framework. The installer requires this software.
    • Citrix Client-Side Extension. This is required to retrieve and configure Universal Print Server policy settings.

Server component:

  • Supported on Windows Server 2008 32-bit operating systems.
    • Do not install the server component on a server that has XenApp or XenDesktop installed.
    • Install all Windows updates before installing the server component.
  • The server component installer enables or installs the following items, if they are not already present:
    • Print server role. Enabling this role is provided as a convenience; if enabling this role fails, the installation proceeds normally.
    • Visual C++ 2005 SP1 and 2008 SP1 runtime libraries.
    • .NET 3.0 SP1 Framework. This is required for XPS printing. The installer requires this software.
    • Citrix Client-Side Extension. This is required to retrieve and configure Universal Print Server policy settings.

HowTo install the Universal Print Server Technical Preview Components

1. Download the Citrix Universal Print Server package, CitrixUniversalPrintSolution.zip.

This file contains:

• InstallServicePatchOnXAServer.bat

installs required software on the XenApp 6.5 host to support the Universal Print Server.

• InstallServicePatchOnVDA.bat

installs required software on the XenDesktop 5.5 host to support the Universal Print Server.

• InstallGroupPolicyPatchOnGPMC.bat

updates the Citrix Group Policy Management Console, which allows you to view and edit the new policy settings for the Universal Print Server.

• CitrixUPClient_SelfExtractor.exe

installs the Universal Print Server client component software on the XenApp 6.5 or XenDesktop 5.5 server.

• CitrixUPServer_SelfExtractor.exe

installs the Universal Print Server server component software on the Windows Server 2008 32-bit print server.

2. Copy the file to a shared folder on the network and extract the compressed files.

3. If you will use default installation locations when running

InstallServicePatchOnXAServer.bat, InstallServicePatchOnVDA.bat, and InstallGroupPolicyPatchOnGPMC.bat, skip this step.

If you are not using default installation locations, copy the following files (from the AMD64 subfolder for 64-bit systems, or the X86 subfolder for 32-bit systems):

• For XenApp hosts, copy cpsvc.exe from the XenApp subfolder to the Citrix \System32 folder of your installation.

• For XenDesktop hosts, copy cpsvc.exe from the VirtualDesktopAgent subfolder to the Citrix\IcaService folder of your installation.

• For the Group Policy Management Console, copy UpsPrintingPoliciesDataObj.dll from the GPMC subfolder to both of the following locations:

  • Citrix\Group Policy\Management\Extensions\
  • Citrix\Group Policy\Management\ExtensionsV2\

4. Save the components on the appropriate servers:

Save InstallServicePatchOnXAServer.bat and CitrixUPClient_SelfExtractor.exe on each XenApp host on which you want to install the Universal Print Server.

• Save InstallServicePatchOnVDA.bat and CitrixUPClient_SelfExtractor.exe on each XenDesktop host on which you want to install the Universal Print Server.

• Save InstallGroupPolicyPatchOnGPMC.bat on the XenApp or XenDesktop hosts where you use the Citrix Group Policy Management Console.

• Save CitrixUPServer_SelfExtractor.exe on the print server.

5. On each XenApp or XenDesktop host:

a. Run InstallServicePatchOnXAServer.bat on the XenApp 6.5 host or InstallServicePatchOnVDA.bat on the XenDesktop host.

b. Run CitrixUPClient_SelfExtractor.exe and follow the instructions. The spooler restarts automatically at the end of the client component installation, and the new Universal printer driver is installed.

c. Run InstallGroupPolicyPatchOnGPMC.bat on the computers where you use the Citrix Group Policy Management Console.

6. On the Windows Server 2008 32-bit print server:

a. Ensure all Windows updates are installed.

b. Double-click CitrixUPServer_SelfExtractor.exe and follow the instructions. The server component installs the following services:

Citrix XTE Server – Installed under the Network Service account and configured for automatic start (dependent on the Citrix Print Service).

Citrix Universal Print Service – Installed under the Local Service account and configured for automatic start. After starting, the Citrix Universal Print Service configures the Citrix XTE Server, which then starts.

To configure Universal Print Server policy settings

If you use the Local Policy Editor or Active Directory to configure the following Citrix policy settings, the policy settings apply to XenApp, XenDesktop, and the print server. If you configure these policy settings using the Citrix AppCenter, the policy settings apply only to XenApp and XenDesktop.

Universal Print Server enable – Enables or disables the Universal Print Server feature. This Citrix Computer policy setting applies to Organizational Units (OUs) containing the XenApp and XenDesktop hosts. Valid values are:

Enabled with fallback to Windows native remote printing

Network printer connections are serviced by the Universal Print Server, if possible. If the Universal Print Server is not available, the Windows Provider is used. The Windows Provider continues to handle all printers previously created with the Windows Provider.

Enabled with no fallback to Windows native remote printing

Network printer connections are serviced by the Universal Print Server exclusively. If the Universal Print Server is unavailable, the network printer connection fails. This setting effectively disables network printing through the Windows Print Provider. Printers previously created with the Windows print provider are not created while a policy containing this setting is active.

Disabled (default) – The Universal Print Server feature is disabled.

No attempt is made to connect with the Universal Print Server when connecting to a network printer with a UNC name. Connections to remote printers continue to use the Windows native remote printing facility.

Universal Print Server data stream (CGP) port

Specifies the TCP port number used by the Universal Print Server print data stream CGP (Common Gateway Protocol) listener. This Citrix Computer policy setting applies to OUs containing the print server. Valid values: 1-65535. Default: 7229

Universal Print Server Web service (HTTP/SOAP) port

Specifies the TCP port number used by the Universal Print Server listener for incoming HTTP/SOAP requests. This Citrix Computer policy setting must specify the same value for the OUs containing the network print server, plus the XenApp and XenDesktop hosts. Valid values: 0-65535. Default = 8080

Universal Print Server print stream input bandwidth limit (kbps).

Specifies the upper bound (in kilobits-per-second) for the transfer rate of print data delivered from each XenApp or XenDesktop print job to the Universal Print Server using the CGP protocol. This Citrix User policy setting applies to OUs containing the XenApp and XenDesktop hosts. Valid values: integers > 0. Default: 0 (unlimited)

Effects on User Interfaces

The new Citrix Universal printer driver used by the client component has the same characteristics and user interface as the Citrix Universal printer driver it replaces, with the following exceptions.

  • The Local Printer Settings button in the Printer Properties dialog box is disabled.
  • The Local Printer Settings and Preview on client buttons in the Document Properties dialog box are disabled.

When using the Universal Print Server, the Add Printer Wizard for the Citrix Print Provider is the same as the Add Printer Wizard for the Windows Print Provider, with the following exceptions:

  • When adding a printer by name or address, you can provide an HTTP/SOAP port number for the print server. That port number becomes a part of the printer name and appears in displays. See the Universal Print Server Web service (HTTP/SOAP) port policy setting description above.
  • If the Citrix Universal printer driver usage policy setting specifies that universal printing must be used, the Universal printer driver name appears when selecting a printer. The Windows Provider cannot use the Universal printer driver.

Source on Citrix Universal Print Server:

Download Citrix Universal Print Server here

Thomas Koetzing article on Citrix Universal Print Server

Citrix Official whitepaper on Citrix Universal Print Server

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