Windows Server 2008: Using Server Core as a Print Server

Ealier last month, we had posted an initial walkthrough on Windows Server 2008 Server Core - getting the OS installed and joining the server to a domain.  Today we're going to continue getting our Server Core implementation and turn the machine into a functional Print Server.  It's been a while since I rebuilt this machine, so the […]

Ealier last month, we had posted an initial walkthrough on Windows Server 2008 Server Core - getting the OS installed and joining the server to a domain.  Today we're going to continue getting our Server Core implementation and turn the machine into a functional Print Server.  It's been a while since I rebuilt this machine, so the first thing I am going to do is list the available Server Roles.  You can do this with the oclist.exe command as shown below:

As we can see, there are no roles installed.  To install the Printing Role, we use the following command: ocsetup Printint-ServerCore-Role.  Once the installation of the role is completed, we are prompted to reboot the server.  There are server roles that are dependent on the Print Server role, such as the LPD Print Server Role (as shown above).  However, when the Print Server Role is installed, the LPD Print Server role is not installed automatically.  Once the server is rebooted, I need to make sure that the firewall on the server has the appropriate ports open to enable File and Printer Sharing.  To open the File & Printer Sharing ports, we use the netsh command: netsh firewall set service fileandprint enable.  So now that the basic prep work is completed, it's time to create and configure the printers.

There are two ways to manage a Server Core installation configured as a Print Server.  At the console itself, you can use a combination of commands and scripts.  All of the scripts are located in the Windows\System32\Printing_Admin_Scripts\en-US folder.  The following commands can be used locally:

  • Net Print: Displays information about a printer queue or print job.  It can also be used to control a specified print job
  • Print: Sends a text file to a printer
  • Prncnfg.vbs: Configures or displays configuration information about a printer
  • Prndrvr.vbs: Adds, deletes, and lists printer drivers
  • Prnjobs.vbs: Pauses, resumes, cancels and lists print jobs
  • Prnmngr.vbs: Adds, deletes and lists printers or printer connections.  Also sets and displays the default printer
  • Prnport.vbs: Creates, deletes and lists TCP/IP Printer ports.  Also displays and changes port configuration
  • Prnqctl.vbs: Prints a test pages, pauses or resumes a printer, and clears a printer queue
  • Pubprn.vbs: Publishes a printer to the Active Directory

To get help about the syntax for any of these commands or scripts, use the /? switch.

The second (and for most people, easier) method to manage the Print Server on a Server Core machine is through the Print Management Console (PMC).  I added my Server Core machine to the PMC on my Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Test machine as shown below:

Additional Resources:

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Microsoft, Windows Server 2008, Server Core, Printing, Knowledgebase, Tutorial, Tips and Tricks, Article