SUMMARY: Network print configuration for Lexmark network printers

From: Marc S. Gibian (
Date: Fri Nov 21 1997 - 17:34:37 CST

I had asked how one goes about managing network printers with SunSoft Print
Client (SSPC)/NIS+ (Detailed question attached). It turns out that the true
problem is specifying a print queue for a print server. The Solstice AdminSuite
print manager does not permit the entry of a print queue when specifying a
remote printer. One CAN configure this indirectly by naming the global print
queue the same name as the print queue on the print server. This breaks down if
you have two servers with printers using the same print queue name, as is the
case at my customer's facility.

Having had success with this technique, though, I started poking around the FNS
command line tools and fncreate_printer in particular. The documentation for
fncreate_printer, FNS in general, and specifically the manner in which SSPC uses
FNS is quite vague to be generous. After some exploration, though, I came up
with a solution that appears to work! Let me share this so others can take
advantage of the benefits of central administration of printers via SSPC.

The basic command line for adding a printer foo, and print queue bar, as print
queue name lexmark to the namespace used by SSPC is:

fncreate_printer thisens/service/printer lexmark bsdaddr=foo,bar

This command does not attach a description to the printer nor does it setup a
printer as the default printer. I accomplished these tasks by running the
Solstice AdminSuite print manager after performing all necessary
fncreate_printer commands, selecting and filling in printer descriptions and
selecting the default printer box for the desired printer. One problem with this
is that the print manager hangs after updating a description on a networked
lexmark. I believe this is because it is expecting the printer to have more
"intellegence" than it actually has, and thus a protocol exchange it attempts as
part of the update fails. The bottom line, though, is that modifying a printer
does not loose the discrete definitions of print server, print server queue, and
global print queue while updating these other items.

Followup questions are:

1. Are any of these issues corrected in more recent versions of Solaris or
Solstice AdminSuite? I am currently running Solaris 2.5 and the AdminSuite
bundled with it.

2. How would one migrate this SSPC configuration to a new Solaris 2.6 server
with the version of AdminSuite bundled into it? I will have to do this within
the next few weeks or so.

Finally, my thanks for the few responses I recieved. While they did not
specifically solve the problem, they pointed me in directions that eventually
lead to the solution I've described: (Derek Eichele)
birger@Vest.Sdata.No (Birger A. Wathne)


Marc S. Gibian
COMSYS Information Technology Services phone: (617) 377-6350
PRISM/TFS email:
                           or is it:
                        well, maybe:
              and if all else fails:

attached mail follows:

I have a group of Solaris 2.5 workstations running the SunSoft Print Client
(SSPC) to allow centralized configuration of printing via NIS+. One of these
machines has been hosting a NeWSprinter 20 via the NeWSprint software product,
and all others are configured via SSPC to print to the system hosting the
NeWSprinter. I need to retire the system hosting the NeWSprinter. Rather than
move the NeWSprinter to a different machine, I want to retire it as well (All
these systems will be migrating to Solaris 2.5.1 or 2.6 and thus I don't want to
deal with the dropped support of NeWSprint... I'm also tired of fighting for
money everytime we run out of NeWSprinter toner, you can buy a nice modern laser
printer of greater quality for the cost of just a few NeWSprinter toner
cartridges). There are a number of Lexmark printers available on our network. I
am able to locally configure my systems to print to them using the following set
of commands:

with lexmark being the numeric ip address of the printer or a resolvable
hostname for that printer...

lpsystem -t bsd lexmark
lpadmin -pprintername -slexmark!PORT1
lpadmin -pprintername -I any
enable printername
accept printername <appears to be redundant, but it can't hurt>

I have tried to find a way to configure printing in this way via Solstice
AdminSuite's print manager, but can't find a way to specify the PORT1 component.
I also tried configuring one host for printing to the lexmark printer and then
using AdminSuite to setup remote printing from all other systems to the one with
the lexmark configured, but that fails with an error (something like "not a
printer local to <hostname>"). I really don't want to have to locally configure
the lexmark printers on every machine I administer, so...

Does anyone know how I use SSPC/NIS+ to configure printing to these lexmark
network printers?


Marc S. Gibian
COMSYS Information Technology Services phone: (617) 377-6350
PRISM/TFS email:
                           or is it:
                        well, maybe:
              and if all else fails:

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