Monday, August 19, 2013

Citrix Printing, history and tips

 

Back in the days of old, Windows printer drivers are written in either ‘user mode’ (version 3 drivers) or ‘kernel mode’ (version 2 drivers). Because Windows NT, was sooooo…. slow Microsoft moved the print drivers to the kernel improve performance. I bet you can get what colour the screen when on NT4 when a print driver failed? As systems got fast the print drivers were moved out to user mode to protect the system and improve reliability.

From Windows Server 2008 and later, the operating system blocked the installations of kernel-mode print drivers. So in cases you can but if you can avoid it don't use kernel-mode drivers on a XenApp servers anymore, best spend some money on a new printer or move to the universal driver.

You can still us user-mode (Version 3) if they are supported on the platform (ie 32bit v 64bit).

If you are on an old system and you are upgrading check whether a driver that you have installed is user mode or kernel mode, do the following:

  1. Click Server Properties on the TS.
  2. Click the Drivers tab.
  3. Look at the Version column for a specific driver. Windows NT 4.0 = kernel-mode driver. Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 = user-mode driver.

Universal Printer Driver (UPD)

The Citrix Universal Printer Driver or the Universal Print Server can support really old printers if they are still needed, so use this if you can?

In traditional Windows the XPS drivers outperforms EMF drivers, but not the Citrix Universal Printer Drivers. Also the output of print jobs using the EMF UPD will be started as soon as the first page has been transferred to the client, which is way better for the end user.

 

TIPS

  1. Always render print jobs on the server
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2008/02/10/ws2008-client-side-rendering.aspx

  2. Execute print drivers in isolated processes
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2009/10/08/windows-7-windows-server-2008-r2-print-driver-isolation.aspx

  3. Point to Print Restrictions (set to localhost)
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2307161

  4. Restrict Print Drivers From Being Installed on Servers Hosted on Windows Server 2008/R2
    http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX128786

  5. Disallow RDP printers from being created via GPO

  6. How to Restrict Print Drivers from Being Installed on XenApp Servers
    http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX120618
  7. Use the driver that came with the OS first, if there is none, look for a TS compatible driver, if there are none look for the Windows Cluster compatible and newest driver
  8. When you use 3rd party printer driver do not use any with print monitors (HP Master Monitor, Lexmark MarkVision, or a utility that is loaded in the Notification Area of the user’s Windows Desktop with many economy printers.)

 

Information for this came from here:

http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX112792
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc784266(WS.10).aspx
http://www.thomaskoetzing.de/?option=com_content&task=view&id=340&Itemid=307
http://support.keytime.co.uk/entries/21961626-Printing-in-a-Citrix-Terminal-Services-environment
http://www.virtualizationadmin.com/articles-tutorials/terminal-services/printing/surviving-printing-citrix.html

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