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Posts Tagged ‘Remote Desktop Services’

EasyPrint

EasyPrint is a new feature of Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008. The idea is that if your users need to run applications on the server via RDS, you no longer have to install their printers on the server, the RDS client on the user’s machine will see the printers installed and will automatically redirect all print jobs from the application being run remotely on the server to a printer installed on the user’s machine. Note, it doesn’t have to be a local printer, it can be a network printer, it just has to be installed on the user’s machine.
There is one caveat though, reading the official MS docs about this feature may lead you to the conclusion that all you need on the client machine for EasyPrint to work is a Win XP SP2 and an RDS client version 6.1. This couldn’t be further from the truth, in reality the minimum requirements for the client machine are a Win XP SP3, .NET 3.5 and an RDS client version 7. Otherwise your remote app won’t see any of the locally installed printers.
Well, on the whole EasyPrint is a nice feature since you not longer have to install any printers on your server even when your users have to run applications on it via RDS. However, installing SP3 on all Win XP machines can be a major pain in the ass as it takes forever to install. Supposedly easy print should work with no extra software on Windows Vista and Windows 7, if it doesn’t then you should probably install .Net 3.5 and RDS client 7.
The reason I decided to write up this info here is that when I was trying to get EasyPrint to work on my LAN I wasn’t able to find much info on how to go about doing it apart from the official MS documentation, which, as was stated earlier, errs on the optimistic side and it can be kind of frustrating when you follow all the steps suggested in the official manual with zero effect. But take heart the thing really does work, it just takes some extra bells and whistles on your client machines and print jobs sent to network servers take a bit of time, there’s little difference on local printers.

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