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Location based Printing in View 4.5

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A great enhancement in VMware View 4.5 is the Location based Printing feature. With Location based Printing you can always print on a network printer, which is located nearest to you. The feature can be enabled via a Microsoft Windows Group Policy option and is computer specific. The functionality is relatively easy. There is a translation table which contains rules e.g. Map printer NP54621 if the client’s IP address is in the range 192.168.178.10-192.168.178.40. If the user logs on from a client device which is in the given IP address range, the network printer will automatically be mapped into the virtual desktop session. This is great for people who often change their workplace as seen in the healthcare or financial areas but there are a lot more good use cases for that.

The rules can be based on:

 

  • IP addresses
  • MAC addresses
  • Usernames
  • User groups
  • Client hostname

After applying the rules through the Group Policy Object, the information about printers and rules cab be found in the virtual desktops registry at key: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\ThinPrint\tpautoconnect.

The Group Policy for the Location based Printing feature is called AutoConnect Location based Printing for VMware View. Before you can see the policy template in the Group Policy Editor, you’ve to register a special DLL file which you’ll find on the View Connection Server at C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View\Server\Extras\GroupPolicyFiles\ThinPrint. There are two subfolders, one of 32-Bit, the other for 64-Bit systems. The DLL name is TPVMGPoAmap.dll. Just copy the DLL to your administrator workstation and register it with command: regsvr32 "C:\folder\TPVMGPoACmap.dll"

After a successful import you’ll see the new Group Policy in the Group Policy Editor.

 

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With the new feature you get an editor with which you can add/edit and delete the rules.

 

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In this editor you can add each entry manually or use an CSV file to do a mass import of rules. You’ll see the following fields in the table: Default, IP Range, Client Name, MAC address, User/Group, Printer Name, Printer Driver and IP Port / Thin Print Port. Most of the parameters are self explaining but it is important, that the printer driver is exactly matching the name of the driver on the virtual desktop, also the printer name. When you add a IP port for the network printer, don’t forget to add the prefix IP_ e.g. IP_192.168.178.100.

I really like the Location based Printing feature. When I was an administrator for Terminal Servers in a bank years ago we were looking for exactly that functionality. At this time we had to build our own solution based on VB scripts and a MS Access database which contained the rules. That was a headache!

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Written by Christoph Harding

September 14th, 2010 at 8:53 pm

  • Davis

    Question do you have to install every printer in your organization on the parent VM? How do you add all of the drivers to the parent VM without installing the printer?

  • http://www.cd-k.de/ Christoph Harding

    hi,

    this is handled by the ThinPrint universal printer driver which comes with the Virtual Printing feature. This allows you to redirect (compressed, encrypted) the print stream to the client where it is printed through the local printer driver.

    Regards,

    christoph

    Von meinem iPad gesendet

    Am 30.09.2010 um 23:23 schrieb “Disqus” <>:

  • Davis

    Sorry that didn't really help me. What I have done is installed all of the printers on the parent VM and then I referenced them in the autoconnect location based printer GPO. I know that I have to register the thinprint dll file in order to use the GPO.

    My problem is since I installed all of the printers it defeats the purpose of using autoconnect. So what are the necessary steps that I have to take on the parent VM. You mentioned that I have to have the driver installed correct please explain these steps.

  • Davis

    I think I am missing a step with the ThinPrint Component, do I have to configure ThinPrint I couldnt find anything in the admin guide about it.

  • Davis

    None of my locally installed printers are redirected to my Virtual Desktop when using the full version of View Client with RDP or PCoIP. When I go into printers and faxes on my Virtual desktop nothing shows up. How to I get this redirection to occur?

  • Mmquintas

    is it possible to print with I connect a Terminal Service using the VMware View???

    I put the view agent into XP and a TS.
    When I connect the XP all my local priters are mapped and it works!!
    But when I do it on TS, all my local printers are mapped, but nothing is printed.

    does anybody know if it works on TS???

    thx

  • http://www.cd-k.de/ Christoph Harding

    The DLL is just for the Location based printing feature, the Virtual Printing functionallity should run out of the box. Check if there is a ThinPrint Service or process running on the virtual desktop! Must be name TP***** or similar.

  • http://www.cd-k.de/ Christoph Harding

    ThinPrint will automatically create the local printers in the virtual desktop. The configuration can be done in the printer driver. Check the properties and you’ll see a tab named ThinPrint.

  • http://www.cd-k.de/ Christoph Harding

    Using View with a Terminal Server means using RDP to connect to the server. Thin Print in View is just for the virtual desktops. In the case of using a TS you can either buy the ThinPrint components for TS or use the standard Windows/RDP function to redirect the printer drivers. In that case you’ve to install the driver on your client and Terminal Server.

  • Rudolf

    Hi,

    this feature sound great but I’m wondering about some statemanets in the VMware Doku wich does not fit into my point of view. Can you please help me?

    => The VMware docu says “Mary’s Computer” as hostname. For me, this sounds more like the Computer Description. Are we talking about the hostname or the description field (I hope about the computer name of the ThinClient and not of the virtual Desktop). Is it possible to use asteriks (e.g. tc1*)

    => The docu says the client directly connects to the printer. Is it possible to go over a Print Server?

    Thanks for you help. It think this will also be interesting for others.

    Regards,

    Rudolf

  • http://www.cd-k.de/ Christoph Harding

    Hi Rudolf,

    it means the hostname of the client device. This could be a fat or thin client. It’s not the description.

    Printer is direct on TP Port as far as I know.

    Thanks,

    Christoph

  • http://www.cd-k.de/ Christoph Harding

    Hi Rudolf,

    it means the hostname of the client device. This could be a fat or thin client. It’s not the description.

    Printer is direct on TP Port as far as I know.

    Thanks,

    Christoph

  • Pedro

    Hi,

    Do you know if Location-Based Printing is compatible with Windows Server Print Server??

    Best regards,

    Pedro