As I'm thinking of our future OS builds and the increase of laptop usage in
our environment I'm having to re-think my approach to printer driver
installs. Typically I've only been installing HP drivers since that is all
we use here but this becomes a problem for users working off-site and have
to send print jobs to something other than an HP printer. One thought is to
add printer driver installers from OS cd for laptop configuration. But the
dilemma here is how to maintain all printer driver updates and will these
installers cater to all printers for each manufacturer. I'm curious how some
of you are approaching this? As it stands our users don't have admin rights.
Any input is highly appreciated and thanx in advance,
This depends on your infrastructure. If you run any kind of print services server side you can have it push out a lot of things, or you can install printers via a web interface. You could also image a machine with your base image, then snap shot it with your printers installed. That will create a casper deployable package in composer.
Another option would be to set up all printers on a master machine, then with ARD push out the /private/etc/cups/ppd directory and the printers.conf file out with it. That is where OS X stores info on network printers.
So, with when you want to push out an update, you could write a script or take a snapshot with composer of the additions you did and then set casper to copy over those files in /private/etc/cups/ppd to your client machines next time they log in or whatever. I mean there are lots of ways to accomplish this.
As for your admin rights issue. I guess by policy you could unlock the printer setup utility. Like for example in our images the /Applicaitons/Utilities folder is locked and owned by the admin group, so only users of the admin group can access it. However, in the past when I have needed to have a user be able to access an application under /Applicaitons/Utilities like the Printer setup utility, I will just drag that application out of the Utilities folder and leave it under applications, which all users of all groups have execution privlidges of evertyhing in /Applicaitons. That way they can run the printer set up utility. I am not certain if that would be a total solution because when you use it to install a printer it may prompt for admin access.
I guess you could set up like an ACL or something that would bypass admin rights needed but I am not sure if that would work either.
If you have a printer server running (like iPrint from Novell which I am familar with) you can install it from a web interface and the iprint client does all the work and runs as an admin process so there is no need to authenticate to install. I am sure there are Microsoft solutions that are similar. OS X Server print server services I haven't fussed with that much, but you could possibly take a peek at it.