Tag Archives: Samba

MacBook Pro: Update on Integration: Printing

I use a 90-95% virtualized environment and here is a brief update of how I integrated my Mac Book Pro into this environment. Specifically about printing. Some notes first:

Print Server: Windows 2008 R2 running as a VM (why windows, because I needed an AD server so this is a AD/Print Server combination)

Printer connected to a Belkin FL5009 USB over IP device

This configuration seems fairly straight forward, but since I use passwords and heightened security I had to setup MacOS to properly communicate to the remote windows print server using some form of security.

To do this I first went to the following URL:

Printing Issues: CUPS/FL5009 – http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=6871761

This solution spoke about connecting to CUPs directly to configure the print queue to use a proper password. I did this by connecting directly to http://localhost:631 using the ‘root’ user password. Once into CUPs click on the Administration tab and then add printer. You will need to specify the printer in the form of smb://username:password@Host/printerName.

This finally allowed me to print from my MacOS desktop to my print server running as a virtual machine. However, this lead to a different problem with printing. Because I was using the Gutenprint and not the Epson R1800 driver all the printouts were faded and for months I wondered why. I did not find a solution until I went to print some graphics and photos. The problem is that the Epson would rather you used their driver but their driver is not setup to work via a print server.

After many hours using Google I found one article that helped by explaining what is happening. The issue is that this particular Epson R1800 printer, requires direct control by its driver to work properly and its driver does not work when you have shared the printer. At least not on the remote host, it works fine local to the print server.  All this boils down to is that I either print hose high quality required jobs direct from the print server or look for a printer that does have the concept of sharing its print driver.

Another option that does work is to connect the printer to the MacOS system via a USB over IP device as well and I know that works, but does not help others much when my MacBook Pro is on the road with me.

UPDATE: MacOS X Lion supports the EPSON SP R1800 driver which prints things as expected, without faded output. Very nice update! In essence, their now exists a CUPs driver that speaks the proper Epson language for shared printers.

vSphere Upgrade: Moving to Active Directory

I do quite a bit of application testing within the virtual environment and I have found that an increasing number of virtual appliances require Active Directory in order to access these appliances complete functional set of the product. I feel this is short sighted as there are many other directory servers which can be used such as LDAP, NIS, eDirectory, etc.

I was using up until recently a Linux PDC which made use of Samba v3.4, OpenLDAP, and Kerberos. Unfortunately, this is having increasing problems with modern versions of windows and virtual appliances. Time to switch to AD.

The Switch

First I installed W2K8 64 Bit and on that installed the AD, DNS, and DHCP roles. So far so good. After promoting the server to AD, I had a simple but effective AD server. The key was to allow DHCP to update DNS, and combine everything on one node. So far I had two nodes, one for Samba/AD and one for DHCP/Internal DNS.  Since I need DNS to properly reflect AD, I needed to use Microsoft’s DNS.

Step 1:

Install and Configure AD.

Step 2:

Configure DNS. This step required me to copy over my existing DNS to the new server. Since one was Linux and the other was Windows, I just re-entered the small amount of data I had.

Step 3:

Configure DHCP. Once more I just re-entered the data.

Step 4:

Shutdown existing DHCP/DNS VM.

Everything was going smoothly.  The last step was to move VMs and hosts from my Samba/AD configuration to the Microsoft AD configuration. This did require me to reboot all my window boxes, once to remove from the old domain and then once to add to the new domain. However, most of my windows boxes but two are purely for testing. So this was just time consuming. The two I had to be careful about just required me to verify no users were on the systems. Then add to the Domain.

Up and Running

Compared to how long it took me to get Linux PDC working, as best I could, at the time to getting Microsoft AD up and running, Microsoft’s AD was very fast, easy, and simple. Continued management is also simple.

The tool I needed to test was the HyTrust Appliance. Look for a whitepaper on this on The Virtualization Practice’s analyst site. However, I have now used it for all tools I am testing with no major issues. Including joining ESX/ESXi to the AD domain via the contained Likewise integration.

Microsoft AD just works and for me to say something like this about Microsoft is a good thing. I like things that just work.

Upgrading to vSphere – The Saga Starts

I have been trying to upgrade from VMware VI3 to VMware vSphere 4, but it is not as simple as that. First you have to upgrade VMware vCenter then upgrade ESX 3 to ESX 4. That all sounds wonderful, but I have one little issue. I am running VMware vCenter with MS SQL 2000, which is no longer supported.

So first I need to upgrade to MS SQL 2005 or 2008, but since I have to perform a pretty major SQL upgrade, I might as well go for the whole 9 yards and move my VMware vCenter server to Microsoft Windows 2008 R2. This decision however causes many other items to need an upgrade. Mainly some infrastructure items like my Samba Domain Controller so that it can accept Windows 2008 R2 domain members. Continue reading Upgrading to vSphere – The Saga Starts