Universal Printing in Remote Application Server

Universal Printing in Remote Application Server

As you know, Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) is an integrated solution to virtualize applications and desktops. We’ve already discussed some features and differences between versions 14 and 15 of Parallels RAS in the past, but I think it can be useful to go through select features of Parallels RAS and showcase some troubleshooting steps for a more detailed understanding of Parallels RAS and its features.

Let’s start with one of the most important features that can be set up from both the administrator and user sides: universal printing.

Managing Universal Printing Servers

The main goal of printer redirection is to enable users who are connected to a remote desktop or accessing a published application to print on their local printer, whether that printer is physically connected to the user’s computer or is connected via an IP address.

Universal printing simplifies the printing process and solves most printer driver issues simply by not requiring the server to have a printer driver for the user’s locally installed device. Therefore, a user can always print regardless of the type and brand of printer installed on the machine, and the administrator doesn’t have to install printer drivers for each different printer on the network.

To access the universal printing configuration, select the Universal Printing category in Parallels RAS:

Universal Printing in Remote Application Server

By default, the Universal Printing driver is automatically installed with the Terminal Server, VDI Guest, and Remote PC agents. Therefore, when a server is added to the farm, universal printing is installed. (Note, however, that the system administrator always has the option to control the list of client-side printer drivers that are allowed or forbidden.) The Universal Printing driver is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Now let’s walk through universal printing filtering. Using this feature helps prevent server resource overload due to unnecessary printers and also avoids server instability with certain printers.

You can set up the printer filtering by following these steps:

  1. In the Parallels RAS Console, navigate to Universal Printing / Printer Drivers.
  2. In the Mode drop-down list, select which printers should be redirected from the following options:
    1. Allow redirection of printers using any driver
    2. Allow redirection of printers using one of the following drivers
    3. Allow redirection of printers which do not use the following drivers
  3. Once you’ve made any changes, don’t forget to click “Apply” to save them.

Universal Printing in Remote Application Server

Now that we’ve covered universal printing maintenance, let’s move on to some other issues

If You Are a User and Use the Parallels Client

Imagine that you start the Parallels Client, work with it, and then remember that you need to print something. You open the document and then click “Print.”

But instead of a printed page, you get this error:

Universal Printing in Remote Application Server

To resolve this error, follow these steps:

Open the Parallels Client window and click on the “Tools” tab, then choose “Option.”

In the opened window, choose the “Advanced settings” tab.

Universal Printing in Remote Application Server

Universal Printing in Remote Application Server

In the “Advanced settings” tab, uncheck the following options:

  1. Cache Printers Hardware Information
  2. Cache 2X Universal Printing Embedded Fonts

Universal Printing in Remote Application Server

Then, reconnect to the server and check the issue.

If You Are an Administrator

If you are an administrator, you may see this issue: “Printers are not redirected after upgrade with error code Failed to add printer: for by 2X for user with error = 0x80004005”.

Since redirection is the most important thing for universal printing, it’s crucial to know how to fix it, so let’s go through it together right now:

You should now be able to redirect printers again.

One more issue you may see as an administrator involves printing performance. If printing takes about five minutes from the time the user clicks print until the document is printed, follow these two steps:

Click on the Universal Printing tab, then choose the Fonts Management tab and uncheck “Embed Fonts.”

Universal Printing in Remote Application Server

If that doesn’t help, switch to the RDP and clean the cache.

Go to the Options tab -> Advanced Settings -> Cache RAS Universal Printing embedded fonts.

See the screenshot below:

Universal Printing in Remote Application Server

Then check the performance again and make sure that everything is working perfectly.

Now that we’ve checked the printer from the client and administrator sides and covered some important steps to resolve redirection and performance issues, you should be able to install, manage, and tune universal printing in Parallels RAS.