gunnarb
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Expert

How to setup ThinPrint / Location Aware Printing on a Zero Client.

For those of you that are not aware what a Zero Client(ZC) is please see a full list of them here:

http://www.teradici.com/pcoip/pcoip-products/vmware-view-clients.php

Common ZCs are Samsung NC190/NC240, Wyse P20, Dell FX100, DevonIT TC10, HP EVGA.  I put this here mainly for Google searches on this subject.

I've been trying to find out how to setup location based printing using a ZC and looking at other posts, I think many others are trying to figure this out as well.  Basically there are some mixed messages out there, for the most part I hear that this is not supported.  If you read the View Administration Guide you'll find it buried in there that ThinPrint is not support on a Zero Client and they would be right... and wrong.  ThinPrint has many features, some of these features are not supported on a ZC.  The reason for this is that a ZC, by nature of the design, cannot have a ThinPrint client agent running on the ZC.  Remember there is no OS on a ZC so this would not be possible.  However one feature of ThinPrint is the ability to setup printers based on location, this is commonly called location based printing or location aware printing, I believe this feature IS supported.

According to ThinPrint documentation, ThinPrint looks at the following keys to figure out the location of the client, be it a terminal or a soft client loaded on Windows:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\thinprint\tpautoconnect

Now if you are logged into a View VM from a ZC you will notice these regkeys are not populated.  However check out these regkeys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Volatile Environment

Now if you are anything like me you'd compare these keys from a Soft Client and a Zero Client.  They are extermely similar.  From my understanding the ZC is populating the registry with these fields so the information is there but ThinPrint is looking at a different set of regkeys.  Now we just need to figure out how to connect the dots.  Maybe it'd be as easy as coping the keys from one area to the other... I honestly don't know at this point, but I'm having a meeting in early January with VMWare and ThinPrint to get this answered.

In the mean time, my good buddy John Taylor over at the University of Georgia has devised a way to make this work using a VB script.  John's post will follow.  Expect me to follow up to this post early January.  Also please feel free to share you comments suggestions at connecting the dots.  If you KNOW the answer please share!

-Gunnar

Gunnar Berger http://www.gunnarberger.com http://www.endusercomputing.com
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4 Replies
pcuevas
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Contributor

Thanks

Looking forward to your findings!

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gunnarb
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I have great news.  I was able to make this work without anything special, no scripts, no nothing.  Just change a few settings and ba-da-bing ba-da-boom you've got Location Based Printing my friends!

See solution here:

http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-14416

-Gunnar

Gunnar Berger http://www.gunnarberger.com http://www.endusercomputing.com
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dcsmith2000
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This is a great first start.  However, what if you are in a mixed environment of both Zero clients and re-purposed PCs using VDI Blaster AND (here's the killer) SmartCard authentication is required.  DoD agencies require this.

Is Location Based Printing the only answer?

Dave

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gunnarb
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I have a case open with VMWare on this issue.  You shouldn't have to disable virtual channels to get this to work.  That is the answer to SmartCards.  I am well aware that we need SmartCards to work in the DoD sector.

As far as mixed environment goes.  That will just have to be some fancy footwork for the time being.  If it were my environment I might write a script that looks at whether or not the connection is coming from a Zero Client, if it is then I'd run the GP that disables virtual channels.  If its not then don't do it.  Or you could keep it simple and have a group of VMs that are for ZCs and some for Soft Clients but that's not going to work for 99% of environments.

In the end we just need to get the bug fixed with VMWare.

-Gunnar

Gunnar Berger http://www.gunnarberger.com http://www.endusercomputing.com
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