We have a Debian print server running CUPS. In CUPS we have a Raw print queue configured that connects to our networked printer via IPP.

I've also shared this printer to our Windows users via a Samba printer share, using pretty stock standard smb.conf options and CUPS as the backend.

When printing directly to the CUPS queue from Windows using IPP (eg. http://cups-server:631/printers/printer-name), the printer responds quickly and prints almost instantly.

However, when printing to the print queue via the shared Samba printer on Windows, the printer takes over 15 seconds to open the Printer Properties window, and the same amount of time to print a test page.

Whilst trying to deduce the cause, I've been able to reproduce the issue on two completely separate networks with two different print servers and printers, and numerous different Windows clients, so I am confident it is not specific to my individual installs. Using both IP addresses and host names results in the same behavior.

Are there any options or settings that need to be tweaked to speed up printing from Samba shared printers?

I am running CUPS 2.2.1 and Samba 4.5.12. I can also reproduce the same behavior on an older server running CUPS 1.7.5 and Samba 4.2.14.

My smb.conf follows. Everything is the defaults from the stock Debian smb.conf except for the first 4 options under the Printing heading.
I've removed all the large blocks of unrelated comments from the default smb.conf


## Printing ##

# Enable the spoolssd Service
rpc_server:spoolss = external
rpc_daemon:spoolssd = fork

# Set minimum spoolssd pool
spoolssd:prefork_min_children = 2

# Set printing backend to CUPS
printing = CUPS

## Browsing/Identification ###

# Change this to the workgroup/NT-domain name your Samba server will part of
   workgroup = WORKGROUP

# Windows Internet Name Serving Support Section:
# WINS Support - Tells the NMBD component of Samba to enable its WINS Server
#   wins support = no

# WINS Server - Tells the NMBD components of Samba to be a WINS Client
# Note: Samba can be either a WINS Server, or a WINS Client, but NOT both
;   wins server = w.x.y.z

# This will prevent nmbd to search for NetBIOS names through DNS.
   dns proxy = no

#### Debugging/Accounting ####

# This tells Samba to use a separate log file for each machine
# that connects
   log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m

# Cap the size of the individual log files (in KiB).
   max log size = 1000

# We want Samba to log a minimum amount of information to syslog. Everything
# should go to /var/log/samba/log.{smbd,nmbd} instead. If you want to log
# through syslog you should set the following parameter to something higher.
   syslog = 0

# Do something sensible when Samba crashes: mail the admin a backtrace
   panic action = /usr/share/samba/panic-action %d

####### Authentication #######

# Server role. Defines in which mode Samba will operate. Possible
# values are "standalone server", "member server", "classic primary
# domain controller", "classic backup domain controller", "active
# directory domain controller".
# Most people will want "standalone sever" or "member server".
# Running as "active directory domain controller" will require first
# running "samba-tool domain provision" to wipe databases and create a
# new domain.
   server role = standalone server

# If you are using encrypted passwords, Samba will need to know what
# password database type you are using.
   passdb backend = tdbsam

   obey pam restrictions = yes

# This boolean parameter controls whether Samba attempts to sync the Unix
# password with the SMB password when the encrypted SMB password in the
# passdb is changed.
   unix password sync = yes

# For Unix password sync to work on a Debian GNU/Linux system, the following
# parameters must be set (thanks to Ian Kahan <<kahan@informatik.tu-muenchen.de> for
# sending the correct chat script for the passwd program in Debian Sarge).
   passwd program = /usr/bin/passwd %u
   passwd chat = *Enter\snew\s*\spassword:* %n\n *Retype\snew\s*\spassword:* %n\n *password\supdated\ssuccessfully* .

# This boolean controls whether PAM will be used for password changes
# when requested by an SMB client instead of the program listed in
# 'passwd program'. The default is 'no'.
   pam password change = yes

# This option controls how unsuccessful authentication attempts are mapped
# to anonymous connections
   map to guest = bad user

# Allow users who've been granted usershare privileges to create
# public shares, not just authenticated ones
   usershare allow guests = yes

#======================= Share Definitions =======================

   comment = Home Directories
   browseable = no

# By default, the home directories are exported read-only. Change the
# next parameter to 'no' if you want to be able to write to them.
   read only = yes

# File creation mask is set to 0700 for security reasons. If you want to
# create files with group=rw permissions, set next parameter to 0775.
   create mask = 0700

# Directory creation mask is set to 0700 for security reasons. If you want to
# create dirs. with group=rw permissions, set next parameter to 0775.
   directory mask = 0700

# By default, \\server\username shares can be connected to by anyone
# with access to the samba server.
# The following parameter makes sure that only "username" can connect
# to \\server\username
# This might need tweaking when using external authentication schemes
   valid users = %S

# Un-comment the following and create the netlogon directory for Domain Logons
# (you need to configure Samba to act as a domain controller too.)
;   comment = Network Logon Service
;   path = /home/samba/netlogon
;   guest ok = yes
;   read only = yes

# Un-comment the following and create the profiles directory to store
# users profiles (see the "logon path" option above)
# (you need to configure Samba to act as a domain controller too.)
# The path below should be writable by all users so that their
# profile directory may be created the first time they log on
;   comment = Users profiles
;   path = /home/samba/profiles
;   guest ok = no
;   browseable = no
;   create mask = 0600
;   directory mask = 0700

   path = /var/spool/samba
   printable = yes

# Windows clients look for this share name as a source of downloadable
# printer drivers
   comment = Printer Drivers
   path = /var/lib/samba/printers
   browseable = yes
   read only = yes
   guest ok = no
# Uncomment to allow remote administration of Windows print drivers.
# You may need to replace 'lpadmin' with the name of the group your
# admin users are members of.
# Please note that you also need to set appropriate Unix permissions
# to the drivers directory for these users to have write rights in it
;   write list = root, @lpadmin

Here are relevant printing defaults being set by Samba:
testparm -sv | grep -Ei --color '(print|drive|spool|devmode)'

Processing section "[homes]"
Processing section "[printers]"
Processing section "[print$]"
Loaded services file OK.

        load printers = Yes
        printcap cache time = 750
        printcap name =
        iprint server =
        disable spoolss = No
        addprinter command =
        deleteprinter command =
        show add printer wizard = Yes
        os2 driver map =
        logon drive =
        dcerpc endpoint servers = epmapper, wkssvc, rpcecho, samr, netlogon, lsarpc, spoolss, drsuapi, dssetup, unixinfo, browser, eventlog6, backupkey, dnsserver
        spoolssd:prefork_min_children = 2
        rpc_daemon:spoolssd = fork
        rpc_server:spoolss = external
        min print space = 0
        max reported print jobs = 0
        max print jobs = 1000
        printable = No
        print notify backchannel = No
        print ok = No
        printing = cups
        print command =
        printer name =
        use client driver = No
        default devmode = Yes
        force printername = No
        printjob username = %U
        path = /var/spool/samba
        printable = Yes
        print ok = Yes
        comment = Printer Drivers
        path = /var/lib/samba/printers
  • It would help a lot if you also specified the exact versions of your CUPS and Samba packages... And you should look at all values your Samba is using: there may be "silent" defaults, where no specific keyword is appearing in smb.conf (or commented out). Run testparm -sv | grep -Ei --color '(print|drive|spool|devmode)' to see what I talk about... Mar 7 '18 at 1:56
  • @KurtPfeifle Thanks, I've updated my question with more relevant information! Mar 7 '18 at 2:24
  • Your "print command =" is empty. This means that Samba (which is compiled against libcups* libraries), will submit jobs to CUPS via IPP using its internally determined default settings. You'll now have to meticuluously follow one job going through the logs, noting down timestamps (starting with the Windows clients' Event Logs). When does it really leave the client? When does it arrive at Samba? When does it arrive at CUPS? When does CUPS start processing it? Through which CUPS filters does it have to pass (search for "Starting filter" in error_log)? How long does filtering take? ... Mar 7 '18 at 2:53
  • ...When does the CUPS backend start to work (search for "Staring backend"" in *error_log)? How long does the backend need? Where is the time lost? (Oh, and BTW: you can set up a different "print command = ", per printer queue, in smb.conf, and override the (empty, default) one in the [global] share... Mar 7 '18 at 2:54
  • @KurtPfeifle Thanks for the reply, I was planning on doing this as my next step but thought I may be missing something super obvious as my install is pretty much 1:1 from the online Samba printer sharing Wiki entry. I'll investigate further where the time is lost. As an aside, what print command should/would I use in this instance? Samba is clearly providing the job to CUPS so it is working as intended, is there an alternative way of submitting the job via setting a print command that results in the same outcome? Mar 7 '18 at 2:58

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