Print serverless environments—Set up Print Deploy in a print serverless (Direct Print) environment

This topic describes how to use Print Deploy to install Direct Print printers in a print serverless environment.

The high-level steps are:

  1. Set up the print queues on the reference computer
  2. Clone the print queue details into Print Deploy
  3. Connect print queues to a zone

And if you need to set up Find-Me printing, also take a look at (Optional) Configure Find-Me printing in a print serverless (Direct Print) environment at the end of this page.

For steps on how to print through a server, go to:

Step 1: Set up the print queues on the reference computer

A reference computer is a Windows and/or Mac computer where you set up and test the print queues before deploying them to the users. It's also where you set the default settings for print queues (for example, grayscale, 2-sided) and capabilities (for example, finishing options like stapling and hole punching).

Windows drivers often support multiple versions of Windows, for example, Windows 10 and Windows 7. PaperCut NG/MF automatically detects which versions of Windows the driver supports and displays them in its Admin web interface.

Best practices
When setting up your reference computer, use printer names that will make sense to your end users, for example, 'Find-Me' or '1st floor reception'.
We recommend you set up your reference computers as virtual machines. That makes it easy for you to shut them down after cloning, and then you can fire them up again in the future if you want to tweak some print queues.

If you're using Windows and need more details than just the summary steps below, some of the most helpful Windows Printing knowledge and experience we've gathered over the years is in the Windows Print Queue Configuration knowledge base article. It also contains a handy checklist.

  1. On the designated reference computer, install the network printers that you want to deploy to your users. In other words, pretend that you are setting up this computer for a user.

  2. Configure the printer defaults for each queue.

    • Windows: Printer Properties > Advanced > Printing Defaults

    • Mac: via the CUPS Web Interface, available via: http://localhost:631/ or http://servername:631/

  3. For advanced finishing options, configure the capabilities under:

    • Printer Properties > General > Preferences

    • Printer Properties > Advanced > Printing Defaults

    Some printer drivers may have settings available in the following tabs:

    • Printer Properties > Device Settings (example: hp)

    • Printer Properties > Configuration (example: fuji-xerox)

    • Printer Properties > Optional Settings (example: epson)

  4. Test that printing works on each print queue.

Step 2: Clone the print queue details into Print Deploy

  1. On the reference computer, log in to PaperCut NG/MF (which is installed and running elsewhere on the network).

  2. Select Enable Printing > Print Deploy. The Print Deploy page is displayed.

    • Only users with Access options section admin rights can access the Enable Printing tab. Admin rights are configured under Options > Admin Rights.

    • The first time you open Print Deploy you'll see a welcome video.

  3. In the right panel, do one of the following:

    • If this is the first time you're using Print Deploy, click the Download cloner tool button for your operating system.

    • If you already have print queues installed, click Add or update; then click the download button for your operating system

      The cloner tool (.exe, .dmg) is downloaded with the PaperCut NG/MF server address embedded into its filename.

  4. On the Reference computer, run the cloner tool.

    The cloner tool bundles all of the print queues, printer drivers, default settings (for example, grayscale, 2-sided) and capabilities (for example, finishing options like stapling and hole punching) and uploads the bundle automatically to the Application Server.

    All of the print queues are displayed in the Print queues list at the right of the Print Deploy page.

    For Windows print queues, Print Deploy automatically detects whether the queue type is Print via server or Print direct. However, Mac print queues default to Print via server, so if you have a print serverless (Direct Print) environment, you need to change the print queue type.

    To change the print queue type:

    1. In the Admin web interface, click Enable Printing.

    2. In the Print queues list, click the three dots icon next to the print queue you want to update.

    3. In Type, select Print direct.

    4. Close the pop-up.

Step 3: Connect print queues to a zone

A zone is a location defined by an IPv4 address range, for example, an office, branch, or campus. It also include user groups to help define who can access the printers in that zone.

By default Print Deploy has one zone, called Everyone, that deploys print queues to all computers and all groups in the network. And of course you can add as many of your own zones as required.


Before you can add new zones, you'll need to purchase the Advanced Print Enablement Pack.

  1. Click Zones, then in the Your zones list, select the zone you want to connect printers to.

    If you need to add a new zone first, take a look at how to add zones and user groups to Print Deploy.

    Print Deploy admin interface with new print queues and the Everyone zone selected.

  2. In the Print queues list, select which printers you want to be automatically installed on the users' computers; then click Connect to zone. They are added to the list of print queues for that zone.

  3. If required, add print queues to the zone that you want to make optional for users to install on their computer. They can install them via the Add printers tab in their Print Deploy client.

    1. In the Print queues list, select which printers you want to make optional for users to install.

    2. At the bottom of the list of printers, select the Optional install checkbox.

    3. Click Connect to zone. They are added to the list of print queues for that zone.


For Chromebooks: Optional print queues aren't applicable for Chromebook users. All Chromebook print queues connected to a zone are available for Chromebook users to print to.

By default, all computers that already have the Print Deploy client installed will automatically install the print queues within 15 minutes. This time is configurable though, so if you'd like to change it, go to Enhance Print Deploy security (optional).

(Optional) Configure Find-Me printing in a print serverless (Direct Print) environment

Find-Me printing enables users to print to a single print queue and securely release their print job at any printer.

When using Direct Print queues, you can deploy your Find-Me queue to all zones, so when users move between sites their Find-Me queue follow them around. That means that if they print a document at one site but don't release it, they'll still be able to release their print job when they arrive at a new site.

Best practice

If you have multiple branches, configure a Print Deploy zone for each branch. For each zone, deploy:

  • a single Find-Me-Virtual print queue
  • only the physical destination queues for that zone.

This limits the number of print queues deployed to users' computers.

When it comes to printer drivers, if you are using:

  • a mixed fleet of printers, then the PaperCut Global Print Driver is a great starting point

  • a single brand or model of printers and you want to use more advanced finishing options, use the manufacturer's driver on your Find-Me queue.


If you previously manually deployed the PaperCut Direct Print Monitor, you must delete the Direct Print Monitor from users' computers before you push out the Print Deploy client. That's because the Print Deploy client will install and configure the Direct Print Monitor dynamically as users move around.

Before you start, we recommend that you create a test zone in the PaperCut Print Deploy page and limit it to connect to only one test computer in it.

  1. On your reference computer:
    1. Create a print queue called 'Find-Me-Virtual' ('virtual' is mandatory).

    2. Create the relevant print queues pointing to physical devices, for example 'Room 201', 'Room 202, 'Room 203'.

  2. Clone your reference computer.

  3. In the My zones drop-down list, select the appropriate zone in the Print Deploy page.

  4. Add the 'Find-Me-Virtual', 'Room 201', 'Room 202', 'Room 203' queues to the zone.

  5. Save and deploy.

  6. Confirm your test computer has received the appropriate queues. The test computer will 'register' the four deployed queues as direct print monitor queues. That is, jobs sent via these queues will be monitored and tracked locally.

  7. In the PaperCut Admin web interface left menu, click Printers; then select Find-Me-Virtual. It will be listed as a 'Direct Print Queue'. The Printer Summary page is displayed.

    If you're after more information about direct printing, take a look at Configuring Direct Printing.

  8. In the Job Redirection Settings section, select 'Room 201', 'Room 202', 'Room 203' as queues it can redirect to.

  9. In the Hold/Release Queue Settings section, select Enable hold/release queue.

  10. Click Apply. Here's an example of a completed Printer List:

  11. Configure your release stations with your Find-Me-Virtual print queue as the source print queue, and the appropriate destination physical print queues where jobs will be redirected to. See Find-Me printing for more information.

  12. Test printing. Print to the Hold Release queue and release the job.

For more information, take a look at Configuring Direct Printing.


Default printer

As of v1.3 of Print Deploy, you can now set one print queue in each zone as the default by selecting "Set as default" on the print queue's options button (⋯) within the zone.

Prior to v1.3 or if there is no default print queue set in a zone, the Print Deploy client sets the default print queue based on if a print queue name is a Find me queue (or variation of, with spaces/hyphens in between).

However, if Windows has been set up to manage the default printer for users, then the client honors this setting. Disable this setting if you intend the client to honor the default print queue from the server.

What's next?

If the Print Deploy client has already been installed on some computers, click Save and deploy. The print queues will be automatically installed on the computers within 15 minutes. (This time is configurable.)

Otherwise, decide if you want to: