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How-To: Print Using Active Directory Credentials

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In a large-scale environment, you may have no choice but to authenticate your Macs to Active Directory. This process is generally pretty smooth and only a few things get in your way, but the big annoyance for me was having to give my credentials every time I wanted to print to our Windows print server.

The problem is that your credentials aren’t passed along properly and this causes an annoying pop-up window to appear.

The “Remember this password” check box does nothing to help, either. I use DeployStudio a lot around our campus and they have a free utility called ksmbprintd which alleviates this problem. Their utility passes your credentials along with the print job and you no longer get the error window above. Here’s how to easily change your printer to make this all work.

  1. Download and install ksmbprintd. When the install is finished, it will want you to log out and then back in to startup the utility.
  2. You can modify the printer URL through the terminal, but I like to use the CUPS web interface instead. To do this, goto http://localhost:631.
  3. Click on the Administration tab and then the Manage Printers button.
  4. Click the printer you want to edit. On the next screen, select Modify Printer from the drop down menu.
  5. Now this is where we modify the printer’s URL. Copy the original URL at the top of the page. Then click the button next to Windows Printer via SAMBA with kerberos support v1.0.

  6. Paste the original URL in the Connection: box and add a k to the front of it so it says ksmb.
  7. Continue through the other two windows quickly since nothing should need changing. Click the Modify Printer button to save the changes.

Now you should be able to print without having to enter your Active Directory credentials every time. This can be really useful if you are charging for prints. Trying to make people retype in their credentials when ever they print is not very acceptable in our environment. I thank DeployStudio for making such a nice little app that saves us a lot of headaches.

5 Responses to “How-To: Print Using Active Directory Credentials”

  1. After we introduced Macs to my university, we ran into this issue as well. While I opted to go with ksmbprintd for our lab machines, I didn’t really need to on the staff-assigned desktops. As it turns out you can get around the username/password popup by provided a name that is understood by your Windows print server…that is: domain\logonname — as opposed to “First Last”.

    Then you can save those credentials with the checkbox and all is good.

  2. Weird… Have you checked your KeyChain Access? Maybe you have an old password linked to the printer/network stored on your KeyChain and that’s what is causing the pop-up window requesting the credentials?

  3. Nice write up. I tried using ksmbprintd. I setup the printer and printed. The print job left the local Mac print queue but never printed. Are there any settings on a AD 2008 print queue that need to be set to make this work?