Userful Desktop™ 8: Printing Guide

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Copyright © 2013 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2013.01.10)

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To return to the Userful Desktop 8 main documentation page, Click Here.


Thank you for choosing Userful Desktop™ 8, the world’s best and most complete public computing solution.

This is a part of the Userful Desktop™ 8 Administrator Manual. To view the complete manual, please click here.

Userful Desktop 8: Printing Guide

Printer Configuration

With Userful Desktop, printers are configured both from the Userful Desktop and through the web-based management tool, Userful Manager. To add a new printer, first set it up in Admin Mode on one of your Userful Desktops. In Userful Manager you retrieve the printer configuration, and set up the cost profile and printer profile in Userful Manager, as well as applying the printer to other Userful Desktops.

The Print Configuration Tool

Userful Desktop supports most common networked printers using PostScript and PCL (we also maintain a list of Recommended Printers). To add a printer to Userful Desktop, enter Administrator Mode with Ctrl+Alt+A and click the “Configure Printing” icon on the desktop.

Adding a Printer

The Print Configuration Tool.

Click the “New Printer” button, and follow the on-screen wizard.

Userful Desktop supports printing to printers directly connected to a Userful Desktop, Windows or other print servers, and networked printers. Consult the following website,, and contact your Userful representative before purchasing a new printer for use with Userful Desktop.

Note: If you would like to add this printer to other machines, you will first need to create the print queue in Administrator Mode using the ‘Configure Printing’ icon, NOT with Userful Manager. After you have retrieved the printer configuration from the machine in Userful Manager, you will be able to set costs, page limits, and apply the printers to other machines.

Printer Set-up in Userful Manager

Setting up print queues and charges through Userful Manager.

Now that you've set up a printer on one of your Userful Desktops, from the Solutions Expert page in Userful Manager click on 'Computers'. Find the machine you have set the printer up on, and click 'Retrieve Printer Config'. The print queues will be retrieved on the Userful Desktop's next checkup, or can be retrieved immediately by pressing 'Alt-Ctrl-U' on one of the keyboards.

Return to the Solutions Expert page in Userful Manager and click on 'Printers'. You will see a list of print queues, along with some basic information about those print queues (location, URI, etc.). Click on a printer name to edit the print queue and set a payment policy.

The Edit Printer page is shown in the figure at right. Much of the information is pre-filled (from what you configured in Admin Mode), but you can:

  1. Assign the printer to a Location.
  2. Add machines (computers) to the printer's queue.
  3. Assign a Print Payment Policy

Managing the Print Queue

Userful Desktop includes a browser-based printer management tool known as CUPS, which is accessible via the web browser on your Userful Desktop.

The CUPS Printing Interface allows you to view and manage the print queue from the Userful Desktop, allowing you to troubleshoot printing issues. To access the interface:

Accessing the CUPS tool to manage print queues.
  1. At a Userful Desktop station that is attached to the machine you wish to manage, start a session and open a web browser.
  2. Type “http://localhost:631” in the address field. This will open the CUPS Printer Interface. (Be sure to include the “http://” portion when typing the URL.) A shortcut to the print queue page can be added to any session desktop via Userful Manager.
  3. Click on 'Jobs' or 'Manage Jobs' to view the queue of documents to be printed.
  4. Use the buttons provided to make adjustments to the print queue.
    • Some tasks require password access; the Printer Administration panel has a default login name of “Administrator” and a password which is the same as the Administration password for Userful Desktop.

Print Control and Charges

Userful Desktop informs patrons how to pay for print jobs.

Userful Desktop's print control feature reduces unnecessary printing and can help recover printing costs.

When print control is enabled through Userful Manager, Userful Desktop prompts users to confirm or reject each print job before queuing it for printing. It displays the number of pages, the cost and a customizable message with payment instructions such as “Pay at the front desk”, “You will need a smart card with sufficient funds to release your print job” or “This charge will be added to your library account”. An invoice/receipt can optionally be included as the last page of the print job. Configure print control in Userful Manager.

Printer Troubleshooting

Printing Problems: Check the Printer

  • Is there paper in printer?
  • Are the cables securely connected?
  • Is paper jammed in the printer?
  • Is the printer is on?
  • If the printer has its own status display, check this to see if there are any messages that are displayed.
  • Turn off the printer. Wait about 10-15 seconds, turn the printer back on and print a test page.

If the above steps do not resolve your issue, please refer to our Print Troubleshooting FAQs.

Web-Based Print Troubleshooting

Viewing printer status with CUPS.
  1. Access the CUPS web-based printing system as described in Steps 1 & 2 of the Managing the Print Queue section, above.
  2. Click on either the ‘Printers’ or the ‘Manage Printers’ links. This will show the status of all printers on the network.
  3. Check on the printer to see its status. If the status is "Paused" or "Stopped," you can have the print queue start by clicking the "Maintenance" drop-down. This can happen if the printer has been powered off and on (a common last-resort method of resolving printer issues) or something mechanical has happened to the printer, such as a paper jam.
    • Some tasks require password access; the Printer Administration panel has a default login name of “Administrator” and a password which is the same as the Administration password for Userful Desktop.
  4. The print queue may also be clogged up by a single failed print job. To see what’s in the print queue click on the ‘Jobs’ link at the top of the page. This will display all the print jobs waiting to be serviced. From this page you can cancel individual jobs until you find the one clogging the queue by simply clicking the ‘Cancel Job’ button to the right of the appropriate job. It is best to start from the oldest job and work to the most recent job.
  5. Contact Userful Support if you require further assistance.