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YES! How to make PRINT QUOTAS WORK with 10.4

Update:10-11Source: network consolidation
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How to make PRINT QUOTAS WORK in 10.4
After struggling for quite some time, I finally found a pretty simple way to make print quotas work.
First, I’ll tell you our setup. We have 3 different computer centers with a variety of eMacs and new Intel iMacs, all clients are running 10.4.8, and each of those 3 centers has its own HP Laserjet 4200 printer. Our dual G5 server is running Server v.10.4.8. Client computers and printers have static IP addresses. All clients are bound to the server with the standard WorkGroup Manager/ LDAPv3 Directory Access scheme - such that all students login to the clients with their network username/password to mount their home directory on the client.
Next, I’ll tell you what does not work. IF YOU WANT PRINT QUOTAS TO WORK, you cannot use Workgroup Manager to assign a printer to any managed user account, user group, or computer group. Why? Because when you go to a client, and Show Info on the printer that is being pushed by Workgroup Manager, you’ll see that the queue name is not the queue that you’ve setup in Server Admin. Instead, you’ll see the queue name is “MCX” or something along those lines. Even if you manually edit the Workgroup print preference file that is being pushed to clients, it still will not work.
Drawbacks of my technique: In my case, students will see all 3 printers (1 from each lab) available to them no matter which lab they are in. Not the best, but for now I think it’ll be worth it to be able to control wasteful printing. Students may be able to move/delete the preference file (see below), but they’ll only be hurting themselves, as they won’t have any printers at all then.
Okay, here’s how I did it:
1. If you have setup any printers to be pushed out via Workgroup Manager’s preference enforcement to individual users, usergroups, or computer groups, turn those preferences off and leave them off.
2. Delete any existing printers in your Printer Setup Utility and/or Server Admin. Add and setup a new printer queue using the Server Admin> Print service. I added the printer through the Server Admin application, not Printer Setup Utility (may not matter). However, I did go into that latter utility to set the model of the printer. Now, back in Server Admin, edit the printer queue to turn on these services IPP, LPR (bonjour off), and of course check off the enforce quotas box. (No student Windows clients, so I didn’t tinker with SMB print service). I went ahead and specified the standard cover sheet – it will be handy while troubleshooting.
3. In Workgroup Manager, select the users that you want to enforce quotas upon, go to the Printer Quota tab (not the preference pane) and, in my case, I selected All Queues and specified a quota, and clicked Save.
4. Delete all printers that appear in the Printer Setup Utility from each client computer (I know, UGH).
5. For all network users, you need to edit a preference file and put it into each user’s home directory. That file is “com.apple.print.favorites.plist” and as you guessed, it needs to go into the Library> Preferences folder of every one of your network users’ home directories. Now, the content of that file is crucial… what it should show is the name of the queue(s) you created in Server Admin above, and be immediately followed by an “@” and the address of the server that is hosting that queue. For example, my queue’s name is TCStudentQ and the server’s address is student.mydomain.org… so my preference file has this entry: [email protected] If you have more than one queue, you’ll have more entries. Be sure that the network user has at least Read level access under Group or Others. I’d recommend making the server System account the Owner of the file, and be sure to lock the file so the users can’t easily trash it. If you don’t know how to create this file in the first place, what you can do is go to a client computer, and log into the client with a dummy network account. Then open Printer Setup Utility, and you should see the queue you created in step 2. Add that printer, and then the file will be created in your dummy account’s home directory under Library> Preferences. Now you can use that file to distribute to other user’s folders… but don’t forget that each user needs Read level access.
6. That’s it. Works for me. When they exceed the quota, all that spits out is the cover page. It’d be nice if there was a quota monitor utility on the client side so users can see how many pages they have remaining and when the quota will automatically reset. I plan to start the quota on a Monday morning and go on a weekly duration. Not sure what a good starting point is… perhaps 25 pages every school week.
7. Hey Apple Computer, Inc. Server Developers & Project Managers, I truly hope you’re reading this and can explain why print quotas don’t function as you have documented and advertised. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’ve spent way too much time discovering this workaround, and I know it will help thousands of others with the same problem. I can see where your Print Quota system breaks down, and I think you need to fix these issues or at least document them. Don’t forget to fix serious 10.4 Server bugs before leaving it behind for 10.5 Server – many of us will continue using 10.4 Server for at least another year or two.

The Best Answer

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David,
Your assumption that I didn't read the documentation is incorrect. I read that 10.4 documentation over and over - followed it to the letter to no avail. Perhaps it was updated in the last few weeks? So, do you have a fully operable printer quota system in conjunction with a managed computer or user group that has a managed printer pushed to the group via Workgroup Manager? I can push a managed printer to a managed group without a problem, but the quotas won't be enforced unless I use the workaround above and cut Workgroup Manager's managed/pushed printer out of the picture.
I know this is a user-to-user forum - however, I'm also aware that Apple tech support often chime in here, so it doesn't hurt to post a message to them in the context of a larger posting about a 'known issue'. I have used the server feedback form... hasn't seemed to me to be very helpful in the past.
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    How to make PRINT QUOTAS WORK in 10.4 After struggling for quite some time, I finally found a pretty simple way to make print quotas work. First, I’ll tell you our setup. We have 3 different computer centers with a variety of eMacs and new Intel iMac