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PrintAgent Support for DFE’s

The PrintAgent is a Windows or Linux service that can be installed on the DFE of the printer and acts as a local application. It enables remote RIPs to query local files at the printer DFE and to spool files to the local harddisk without having to set-up sharing and access rights.

 
The PrintAgent advertises its services at port 9100. The installer of the PrintAgent will automatically open this port on the Windows fire-wall, but is not able to do this for 3rd party fire-walls or on Linux.
 

Installation

Windows

During the installation the Installation Wizard will ask for the location of the hotfolder. This location is the hotfolder that is used by the printer DFE and all output of the RIP will be stored at that location.
After the installation is finalized the PrintAgent is already running, no restart is required.
To change the location of the output folder just uninstall and install again the PrintAgent.
 
Note: The registry location of the path is [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE]/SOFTWARE/PrintAgent/PrintAgentPath
 

Linux

Copy PrintAgent.py in the home directory of the logged in user. Then perform the following command the install PrintAgent:

sudo python3 ~/PrintAgent.py

The installer will ask to confirm the EULA and after that type in the work/hotfolder of the DFE.

To change the settings it is easiest to uninstall the PrintAgent using the following command and install PrintAgent again like explained above:

sudo python3 ~/.printfactory-printagent/PrintAgent.py destroy

Problem solving

Windows

PrintAgent automatically creates a log file at C:\Users\Public\PrintAgentLog.txt. This log file contains by default the critical messages and errors. Sometimes it can be needed to have a more detailed log. The increase the logging level add the following line as first line to the PrintAgentLog.txt:
Level=3
After modifying the PrintAgentLog.txt go to the Service Manager and restart the Aurelon PrintAgent service.

Linux

PrintAgent automatically creates a log file at ~/printfactory-printagent/printagent-server.log. Using the following command the latest entries can be shown live:
tail -f ~/printfactory-printagent/printagent-server.log

Accessing remote shares (windows)

PrintAgent is designed to work with the local volumes of the DFE. As PrintAgent runs as a service it does not have access to any of the mapped drives and can’t access log-in information. The following hack allows you to go around this limitation, however it is not supported by either us or Microsoft. Use this at your own risk. (I have tested it on Windows 7 x64)
 
For this hack you will need SysinternalsSuite by Mark Russinovich:
 
  1. Open an elevated cmd.exe prompt (Go to Start -> Type cmd -> Right click -> Run as administrator)
  2. Navigate to the folder containing SysinternalsSuite using the cd command (e.g: “cd C:\User\Desktop\SysinternalsSuite”) -> Enter
  3. Execute the following command: “psexec -i -s cmd.exe” -> Enter
    Note: You are now inside of a prompt that is nt authority\system and you can prove this by typing “whoami”. The -i is needed because drive mappings need to interact with the user.
  4. Create the persistent mapped drive as the SYSTEM account with the following command: “net use z: \\servername\sharedfolder /persistent:yes”
    Note: This command will map the folder from the command (“sharedfolder”) to a network location (z in this case).
 
WARNING: You can only remove this mapping the same way you created it, from the SYSTEM account. If you need to remove it, follow steps 1 and 2 but change the command on step 3 tonet use z: /delete.
 
NOTE: The newly created mapped drive will now appear for ALL users of this system but they will see it displayed as “Disconnected Network Drive (Z:)”. Do not let the name fool you. It may claim to be disconnected but it will work for everyone.
 

Download PrintAgent for Windows

Download PrintAgent for Linux

Test setup

While setting up a driver that supports the use of the PrintAgent a Terminal-icon will appear right to the TCP/IP field. When the DNS or IP address of the DFE running PrintAgent is entered this button gives access to a remote view on the DFE. This can be used to test the connectivity between the RIP and the DFE.

The following actions are possible:

  • Connect : This will connect the RIP to PrintAgent on the DFE and show the content of the hotfolder set-up in PrintAgent.
  • Double-click on Folder: Expands the folder and shows the content of the folder on which is double-clicked.
  • Double-click on File: Downloads the file from the DFE and saves it locally.
  • Drag & Drop file: Dragging a file from the Windows Explorer or Finder onto a Folder in the PrintAgent View window will upload the file to the DFE.
Updated on May 1, 2022

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