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Terminal Services Printing

Updated: July 7, 2008

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

Terminal Services printing has been enhanced in Windows Server® 2008 by the addition of the Terminal Services Easy Print printer driver and a Group Policy setting that enables you to redirect only the default client printer.

The Terminal Services Easy Print driver is a feature that enables users to reliably print from a RemoteApp program or from a terminal server desktop session to the correct printer on their client computer. It also enables users to have a much more consistent printing experience between local and remote sessions.

The Redirect only the default client printer policy setting allows you to specify whether the default client printer is the only printer that is redirected in Terminal Services sessions. This helps to limit the number of printers that the spooler must enumerate, therefore improving terminal server scalability.

To use the Terminal Services Easy Print driver in Windows Server 2008, clients must be running both of the following:

  • Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) 6.1

    noteNote
    The RDC 6.1 (6.0.6001) client supports Remote Desktop Protocol 6.1.

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista® with Service Pack 1 (SP1) include both of the required components. By default, Windows Vista with SP1 supports the Terminal Services Easy Print driver with no additional configuration.

Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3) also supports the Terminal Services Easy Print driver. However, you must install .NET Framework 3.0 SP1 separately. (RDC 6.1 is included with Windows XP SP3.)

To use the Terminal Services Easy Print driver on a Windows Server 2008-based server (that is acting as the client), you must first add .NET Framework 3.0 SP1. The .NET Framework 3.0 SP1 component is available as an installable feature. For more information, see the "Terminal Services Printing" topic in the "What's New in Terminal Services for Windows Server 2008" guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=87440).

The Terminal Services Easy Print driver offers the following functionality:

  • Increased reliability of Terminal Services printing for both RemoteApp and remote desktop sessions.

  • Support for legacy and new printer drivers without the necessity of installing these drivers on the terminal server.

  • Scalability improvements over Windows Server 2003 in terms of printer enumeration performance. During the Winlogon process, the spooler only enumerates printers that are available for a user in a particular session instead of enumerating all redirected printers. Therefore, printers are enumerated on a per-session basis, instead of on a per-user basis.

  • Enhanced available printer capabilities. The Terminal Services Easy Print driver provides rich and complete printer capabilities in remote sessions. All of the physical printer driver's capabilities are available for use when a user views the printing preferences.

The Redirect only the default client printer Group Policy setting allows you to control whether the default client printer is the only printer redirected in a Terminal Services session, or whether all printers are redirected in a session.

The terminal server fallback printer driver is not included with Windows Server 2008. Although the Specify terminal server fallback printer driver behavior Group Policy setting still exists, it can only be used for computers running Windows Server 2003 with SP1 or Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 (SP2).

By default, the Terminal Services Easy Print driver is enabled in Windows Server 2008. To use the Terminal Services Easy Print driver, client computers must meet the requirements that are outlined in the "Are there any special considerations about these features" section.

If there are client computers that do not support the Terminal Services Easy Print driver, and the printer driver is not already available on the terminal server, you must do either of the following to support client printing:

  • Ensure that client printer drivers for both local and network printers are installed on the terminal server. If you are installing a third-party driver, make sure that the driver is a Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) signed driver.

  • Add the client printer drivers for both local and network printers to a custom printer mapping file on the terminal server. For more information about how to create a custom printer mapping file, see the "Resolution" section of article 239088 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=82784).

The following Group Policy settings have been added for Terminal Services printing:

  • Use Terminal Services Easy Print printer driver first

    This policy setting is located in the following node of the Local Group Policy Editor:

    Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\Terminal Server\Printer Redirection

    The possible values are:

    • Enabled or Not configured: If this policy setting is enabled or not configured, the terminal server will first try to use the Terminal Services Easy Print driver to install all client printers. If for any reason the Terminal Services Easy Print driver cannot be used, a printer driver on the terminal server that matches the client printer will be used. If the terminal server does not have a printer driver that matches the client printer, the client printer will not be available for the Terminal Services session. By default, this policy setting is not configured.

    • Disabled: If you disable this policy setting, the terminal server will try to find a suitable printer driver to install the client printer. If the terminal server does not have a printer driver that matches the client printer, the server will try to use the Terminal Services Easy Print driver to install the client printer. If for any reason the Terminal Services Easy Print driver cannot be used, the client printer will not be available for the Terminal Services session.

  • Redirect only the default client printer

    This policy setting is located in the following node of the Local Group Policy Editor:

    Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\Terminal Server\Printer Redirection

    The possible values are:

    • Enabled: If you enable this policy setting, only the default client printer is redirected in Terminal Services sessions.

    • Disabled or Not configured: If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, all client printers are redirected in Terminal Services sessions. By default, this policy setting is not configured.

For information about other new features in Terminal Services, see the Terminal Services Role topic.

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