No matter what the shape or size of your VMware environment, chances are you've run into VMware printing issues along the way. Given that printing is a basic need in most organizations, it can be a struggle to get right, especially in VDI environments.
To make matters worse, the reasons why VMware printing is as varied as the number of configurations and environments. One of the more common problems we hear about is mapping. What form mapping takes will depend on the provisioning method you're using, so let's start by reviewing the two printer- deployment methods used in VMware printing.
Frequently used in dynamic environments where users move around a lot, location-based printing is a provisioning method that delivers printers to end users based on variable criteria. Given a user’s access to printing relies on a set of conditions being met (if X, then Y), it's not unheard of to have misfires in location-based printing scenarios. One of the resulting VMware printing issues is failed or improper printer mapping.
The alternative is printer redirection, which is also known to cause its share of problems. In this scenario, a local printer is mapped into the remote session so it's visible and accessible to the VDI server via the endpoint device. This, too, relies on multiple steps—including queries for properly named drivers—being completed successfully for a printer to map properly. It's a somewhat abstract process that can be confusing and frustrating to end users who see a desktop and a nearby printer and can't understand why VMware printing doesn't work. Cue the help-desk calls.
With that understanding of the two available provisioning methods, the underlying basis for potential mapping errors should be, too.
There are several standard solutions to VMware printing issues like the ones we’ve described. First, if you're using VMware View and printer redirection, make sure there isn't a problem with the View agent, which is the vital liaison between the client and server. If that doesn't resolve the issue, proceed to reinstalling the View agent on the machine that's experiencing VMware printing problems. If the printer still does not map properly, stop and restart printer redirection using the following commands: tpautoconnect -d (to stop) followed by tpautoconnect -v (to start).
If VMware printing still doesn't work, there could be more serious issues in play, and you should probably consult VMware support for more in-depth assistance.
For location-based printing, it's most likely that the printer-deployment policies or scripts aren't getting the printers to map correctly. Since these scenarios depend on your use case, it's recommended you review them for conflicts, permissions issues and coding errors.
Solve your mapping issues and other VMware printing problems with PrinterLogic
PrinterLogic designed its Printer Installer to improve operational efficiency and printer control. By using a web-based admin console, self-service installation features, and an unobtrusive end-user client, PrinterLogic solves VMware printing-related problems by converting printers to centrally-managed direct-IP printing. This eliminates print servers—and unnecessary WAN traffic.
PrinterLogic does this without complex printer deployment scripts and GPOs. These old-school, cumbersome methods are replaced by the Printer Installer Client, which receives direction from automatic printer-deployment assignments created in the admin console.
But that’s not all. This combination gives admins full control over printer-driver assignments, while at the same time empowering end users from the client side using the built-in Self-service Installation Portal. End users can easily find a printer nearby and install it with a few clicks.
Rather than spending days, weeks or even months trying to troubleshoot printer mapping issues in VMware, you can deploy PrinterLogic to augment printing and print management in VMware. PrinterLogic is a next-generation enterprise print management solution that integrates seamlessly with VMware and Active Directory to simplify and streamline printer deployment, driver management as well as routine printing.
By taking the pain out of printer redirection—and eliminating GPOs and scripts—PrinterLogic enables you to deliver the right printers to the right users every time, without the usual printer-mapping hassles. At the same time, PrinterLogic's direct-IP printing paradigm can fully eliminate print servers from your organization while providing more functionality, more stability, and more convenience.
Before becoming PrinterLogic's Technical Product Manager, Chris spent more than four years as a Technical Product Engineer, Systems Engineer, and Sales Engineer—working side by side with IT professionals to eliminate print servers from their environment. He has a B.S. degree in Information Technology and loves learning about all of the new and innovating solutions that continue to revolutionize the IT industry.