Allow network users to manage printers

When rolling out a Mac OS X SOE, sometimes it will be advantageous to allow regular users, with mobile or network accounts, to be able to manage printers on their computers. For instance, pausing or resuming a print queue can sometimes require you to be an Administrator.
Fortunately it’s pretty easy to fix this – and Apple even have a knowledge base article outlining the steps.

In short, for a network user execute the following command in the Terminal:
dseditgroup -o edit -n /Local/Default -u admin -p -a printerusers -t group _lpadmin
…where “admin” is the name of a local administrator account on the workstation (you will be prompted for this account password), and “printerusers” is the short name of the network group. Then, make the printusers group a member of the local lpadmin group.

For a mobile user, it’s a bit easier:
dseditgroup -o edit -n /Local/Default -u admin -p -a username -t user _lpadmin
…where “admin” is the name of a local administrator account on the workstation (you will be prompted for this account password), and “username” is the short name of the network user. Alternatively, if you want to give someone the ability to stop and start printer queues (and resume them when they get put on hold) then you can add them to the _lpoperator group instead of the _lpadmin group.

This article was posted by Kai Howells. If you liked this content and have any technical work in the Melbourne area, say hello via my contact form or give me a call on 0419 361 653 - I cover most of the greater Melbourne area and my rates are competitive.

One Response to Allow network users to manage printers

  1. Updating this for Mountain Lion – the Printer Operators group is now called _lpadmin (with a leading underscore)

    eg: dseditgroup -o edit -n /Local/Default -u admin -P ‘Pa$$w0rd123’ -a staff -t group _lpadmin

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