As we all know, although a great option, Google Cloud Printing service can be a nightmare to deal with sometimes. I am sure all of the system administrators out there agree with me on this. From my testing, Google Native Printing is much more reliable than the Google Cloud Printing Service. Organizations that depend on Google Cloud Printers for their Chromebooks should cut over to Google Native Printing as soon as possible.
Google Native Printers for Chromebooks
Google Native Printing option can be switched on from the Google Admin Console with a few mouse clicks. You don’t have to deal with any messy printer driver installations like we do in Microsoft Windows. Currently, Google supports a decent list of Native Printers and more should be added in the near future. If your work environment consists mostly of new printers or copiers, you shouldn’t have any issues setting up Google Native Printing. Even if your work environment consists of older printers and Google doesn’t list it as an option in the G Suite Console, you may be able to get them working using closely matching print drivers.
Google Admin Console Native Printers Setup
Say, goodbye to Google Cloud Printers going offline, once and for all. Native Printing works through your Local Area Network, this means you no longer have to rely on the cloud printing service and the internet for your printing needs. You also, no longer have to keep restarting your Google Cloud Print service. We will set up printers through the (LPD) or Line Printer Daemon Protocol. I know it is an older standard than (IPP) or Internet Printing Protocol but it is what I had the most success with.
Native Printers are only offered through User Policy and not Device Policy at the time of this publishing. You will be able to deploy Native Printers to users and not devices.
- Grab the local IP address of all the printers that you would like to get setup with Google Native Printing. (I typically make an excel sheet with the IP address and naming for my printer which is easier to refer back to).
- Head over to G Suite Console or Google Admin Console and click on Chrome Management > user settings and pick the Organizational Unit that you would like to setup Native printing on.
- Press CTRL + F to search and find Native Printers section in the Google Admin Console.
Click on manage and that should get you to the following Window. Here you can select a name for your printer, I try to make the naming consistent with our Windows deployed printers. Give it a description and Select your Manufacturer and Model. Model numbers can be difficult to navigate as there are tons on the list. If you don’t find your exact printer on the list, choose a driver that closely matches the printer that you have. For example, As you can see below, I couldn’t find HP Laser Jet M608 on Google’s list so I chose a Laser Jet driver that closely matched this black and white printer. Most Laser Jet black and white printers should share similar drivers, you would of course test this out before deploying it to a production network.
At this point, if you don’t have your exact printer listed in Google Native Printer’s list, you would have to do some trial and error to find a driver that works. Here are some of the native printers I’ve setup within the Google Admin Panel which worked perfectly.
I would get into Native Printing slowly and work with copiers first, you would be able to get them to work with the (LPD) or line protocol pretty easily. If you have strategically placed copiers through out the building, they will quickly take the load off your organization’s chrome printing needs.
Please remember that Google Native Printing only works within a chromebook because it is reliant on the (CUPS) service within Chrome OS. This means, your users won’t see native printers while they are in a Windows Operating System. This can be a good thing for some organizations because a list of Google Cloud Printers can be confusing for their users alongside Windows Deployed Printers. Also, most organizations will want their staff to use Windows Deployed Printers over Google Cloud Printers while they are on Windows machines. That being said, native printing works great within Chromebooks.
If you are able to find more printer models that works with a driver pair, please comment below with your findings. This would help more users out there who are in the same boat and they won’t have to spend time testing each one. Thank you, very much for your contribution and please subscribe to Tech Really for more posts like this one.