A printer driver is a piece of software that allows computer applications to print without having to know the technical details of each printer model. Over the years, printer manufacturers have multiplied the number of driver versions available to cope with the evolution of their printer models. Each new model required a new specific driver, leading to a complex range of drivers to maintain. Recently, to reduce this complexity, the concept of universal print drivers has been introduced by the majority of printer manufacturers. The idea is that each vendor provides only one universal driver that will handle their complete range of printer models.

Therefore, to install new printer models on the CERN network, the CERN printing infrastructure has to evolve to this new scenario. There are added benefits, such as increasing availability and standardizing printers as well as the printing process itself. In addition, as more and more users are moving to 64-bit operating systems, the printing service has to evolve to support such universal 64-bit drivers.

New print servers will be introduced and printers will gradually be moved to this printing infrastructure. This migration is currently planned for May 2010 and, for economical reasons, by default all printers will be set to print in black and white on both sides of A4 paper. As before, users will be able to change the default print settings on their computers. A flyer will be distributed shortly to explain how to redefine these print settings.

Useful link

Print Service website: http://cern.ch/service-print/