Terminal Server Easy Print Overview

Windows 2008 server Terminal Services introduced a new feature called Terminal Server Easy Print, which is quite helpful and visible when we redirect printers.
It’s a universal print driver in that simplifies administration for client printer redirection. It replaces Terminal Services Fallback driver model. Though Fallback printing is still available in Windows 2008 server.

So What is Easy Print?

Terminal Server Easy Print acts as a proxy where users have access to all the printer properties which is redirected from the client computer. It is a universal driver which works for pretty much all the printers. With Terminal Server Easy Print feature enabled, you don’t need to install printer drviers on the Windows 2008 Server for redirecting client printers.
Easy print is ON by default on the Windows 2008 server and lets users redirect printers without any hassles.

XPS or XML Paper Specification

The document printed is rendered as an XPS (XML Paper Specification) document on the Windows Server 2008 and then to the client, where it is printed using the local print driver.
XPS describes electronic paper in a way that can be read by hardware, read by software, and read by people.It is platform independent, openly published, and available royalty-free. Now, Since XPS documents are platform independent, there are not cross platform compatibility issues while printing, which means, xps document created on one machine can be printed on another.

Pre requisite for Easy Print

For Easy Print to work on Windows 2008 Terminal Server, it should meets the following criteria:

  • Clients must be running Remote Desktop Client (RDC) 6.1 (or above)
  • Clients must have .Net Framework 3.0 SP1 installed.
  • Terminal Services Role must be installed on Windows 2008 server.
  • Following Group Policy on Windows 2008 server must be configured: Use Terminal Services Easy Print driver first It should be ENABLED.
    Location for the policy:
    Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\Terminal Server\Printer Redirection 

What else?

  • Fallback printing options is still there in Windows 2008 server, however, Easy Print has taken the precedence.
  • Terminal Server Easy Print is implemented in Terminal Server XPS Driver, tsprint.dll.
    Location: %systemroot%\System32\Spool\Drivers\w32x86\3\tsprint.dll