Managing Printer Drivers

During printer auto-creation, if XenApp detects a new local printer connected to a client device, it checks the server hosting the published application (from which the user is trying to print) for the required printer driver. By default, XenApp automatically installs a native driver if one is not found on the server hosting the published application.

Because users in a XenApp environment do not have a persistent workspace, drivers cannot be stored on the client. To print to a local device, XenApp must find the correct driver on: (a) its server or in the server’s Windows operating system, and (b) the client device. The diagram that follows shows how the printer driver is used in two places for client printing.

This diagram shows client printing to a local printer: The printer driver on the server routes the job over the ICA channel to the client device. The client device then routes the print job through the same printer driver, which is accessible on the client device. The printer driver on the client device relays the print job to the print spooler on the client device, which in turn routes the print job to the local printer.


The printer driver on the server and the driver used by the client device must match exactly. If not, printing fails. As a result, XenApp provides features to manage drivers, install them automatically, and replicate them across your farm.

The following problems can arise from not managing client printer drivers correctly:

When planning your driver management strategy, determine if you will support device-specific or the Universal Printing driver, or both.

If you support standard drivers, you also need to determine:
  • What types of drivers you want to support
  • If you want printer drivers automatically installed when they are missing on farm servers
  • If you want to create driver compatibility lists
  • If you want to replicate drivers across your farm servers automatically

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