Printer cannot serve both host & guest as needed ??

Discussion in 'Virtualization' started by smallhagrid, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Senior Member

    Sep 14, 2013
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    I am seeing a strange situation for the 1st time - just never ran into this before & it was not happening with the older version of Vmware I used before either.

    Host OS is Ubuntu Mate 18.04.2 running Vmware 15 with an XP guest & 1 USB printer as well as 1 networked printer.

    The networked printer is fine everywhere, 100% of the time - but when the guest OS is running it takes full control of the USB printer - actually disconnects it from the host until the guest OS is closed.
    That results in any print jobs sitting in queue until the guest OS is closed, or that printer is manually told to disconnect from the guest.

    My query:
    Short of connecting the (now) USB printer via network - is there some way to either automate this or to simply make it work for both OSes full time ??

    Thanks for any helpful replies !!
     
  2. Carlos Detweiller

    Carlos Detweiller MDL Spinning Tortoise

    Dec 21, 2012
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    USB devices usually cannot be shared. If the USB device is attached to the VM Guest OS ("USB captured"), that OS acquires the full exclusive access for the USB device. Only if the USB device is removed from the VM or the VM is shut down, the access returns to the Host OS ("USB released").

    What you could possibly do is using a special print server that turns the USB printer into a networked one, too. Then, all clients, including Host and all VM Guests, can send print jobs to the printer's IP.
     
  3. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Senior Member

    Sep 14, 2013
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    Thank You Very Much Carlos Detweiller !!
    I may just have to see if getting it onto the network is easily enough done then - as the location of that printer is not very cabling friendly...too bad that using an RJ45 splitter can be problematic.
     
  4. Carlos Detweiller

    Carlos Detweiller MDL Spinning Tortoise

    Dec 21, 2012
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    There are also print servers working over WiFi.
     
  5. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid MDL Senior Member

    Sep 14, 2013
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    Thanks again Carlos Detweiller.
    I'm actually thinking that his printer has an RJ45 port, so I could get a mini-sized, USB powered switch, it'd multiply his existing, single cable very nicely.
    That way the non-shareable USB device thing would cease to matter easily.