A CDE Definition
(1) A computer in a network that controls one or more printers. The function is typically part of the operating system but may be an add-on utility that stores the print-image output from users' machines and feeds it to the printer one job at a time. The computer and its printers are known as a "print server" or a file server with "print services."
(2) Hardware that enables a printer to be installed in the network. "Network printers" have built-in print servers, but wired and wireless print servers may be added to non-network printers via the printer's parallel or USB ports (see below). The print server uses the printer's memory to queue the print jobs. If there is not enough printer memory to hold all the jobs, the print server causes the file server or the individual client machines to spool the printer output in the background. See print spooler.
Internal and External Print Servers
Software that manages sending jobs to the printer. When an application prints a document, the formatted output is stored on disk, and the print spooler feeds the print images to the printer in the background at slower printing speeds. Storing the print jobs on disk allows multiple printing requests to be queued while the user continues printing from the same or other application without waiting for the current document to be printed. See spooling.
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