Frequently Asked Questions

About PrintNode

Can I have multiple users or accounts?
Yes, you can upgrade to an Integrator Account; this allows you to create Child Accounts. Child Accounts don't share information between each other and are controlled by your Integrator Account. You can upgrade your account and manage your Child Accounts in our web app. You can also manage Child Accounts via our API.
Do I need any special drivers or third-party software?
You don't need any special printers or drivers. If your printer works with another program, such as Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word, then it will work with the PrintNode Client too. The PrintNode Client is available for Windows, Linux (including Raspbian) and macOS / OS X.
What type of files can I print?
PrintNode supports PDF files and RAW files. You can read more about RAW printing here.
´╗┐Can I have a full PrintNode service deployed in my own infrastructure?
Not just yet, but this is a hotly-requested feature and we're hard at work on it! We expect to have a release candidate in Q3 2018.
Does PrintNode automatically discover printers on my network?
PrintNode can print to any printer configured on a computer on which you have installed the PrintNode Client software. The PrintNode Client automatically detects printers on the computer on which it is running, but it doesn't search your network for printers.

The PrintNode Client's list of printers will be the same as what is reported by the operating system. On Windows you can view it by looking at Devices and Printers. On mac OS / OS X and Linux you can view it by running

lpstat -p

on the command line or via the CUPS web interface at https://localhost:631.

The list of printers the PrintNode Client has detected is visible on the Printers tab in the PrintNode Client's UI. After adding a printer it takes around three seconds to be detected on Windows and three to ten seconds on macOS / OS X and Linux.

Should I run the PrintNode Client as a desktop application or a Windows service?
Running the PrintNode Client as a Windows Service comes with the following benefits:
  • Only one instance of the PrintNode Client runs regardless of how many active user sessions there are on a given machine (this helps avoid certain issues such as duplicate prints).
  • The end user does not have access to the desktop app interface, which makes them less likely to break something.
  • It is possible to manage the PrintNode Client remotely through the PrintNode Client's web API.
Running the PrintNode Client as a Windows Service has the following drawbacks:
  • The PrintNode Client runs as the LocalSystem account, so it doesn't use the default printer settings of regular users.
  • The end user does not have access to the desktop app interface, which makes it more difficult to provide support if something goes wrong.
We usually recommend installing the PrintNode Client as a desktop application. For multi-tenant machines we recommend installing and running the PrintNode Client as a Windows Service, to avoid duplicate prints.
Can I have the PrintNode Client monitor a folder and print whenever a new file appears?
No, the PrintNode Client only performs prints as a result of an API call to our online service.

If you are technically-minded, or have access to a developer, it is a straightforward exercise to monitor a directory (e.g. using inotify or something similar) and send a POST /printjobs to the PrintNode API whenever a new file appears. In Python, Node.js or Go, for example, a basic implementation should be under 100 lines of code.
Can the PrintNode Client serve as a virtual printer?
No. The PrintNode Client can send a print to any printer that is visible to the operating system, but it will only perform a print in response to an API call to our online service.
Can I print to a network printer?
PrintNode works with network printers; please note that all printing still happens through a running instance of the PrintNode Client. Therefore, your network printer needs to be installed on a computer that is running the PrintNode Client.
Do you support serial / RS-232 / serial-to-USB scales?
Yes, PrintNode supports serial scales. However, there is no overall standard for serial communication protocols used by scales. We have added support for a variety of popular models. See here for a list of supported scales.

If your serial scale is not currently supported, don't worry! We can determine your scale's communication protocol and build support for it into our software. To make this process as easy as possible, we have created a utility you can use with your serial scale, which will generate the information we need to support it. The utility (PrintNode Serial Scale Inspector) is available on our downloads page and full instructions for using it are provided with the download. Please contact us if you would like further information.
Do you support barcode scanners / RFID readers / video cameras / VFDs?
We are considering adding support for various peripheral devices to the PrintNode Client, including all of the above, but we cannot yet provide an ETA. If you have any ideas about devices we could support, we are always open to feedback and suggestions.
Can I run the PrintNode Client on my iOS / Android device?
We don't currently have a PrintNode Client for Android / iOS, but it's something that we'd like to add and it's on our development roadmap.

For now, you need to have a Windows, macOS / OS X or a Linux computer to run the PrintNode Client. Please note that the "computer" running the PrintNode Client can be a small, cheap, low-power device, for example a Raspberry Pi.
My printer is not on your supported printers list. Do you support it?
Almost certainly.

Our service is in principle compatible with all printers because it prints via the operating system and printer drivers, just like applications such as Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat. So if the printer is set up correctly with the appropriate drivers installed, it should work fine with PrintNode.
Do you support my scale?
PrintNode supports two classes of scale:
  • USB scales which implement the USB HID standard. This covers a wide variety of scales in use today. Your scale's manufacturer documentation should specify whether your scale supports USB HID. On Windows, you can also check by plugging in your scale, waiting for the operating system to install the driver and examining the driver's details.
  • Scales which communicate over a serial interface. For details, please see this question.
I want to sign a contract with you. What information do you require?
To prepare a contract for your organisation, we need the following information:
  • name and address;
  • corporate registration information (e.g. company number, territory in which company is registered);
  • short description of what your organisation does;
  • short description of the software platform which will use PrintNode;
  • at least one official point of contact (name and address / email address / telephone number);
  • name and position of the individual who will execute the contract on behalf of your organisation.
Please note that we will only sign a contract with you if you are a large customer. For details, please contact us.
How long does it take you to produce a custom-branded Client?
It takes up to 24 hours after we have received the necessary assets and artwork.
Is there an msi installer for the PrintNode Client?
Not yet; however, you can run our .exe installer in a non-interactive mode (see here).
Can you offer me an SLA?
If we enter into a contract with you, the contract can include an SLA. See here for details on what we need to prepare a contract for you. Contact us for further details.
Does the PrintNode Client need any specific operating system permissions to run? Can I run the PrintNode Client as an unprivileged user?
The following conditions need to be satisfied for the PrintNode Client to run correctly:
  • The operating system user under which the PrintNode Client is run needs to have permissions to access printers and the network.
  • The PrintNode Client needs to be able to write to the user's home directory.
Do you guarantee ordering of prints?
If you submit print jobs "one at a time", then yes. Specifically:
  • If you submit a print job ("print job A") to our system, wait for a response from the API and then submit another print job ("print job B") to our system, then print job A will be printed before print job B.
  • If you submit print job A to our system and then submit print job B before you have received an API response for print job A, then they could be printed in either order.
Every print job submitted to our system is assigned a print job id, which is an integer. If you want to check the order in which print jobs were handled, the print job id indicates this – lower ids are handled before higher ids.

How do I...?

How do I send recent log data to support?
Go to the Logs tab and click the Send to Support button. Please be sure to send the log reference (this will be displayed in the log line saying Thank you. Sent ... to server. Your log reference is ...).

If the Client cannot connect at all, and you are stuck at the login screen, click on Send logs to support there instead.
How do I send full log data to support?
The PrintNode Client stores logs in:
  • C:\Users\[your user name]\.printnode\printnode\10\logs (in Windows, when run as a desktop application)
  • C:\Windows\SysWOW64\config\systemprofile\.printnode\printnode\10\logs (in Windows, when run as a Windows Service)
  • $HOME\.printnode\printnode\10\logs (in macOS / OS X and Linux)
Zip the log directory and send it to support@printnode.com. Note that the 10 in the path is related to the version of the PrintNode Client's configuration files and it may be different for your particular install.
How do I rename a printer?
The PrintNode Client uses printer names provided by the operating system. In order to change a printer's name, change it in the operating system. For Windows, go to Devices & Printers and click on the printer's name. For macOS / OS X, reinstall the printer with a different printer name.

Please note that when you rename your printer, our system will assign it a new printer id.
How do I rename a scale?
You can rename scales by going to the Scales tab in the PrintNode Client and clicking on the name. This will enable you to rename the device. Once you change the name you can refer to the scale using its new name.
How do I implement paper cutting?
You can implement paper cutting using our RAW printing functionality with ZPL, EPL or other printer-specific languages. For advice on using RAW printing languages, there are many online guides and references you can consult.
How do I change the email address of my account?
Log in to our web app and go to the Profile page. If you don't know the password to your account, you can reset it using our Reset Password page. If you don't have access to the email address anymore, please contact us.
How do I open the PrintNode Client?
If the PrintNode Client is installed in Windows as a desktop application, there is a PrintNode icon in the system tray. Its appearance tells you the status of the PrintNode Client:

Connected – displayed when the PrintNode Client is successfully connected to PrintNode.

Disconnected – displayed when the PrintNode Client cannot connect to PrintNode.

Connecting – displayed when the PrintNode Client is attempting to connect to PrintNode.


Right-click on the icon and click Open PrintNode or Sign in to display the PrintNode Client's user interface.

If the PrintNode Client is installed in Windows as a Windows Service, open your browser and go to http://localhost:8888.

If the PrintNode Client is installed in macOS / OS X or Linux, there is a PrintNode icon in the top bar. Its appearance tells you the status of the PrintNode Client:

Connected – displayed when the PrintNode Client is successfully connected to PrintNode.

Disconnected – displayed when the PrintNode Client cannot connect to PrintNode.

Connecting – displayed when the PrintNode Client is attempting to connect to PrintNode.


Click on the icon and click Open PrintNode or Sign in to display the PrintNode Client's user interface.
How do I install the PrintNode Client as a Windows Service listening on a specific port?
Run Edit PrintNode Service Launch Options from the PrintNode Start Menu folder and add the following argument:

--web-interface-port=[the port you want to use]

For example, to use port 9999:

--web-interface-port=9999

and click Edit service. After you restart the PrintNode Windows Service, you will be able to access the web interface of the PrintNode Windows Service at http://localhost:9999.
How do I install the PrintNode Client unattended / in a batch process?
Our .exe installer allows non-interactive installation and supports a variety of command-line options. Run the installer on the command line with the /HELP parameter for details. For example, you can run the installer silently, like this:

PrintNode-4.18.6.exe /SILENT
How do I know when a new release of the PrintNode Client is available?
We announce new PrintNode Client releases on Twitter, with the exception of patch releases, which are usually minor enhancements or bugfixes. If a new release fixes a critical bug, we will contact you directly and ask you to update your Printnode Client.
How do I disable the scales functionality altogether?
If you are running the PrintNode Client as a Windows Service, run Edit PrintNode Service Launch Options from the PrintNode Start Menu folder and add the following argument:

--remove-scales-support

and restart the PrintNode Windows Service.

If you are running the PrintNode Client as a desktop application, modify the configuration file by adding the following line:

remove_scales_support = yes

The configuration file is located in your home directory. In Windows it's:

C:\Users\[your user name]\.PrintNode.conf

In macOS / OS X and Linux, it's:

$HOME/.PrintNode.conf

Payment and billing

Do I need to enter my credit card details to get started?
No. We give you a month of free usage so you can try out our service.
Can I cancel my account at any time?
Yes. There is no contract of any kind and no obligation.
How do I pay?
Please go to the Payment Info page of our web app (available here) and add your invoicing details and a card. If you are an EU VAT-registered business, be sure to enter your VAT number correctly. We will take payment from your card shortly after issuing an invoice.

More information is available here.
I don't have a card / I don't want to add a card, is there any other way to pay?
You can also pay by either a bank transfer or PayPal. If you send us a PayPal payment or send us money via bank transfer we will credit it to your account. You will still be invoiced monthly but the fees will simply be deducted from your account balance. Please put your account ID (you can see it here) in the payment description/narrative, so we know which account to credit.

Our PayPal email address is support@printnode.com. You can find our bank details here.

If you intend to pay by PayPal or bank transfer going forward, please let us know. Please note that when paying by bank transfer, you are responsible for covering sender's fees.
Do you accept American Express?
Yes.
Do you charge extra for scales / does the printing quota on my plan include scales?
There is no charge for scale functionality.
I have suspended my account. Why did I receive an invoice?
We issue an invoice for every billing period (usually a month) in which your account has been active. When you suspend your account, you will still receive an invoice for your usage of the account in the billing period in which you suspended it.
I have deleted my account. Why did I receive an invoice?
We issue an invoice for every billing period (usually a month) in which your account has been active. For example, if you delete your account halfway through a month, you will still receive an invoice for that half-month of usage.

Troubleshooting

The PrintNode Client won't install because of an anti-virus software alert. Is your software safe to use?
Our software is completely safe to use. We are aware that some of the anti-virus suites mistakenly flag our software as malicious. To fix this, we are:
  • Digitally signing all of our executables.
  • White-listing our software with the anti-virus vendors (some are more responsive than others).
  • Working to remove / rewrite components that look suspicious to the anti-virus software.
Unfortunately, sometimes that's not enough. In order to install our software, please white-list it locally with your anti-virus suite.

If you want extra assurance, make sure that you download software from our Downloads page and compare the SHA1 hashes of our installers with the ones published on the website.
Why are my prints coming out more than once?
This problem is usually caused by having two instances of the PrintNode Client running on the same computer. You can confirm that this is the case by looking for two sent_to_client states in your print job (you can view print jobs in our web app).

On a Windows multi-tenant system the PrintNode Client will run for every logged-in user, resulting in duplicate prints. Therefore, on multi-tenant machines, we recommend installing the PrintNode Client as a Windows Service.

This error can also happen if you copy the PrintNode Client's configuration folder (located at C:\Users\[your user name]\.printnode) to a different computer and run the PrintNode Client there – the two instances of the PrintNode Client will present themselves as being on the same computer and print jobs will be sent to both of them. Therefore we recommend against doing this.
I'm running the PrintNode Client as a Windows Service. Why are my default printer settings not taking effect?
When installed as a Windows Service, the PrintNode Client runs as the LocalSystem account, so it uses the printer defaults of that account, not the account you use to log in.

There are two things you can do about this:
  • Reconfigure the Windows Service to run under a different user account, and change the default printer settings of that account. If you do this, ensure that the password for that account does not expire.
  • Change the default printer settings of the LocalSystem account. You need to modify the Windows Registry for that. Note that modifying the Windows Registry can cause serious harm and should only be attempted with great care. The steps to follow are:
    • Modify the default settings of your printer, using the standard Devices & Printers functionality.
    • Run the registry editor (regedit.exe) and export the key

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Printers\DevModePerUser

      into a .reg file.
    • Modify the .reg file so line 3 says:

      [HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-18\Printers\DevModePerUser]

      (S-1-5-18 is the security identifier of the LocalSystem account)
    • Run the modified .reg file; confirm that you want to continue if asked. You should receive a message saying The keys and values contained in [your modified .reg file] have been successfully added to the registry.
    • Restart the PrintNode Windows Service.
    • Go to http://localhost:8888/printers to confirm that the new settings have been applied.
My PDF is printed correctly by Adobe Reader / Chrome / system tools, but with PrintNode it is rotated / the wrong size. What can I do?
If you are running the PrintNode Client as a Windows Service, see this question. Otherwise:
  1. Change the default printing backend to Engine6 on Windows or Engine7 on macOS – you can do this by using the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of the Printers tab.
  2. Perform the print.
If that doesn't achieve the desired result, try performing the print with the following options set: {"fit_to_page": false, "rotate": 0}. See here for details on print job options.
Why are my prints delayed?
Usually this is because it takes time to download the file to print. Look at the Logs tab of the Client; it will say how much time was spent downloading the file. If this doesn't explain the delay, contact support. Please remember to send us the log reference and the id of the print job which was delayed.
Why do my fonts look wrong in my prints? My PDF file prints OK using Adobe Reader.
For PrintNode to print your PDF properly, it must have all the necessary fonts embedded. In Windows, you can just look at the properties of your PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Reader; on macOS / OS X and Linux, the pdffonts utility will tell you what fonts your PDF uses and whether they are embedded or not.
I am using IIS and serving documents on localhost but the PrintNode Client won't download them. What do I do?
This issue can occur when localhost is not explicitly resolved. Go to your hosts file (on Windows it is located at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts) and add the following line:

127.0.0.1      localhost
On macOS / OS X, prints show as done in the PrintNode Client logs but my printer doesn't print anything. What's going on?
On some macOS / OS X systems, the default printer driver may not work with PrintNode. To change the driver:
  1. Log into the CUPS web interface by pointing a browser to https://localhost:631. You may need to enable this functionality by running a console command. Follow instructions as they appear.
  2. After logging in, go to Administration -> Manage printers and select your printer.
  3. In the Administration drop-down box, select Modify printer.
  4. Click through the wizard until you are presented with options to select your printer's make and model. Choose the appropriate make and model from the options provided. Note that there may be more than one model which corresponds to your printer. You may have to try more than one selection.
  5. Finish clicking through the wizard.
  6. After clicking through the wizard, you will be returned to the printer page. Select Print test page from the Maintenance drop-down list. If a test page is successfully printed, the printer is ready to use with PrintNode. If not, follow this sequence of instructions again, but at step 4 try choosing a different model.
When trying to log in, I'm getting an error of the form Resolving timed out after 7111 milliseconds (or similar). What do I do?
Select Network settings on the login screen and change the HTTP library from Curl to Requests.
I have looked through the FAQ and Troubleshooting pages, but I can't find a solution to my problem. What do I do now?
Please contact us. The more information you can include in your message, the better. For example, if you are having trouble with a print job, please tell its print job id.
My printers don't show up in a third-party tool that is integrated with PrintNode. What can I do?
Confirm that the printers show up correctly in the Printers tab of the PrintNode Client and in our web app. If the printers are shown there, that means that they are available through the PrintNode API. Go to your third-party tool and try the following:
  • Make sure that you set the correct credentials (for example, when using an API Key, ensure that it belongs to the correct PrintNode account).
  • Refresh the list of printers.
You should also try contacting the provider of the third-party tool for support.
I'm trying to print using your RAW printing functionality, but it isn't working. How do I troubleshoot this?
When printing RAW files there is no feedback from the printer if there is something wrong with the file sent – the printer just disregards the file.

To test that your RAW file is valid, send it to your printer using the printer's utilities (e.g. from the software bundled with your printer). If that works, confirm that you are sending your file to PrintNode correctly – check the md5 hash of the file you've sent (it's available in the Logs tab) and confirm that it's the same as the file you tested.

If you are certain that the file you are sending to PrintNode is the same as the file you tested with the printer's utilities, please contact us.
I've deleted my account. Can you undelete it?
No, accounts cannot be undeleted. Please create a new account instead. You may reuse the email address (and creator ref, if applicable) of the deleted account.
I'm using PrintNode but I don't know what my account / computer information is. How do I check?
Open the PrintNode Client and go to the Account tab. It displays information as follows:

You are connected with account [account email] and are using computer [computer name]

Alternatively, go to the Logs tab and locate log entries that look like this:

Authenticated. Account email [account email]. Account id [account id].
Computer name [computer name]. Computer id [computer id].
When running the PrintNode Client, I'm getting security warnings regarding europe.pool.ntp.org. Am I safe?
Yes, you are safe. This is a false positive.

Some of the servers in the ntp.org pools are donated by third parties. ntp.org verifies that the servers in their pools provide correct NTP information but the servers are allowed to provide other services on their other ports. Some ntp.org servers are used by the TOR network, for example, and this can raise alerts in some security systems.

Versions of the PrintNode Client later than 4.15 use different NTP servers. Upgrade your PrintNode Client to make the warning go away.
The PrintNode Client doesn't recognize my USB scale. What can I do?
There are two types of USB scale:
  • Scales which connect via USB but use a serial communication protocol. If you're using such a scale, please see this question.
  • Scales which implement the USB HID standard. To check whether your scale is one of these, follow the instructions below.
The scale's manufacturer documentation will tell you if your scale is USB HID-compliant. In Windows, you can check if this is the case by displaying the properties of the scale and looking for HID-compliant device in the Hardware section of the driver properties. On Windows 7 (the process is similar on other versions of Windows), you need to:
  • Open Control Panel.
  • Click on Devices and Printers under the Hardware and Sound section.
  • Right-click your scale and click Properties.
  • Go to Hardware tab and look for HID-compliant device.
If the scale is HID-compatible and still doesn't work with PrintNode, try the following:
  • Switch your scale to a different USB port.
  • Disable USB power saving mode.
  • Try connecting your scale as the only USB device attached to the computer.
I see a constant spinner when the PrintNode Client is running. What's going on?
This is most probably due to a device in your system that is presenting as a USB scale but is causing problems. Identify this device by unplugging various USB devices from your computer and restarting the PrintNode Client.

If you find a culprit, send the logs folder to us and we will add your device to our blacklist. This will make the problem go away in the next version of the PrintNode Client.

Alternatively, if you don't require scales functionality you can disable the scales, by either:
  • Unchecking the Enable Scales checkbox in the Scales tab of the PrintNode Client.
  • Disabling scales completely.
Why aren't network printers available when running the PrintNode Client as a Windows Service?
When installed as a Windows Service, the PrintNode Client runs under the LocalSystem account. This account may not have access to your network printers.

Run the PrintNode Client as a user that has access to the network printers you want to use. If you do this, ensure that the password for that account does not expire.

Privacy and Data

Do you keep any copies of my print jobs?
No. When your document has finished printing we permanently delete it from our systems.
Do you have a privacy policy?
Yes, you can read our privacy policy here.
What are you doing to comply with GDPR?
Our data usage practices already comply with the requirements of GDPR because we have always taken our customers' privacy and security extremely seriously.

Here is a brief summary of the key points relevant to GDPR:
  • We never sell your personal information to any third party, or share it for marketing purposes.
  • We use a third-party service to send emails (legitimate business emails; not spam), so to send an email to you, we have to send your email address to the third-party service. They are GDPR-compliant and they will not use your email address for any other purpose.
  • We collect, store and process only the data we require to provide you with the service you have signed up for, and we keep it only for as long as we need to.
  • When you send your documents through our service to be printed, we do not look at their contents and we do not perform analytics, keyword searches, deep learning, text mining, feature extraction, machine learning or any other kind of interpretation or information extraction on them. We don't know what's in your documents and we don't want to know.
We will soon be updating our privacy policy with explicit information about GDPR, our measures for compliance and your rights under the new regulation.

Developers

I am writing an app in PHP and need a PrintNode library. Where do I go?
Please use our GitHub PrintNode-PHP library, available here. Please make sure to use the release/2.0.0 branch.
What programming languages / frameworks do you support?
We have libraries for the following: There is also a high-quality .NET library; however, since this was written by a third party, we cannot provide support for it.
What network configuration does the PrintNode Client need to be able to connect?
The PrintNode Client needs to be able to reach the following addresses:

https://api.printnode.com
https://app.printnode.com
https://app2c1.printnode.com
https://client.printnode.com
https://vault.printnode.com

All of them, other than app2c1.printnode.com, resolve to 5.10.27.35. app2c1.printnode.com resolves to 5.10.27.36.

The PrintNode Client needs to make outgoing connections on TCP port 443.

A good way to test if you can reach our servers is to open a browser and go to https://api.printnode.com/ping. If this doesn't work, there's a problem somewhere between your computer and our servers. Try running:

tracert api.printnode.com

from the command prompt (Windows), or

traceroute api.printnode.com

from the terminal (macOS / OS X, Linux). This will give you technical information about the way the connection is routed.

If you can reach https://api.printnode.com/ping in your browser, but the PrintNode Client cannot connect, please send us logs and contact us.