The Print Tracker Cube is a simple, inexpensive, and reliable alternative to installing Print Tracker on your customer's computer. Cubes run a proprietary operating system called CubeOS which is designed to run Print Tracker and nothing else. You should consider purchasing a Cube if:
- You have a customer that will not allow the installation of Print Tracker on any of their computers.
- Your customer utilizes an overzealous antivirus solution that often interferes with Print Tracker.
- Your customer takes their computer home at night, puts it into sleep mode or otherwise disconnects it from the network.
- You want a more reliable solution that avoids having to troubleshoot offline agents.
The kit includes all the cables and accessories you need to run the device and also includes a desktop application called the Cube Provisioner which allows you to easily configure each device (or many devices) prior to installing them in your customer's network.
Setting up a Cube is simple. Here is how it works:
- Purchase a Cube from Print Tracker
- Download the Cube Provisioner to your own computer
- Connect the Cube to your network (the same network as your computer)
- Use the Cube Provisioner to add your customer's datalink code
- Unplug the Cube and install it in your customer's network
What's in the kit?
Each kit includes the following:
- One Print Tracker Cube
- One 5 volt 3 amp Power Supply
- One 6" Ethernet Patch Cable
- One 24" USB to USB-C Power Cable
Purchasing a Cube
Setup and Provisioning
The provisioning process is designed to help you easily configure one or more Cubes from your home or office, prior to distributing the Cubes to your customer. To set up and provision a Cube:
- Plug in the Cube to power and connect it to your network using the LAN port.
- Download the Cube Provisioner and open it on your computer.
- Wait for the provisioner to discover the Cube.
- Click Register and enter your datalink code.
- Optionally specify an SSH password (see security for more details on how SSH is secured). If you do not specify a password, a large random SSH password will be generated, but you will not be able to use it.
- Click Register and wait for the Cube to be provisioned.
If left powered on and connected, the Cube will eventually scan the network for devices. Be sure to disconnect the Cube after provisioning is complete.
The provisioning process registers Print Tracker and runs many different first-time setup procedures. This process can take several minutes, however you can provision multiple Cubes at the same time.
The Cube has several ports that have specific use-cases:
- Ethernet LAN port - Should be connected to your local network.
- Ethernet WAN port - Can optionally be connected to another network device such as a printer. This allows the Cube to operate in-line with existing network infrastructure.
- USB port - Currently not usable.
- USB-C port - Connect 5 volt 3 amp power.
CubeOS has been designed with security in mind, and as such, we discourage customizations that would affect the security landscape of the Cube. However, if configuration is required, you can use SSH to modify the device. Following a startup, the SSH server will run for two minutes before automatically shutting down to avoid exposing the SSH server indefinitely (see security for more details on how SSH is secured).
To prevent the SSH server from shutting down for the duration of your session, you can run the following command:
Next time the Cube starts up, the SSH server will return to its default behavior of automatically shutting down after two minutes.
Resetting a Cube allows it to be re-used with a different customer. There are two methods to reset your Cube depending on your needs:
- Soft Reset - Uninstalls and re-installs the Print Tracker data collection agent. The Cube must be connected to the internet.
- Flashing CubeOS - Completely resets the Cube to factory defaults.
A soft reset uninstalls and re-installs Print Tracker. The Cube must be connected to the internet. To perform a soft reset, press the reset button on the side of the Cube. If the reset was successful, the device will re-appear in the Cube Provisioner and you will be able to re-provision it.
Cubes ship with an SD card that is pre-flashed with CubeOS. In some cases, you may choose to manually flash the CubeOS image to the Cube's SD card, for example:
- You want to hard-reset the device to factory defaults instead of performing a soft reset.
- You want to use a higher capacity SD card than the one that shipped with the Cube.
Contact support to obtain the CubeOS image.
CubeOS has been designed with security as the top priority. No port forwarding or special firewall configurations are required (aside from our standard network requirements). CubeOS runs the following services in a limited capacity:
|Troubleshooting and debugging
|SSH server shuts down automatically after 2 minutes after startup and becomes inaccessible. SSH password can be configured during provisioning.
|Print Tracker Data Collection Agent
|Status and connectivity test
|Only allows initial registration, configuration of proxy settings, and connectivity test.
|Cube Discovery Service
|Allows the Cube Provisioner to discover the Cube on the local network
|Disabled after provisioning is completed.
CubeOS also ships with a remote management service that allows Print Tracker support staff to perform automated over-the-air updates using a WireGuard-secured SSH connection. In addition to using formally verified, state-of-the-art cryptographic standards, access to this connection is only made available to Print Tracker support staff authenticated using Microsoft SSO with enforced multi-factor authentication.
The Cube has all the same network requirements as a regularly installed data collection agent. Meter reads will not be collected or uploaded when the Cube is not connected to the internet.
Storage and Device Requirements
You may need to purchase additional storage if you plan on monitoring a large number of devices. You can use any off-the-shelf SD card, however we recommend SanDisk industrial-grade SD cards.