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Label And Receipt Printing

20 Posts authored by: Daniel Quagliana Expert

Apple will not accept app and app updates from December 23 to 27 (Pacific Time) due to the winter holidays.


If you plan to schedule app releases or other app changes that require your app to undergo Zebra's whitelisting process, please plan accordingly as we've previously received many requests around this time. If you are unsure whether or not you must register your app with Zebra, please refer to iOS App White Listing FAQ page.


Watch for the 2017 Apple Winter Holiday shutdown dates soon!

KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attacks) is a security vulnerability that targets a key step in the Wi-Fi authentication protocol to break security encryption. These vulnerabilities could enable a proximate attacker (within Wi-Fi range of both the client device and the access point) to access and tamper with Wi-Fi packets over connections that are protected by WPA/WPA2 encryption.

The Link-OS printer operating system builds that address the Key Reinstallation Attack are now available on the Support and Downloads site.

Zebra takes security seriously and recommends that customers update to the latest OS/Firmware to minimize security risk.

From June 12th through June 16th, our team will be attending APPFORUM Europe 2017 in Prague!

There may be a delay in our response. If it's urgent, you can always meet us in person at the event!


See you there!


Your Zebra Developer Relations Team

Partner: Paragon DSI

Application: SafeBaby®
Industries: Healthcare, Breast Milk Tracking
Devices Validated: ZD410, LP 2824Plus



Product Details

Description: SafeBaby® BMT is a configurable, customizable breast milk tracking and feeding software system for the treatment of at-risk preemies. SafeBaby® BMT was developed to ensure that every baby being treated in the NICU receives the best nutrition for their needs, while eliminating the risks of traditional enteral feeding methods.

SafeBaby® breast milk tracking for hospitals and donor banks is a revolutionary feed validation system that tracks milk from breast to baby, without the inefficiencies of manual data entry.  By implementing an automated barcode-based feed management system, NICUs can more efficiently treat a greater number of patients in a shorter amount of time, providing each baby with safe, cost-effective, and personalized care free from incorrect nutrition or dangerous tubing misconnections.

Using their SafeBaby® Software System, nurses scan the unique 2-D barcode on each container of expressed breast milk, donor milk, or formula, validating that the correct milk is being fed to the correct child and verifying that the contents are not expired or meant for another infant. Tracking the breast milk’s volume, caloric value, and fortification, and recording the time of the administered feed on each baby’s chart saves neonatal professionals countless hours of busywork and prevents the loss of vital information through human error.

Paragon Data Systems, Inc. Website
Validation Certificate
Download App

Daniel Quagliana

Zebra at NRF 2016

Posted by Daniel Quagliana Expert Jan 18, 2016

One Store, One Experience:

The Customer-Centric Path to Omnichannel Success


Visit Zebra at booth 1603

January 17-20, 2016

Conference and Expo

Javits Convention Center

New York City

Daniel Quagliana

Holiday Break

Posted by Daniel Quagliana Expert Dec 11, 2015

The Zebra Printer ISV Engineering team will be out of the office December 21 - January 1 for the holiday season.  There will be a delay in responses by Zebra associates during this time period.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  Happy Holidays!

Draft Mode

Draft Mode is used for applications in which faster print speed and text printing are prioritized over barcode scan-ability. Draft Mode is not intended for use in cold or high-temperature scenarios, as higher speed printing in these environments can result in either very light printing or blurry output.

How to turn Draft Mode on:

The "media.draft_mode" command can be sent to the printer to enable Draft Mode. The command has two states – "on" or "off". The default state is "off".

To turn Draft Mode "on," send the following command:

! U1 setvar "media.draft_mode" "on"

NOTE: the command must be followed by a carriage return/line feed or a space character.


Cold Temperature Compensation

The ZQ500 series printers incorporate a new feature that optimizes performance in cold-temperature scenarios.

Lithium ion batteries typically do not perform well in cold-temperature environments. In cold conditions, the printer might display an error or shut down if battery output drops to a low enough voltage level.

The Cold Temperature Compensation feature automatically optimizes printer performance in cold temperature scenarios. This allows the printer to continue operating, even in cold conditions. As the printer warms up, the printer will automatically stop using the Cold Temperature Compensation feature.

NOTE: When the printer enters Cold Temperature Compensation mode, the print speed will be automatically varied to ensure optimal print density. The unit may be audibly louder or print slower when the printer is using the Cold Temperature Compensation feature.


Click to read the full Application Note on Draft Mode and Cold Temperature

Front Panel Password Protection

The latest release of Link-OS™ adds the ability to protect access to the Front Panel. This new feature requires entering a password before modifying a Front Panel item.


This capability is available to all Link-OS printers with a Front Panel, except for the standard QLn220, QLn320, ZQ510 and ZQ520 printers. To use these new front panel password features on your Link-OS printer, update the printer to one of the following Operating System builds (or later):


Printer Model Type

Link-OS Build

QLn Series

V68.19.13Z or later

ZT200 Series

V72.19.13Z or later

ZD500 Series

V74.19.13Z or later

ZT400 Series

V75.19.13Z or later


Printers that have this capability have a new item in the “Tools” menu – “Password Protect”, which provides the following three option levels of protection:

  • ALL

o    All Front Panel Items that can be modified are protected


o    Protects a pre-selected set of items on the Front Panel.

o    The pre-selected set of protected items are listed in Appendix 1 in the linked Application Note below

o    Which items are protected can be changed by modifying Front Panel WML script files

  • NONE

o    None of the Front Panel items are protected when this setting is selected.


Password Protection Commands

There are two Set-Get-Do (SGD) commands and one ZPL command that control the Front Panel password system.

  • display.password.level

o    This SGD sets the password protection level.

o    Choices are “all”, “selected”, and “none”. (See above)

  • The default value for QLn420 and the Healthcare models of QLn220 and QLn320 is “SELECTED”.
  • The default value for ZT230, ZT410, ZT420, ZD500 and ZD500R is “NONE”.
  • display.password.current

o    Sets the current password.

o    For security purposes, when retrieving this value via a getvar, only “*” is returned.

  • ^KP

o    This is the ZPL command that sets the password. (See the Zebra Programming Guide)

o    ^KP and display.password.current are two ways of setting the same password.


Click to read the full Application Note on Front Panel Password Protection for Link-OS Printers

This document details the Magnetic Card Reader (MCR) accessory on the ZQ500 series, which can read magnetic stripe cards directly on the Zebra printer.  It highlights Installation, Configuring, and Activating the Magnetic Card Reader.  There are also information covering Encryption, Non-Encryption and the Data Format used on each track.


Click to read the full Application Note on Magnetic Stripe Reader on ZQ500 Series Printers


“MultiPort Radio Operation,” or “MultiPort,” is the ability of Zebra’s Link-OS® printers to support seamless and simultaneous operation of both the 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth® 3.0 interfaces. The feature is supported on the following Link-OS printers, when the printer has the 802.11a/b/g/n radio: QLn™, iMZ™, ZT400™, and ZQ500™ series.


Customer Use Cases & Benefits

Data Collection and On-Demand Printing

The MultiPort Radio enables simplified data collection and on-demand printing by allowing a printer to communicate with both a scanner via Bluetooth and to a computer server via Wi-Fi®. This solution can be used in a number of scenarios, such as price-update labeling.

In the price update scenario, the Bluetooth scanner reads a barcode label on a product and then sends that information to the printer via Bluetooth. The printer can automatically forward the scanned information to an app on a server, which checks with a database to determine if a price update is needed. When a price update event is detected, the server can send a new label to the printer over the Wi-Fi connection. This simplified data collection and on-demand printing solution can operate in an on premise or Cloud connected solutions.



Device Management

Previous to the MultiPort Radio solution, customers using Bluetooth-only printers did not have a way to manage the printer. By leveraging the MultiPort Radio option, the printer can now be managed via network based device management tools, such as Mirror, Profile Manager or AirWatch®.



Customers with Bluetooth applications can avoid the need to switch printer models if their application changes to include communication via the Wi-Fi connection, future proofing the printer for new uses and applications.


Click to read the full Application Note on MultiPort Radio Operation

Daniel Quagliana

Sleep Mode

Posted by Daniel Quagliana Expert Dec 2, 2015

Sleep Mode is a low-power mode used in devices such as computers and mobile phones.

Zebra® has adapted the Sleep Mode concept to reduce power use and extend battery life on printers. The feature first shipped on the ZQ500™ printer series. While in this mode, the printer’s LCD display screen will turn off, and all communication interfaces will be shut down.

On the ZQ500, just before the printer enters Sleep Mode, the LCD display will show a ‘SLEEPING’ alert to inform the user. While the printer is in Sleep Mode, the power LED will slowly and continuously pulse on and off. The color of the printer’s power LED while in Sleep Mode will depend on the printer’s charge state:

• Green on battery power

• Amber if charging


Click to read the full Application Note on Sleep Mode

Daniel Quagliana

USB On The Go

Posted by Daniel Quagliana Expert Dec 2, 2015

USB On-The-Go (OTG) is a technology that allows a specially configured USB port to act as both a device port and a host port. A device port is what is normally thought of when users think of a USB device – one that connects to a computer or hub to enable communication with the printer. A USB host port is the port a user would typically find on a computer, and to which they would connect devices.


The USB OTG port, with the use of a special cable, enables the port to act either as a host or a device. This cable also provides a standard USB port to which a cable or hub can be connected.


All ZQ500™ models implement the USB OTG port on the printer itself.


Click to read the full Application Note on USB On The Go



Syslog is an industry standard device management system for message logging.

For a general understanding of syslog, use the reference Wikipedia:


Link-OS Printer Syslog Feature

Zebra Link-OS-enabled printers have supported syslog since VXX.19.7Z firmware. This allows the printers to fit seamlessly within a customer’s existing device management solution.

The user can select the severity level (and above) on which to view messages. The syslog severities, shown here in priority order using the “Severity Abbreviations,” are:


EMERG system is unusable

ALERT action must be taken immediately

CRIT critical conditions

ERR error conditions

WARNING       warning conditions

NOTICE normal but significant condition

INFO informational (noise, most syslog messages)

DEBUG Zebra debug-level messages


Syslog messages from Zebra Link-OS printers are formatted in the following way:


[Feature] [Severity Abbreviation] [ Message Code] Message


• The Feature is a brief description of from where the syslog entry is originating.

• The Severity Abbreviation is defined above and corresponds to the severity of the message.

• The Message Code is a unique hexadecimal value that identifies the particular message.


Sometimes, different messages can use the same message code if they pertain to a similar area. The message is a text field in English that further describes the syslog entry. This format allows for more advanced systems administrators to filter particular messages of interest.


Click to read the full Application Note on Link-OS® Printer Operating System Syslog


As of Link-OS v3.0, Zebra’s Link-OS printers support downloading PEM and DER formatted WLAN certificates for the TLS, TTLS, and PEAP security types. Additionally, P12 formatted certificates are now supported for downloading private keys, which may include the client certificates as well.


Selected WLAN security types require certificate files be loaded on the printer so that it can be authenticated to the network. Here is the list of certificate file types and associated file names that must be stored on the printer when using different WLAN security types:


Prior to Link-OS v3.0, printers required that the WLAN certificate files be stored on the printer in the PEM format. Users who created WLAN certificate files in the DER (.der) or P12 (.pfx) formats then had to convert them into the PEM format using the open source Opensll.exe utility. Details on this process are here

New In Link-OS v3

Link-OS v3.0 introduces these changes:

  • P12 formatted certicates (.pfx) are now supported for the purpose of placing private keys and client certificates on the printer, within the PRIVKEY.NRD file. P12 files can be used with the EAP-TLS, WPA-EAP-TLS and WPA2-EAP-TLS security types.


     NOTE. When using TLS, you will need to use the SGD "wlan.private_key_password" command if the private key is encrypted. The command works in the following way:

! U1 setvar "wlan.private_key_password" "value"

Where "value" is an alphanumeric string, up to 32 characters in length. The command must be followed by a carriage return or a space character.


  • PRIVKEY.NRD: If P12 encoding is used it must contain the private key, and may optionally also contain the client certificate. This allows the client certificate to be P12 formatted, so long as it is in the same file as the private key. When this is the case, no CERTCLN.NRD should be loaded on the printer.

     NOTE. If using TLS, the printer will check for the presence of a CERTCLN.NRD file. If it is not present, the printer will assume the client cert is in the PRIVKEY.NRD file.

WLAN certificate files in the DER (.der) format can be directly downloaded to the printer, so long as the naming scheme noted in the Introductionabove is used.

For TLS all of the files do not need to be in the same format. Example: PRIVKEY.NRD can be in P12 format, CERTCLN.NRD can be in DER format, and CACERTSV.NRD can be in PEM format.

Use Cases

  • Printer administrator receives a P12 formatted file, which includes the private key and client certificate. This file can be loaded onto the printer as PRIVKEY.NRD and used as is.
  • Printer administrator receives certificate files encoded in the DER format. These files can be loaded onto the printer with the specified name(s) and used without format conversion.

Click to read the full Application Note on Direct WLAN Certificate Downloading

Bluetooth Low Energy, also referred to as Bluetooth LE, BTLE or Bluetooth Smart, is a new communication protocol that has been added to the Bluetooth (BT) 4.0 specification. It is offered as supplement to the legacy Bluetooth protocol (now referred to as “Bluetooth Classic”). Bluetooth LE is intended to provide a lowpower use, low-speed alternative to Bluetooth Classic. The first Zebra® printer to offer Bluetooth LE as an option is ZQ500™ series.


Bluetooth LE operates on the same 2.4GHz band as BT Classic and Wi-Fi®. It uses a frequency-hopping scheme similar to Bluetooth Classic, but with fewer channels (37 vs. the 81 in Bluetooth Classic). Bluetooth LE is optimized for both power use and short data transmission events, so the connection process is extremely fast (0.01 seconds).


However, the Bluetooth LE specification requires that devices transfer data at significantly slower rates than those using Bluetooth Classic. Data transfer speeds to printers using Bluetooth LE have been benchmarked at 80 bytes per second when used in an isolation chamber. Given this, the Bluetooth LE protocol is best used for discovering devices and light-duty, data transfer events.


At typical Bluetooth LE data transfer rates, retrieving the printers “personality data” (using the allcv command) could take longer than 6 minutes. A firmware download could take up to 72 hours to complete, dependent on how many other Bluetooth LE devices are in the environment. Using Bluetooth Classic is recommended when data transfer times are the priority.


Bluetooth Classic used the concept of “Profiles” to describe the methods used to support a specific use case. For example, Zebra printers support the Serial Port Profile (SPP), which is used to enable devices to communicate with Zebra printers over Bluetooth Classic as if an RS-232 cable was being used. Bluetooth LE has replaced the “Profiles” concept with “Services”.


Bluetooth LE Services exist for a number of specific use cases. Since the Bluetooth LE specification does not have an equivalent to the Serial Port Profile, Zebra has developed a custom service to enable communication with the printer. This Service is called the “Zebra Bluetooth LE Parser Service”, described below.


Click to read the full Application Note on Link-OS® Environment Bluetooth® Low Energy

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