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CUPS FAQ

General

  1. Why use a centralized printing system?

  2. What are the advantages of using CUPS?

  3. What new features do I get with CUPS?

  4. What is the advantage of using the CUPS client?

  5. How do I configure the CUPS client?

  6. What format options can I submit on the command line?

  7. Setting the default printer in CUPS using lpoptions

  8. How do I print to a CUPS/DP printer from Windows?

  9. How do I add a printer to CUPS?

Common Printing Problems

  1. Why doesn't my print job show up in the print queue.

  2. My postscript file is not printing correctly!

  3. kprinter does not work

  4. How do I select my printer from a web browser?

  5. eggcups, cupsd problems and solution
Why use a centralized printing system?

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What are the advantages of using CUPS?

CUPS is easy to use and comes with drivers for most printers. Also, printer filters are readily available for printing many file types including, but not limited to, pdf, dvi, jpeg, gif, and ps. CUPS makes it easy to take advantage of a printer's features, such as duplexing, with arguments to the lp and lpr commands. (To get a list of a printers options visit http://www.cups.org/sum.html#STANDARD_OPTIONS) CUPS is becoming the lab's standard for UNIX printing, so by using CUPS you will have the support of the lab's technical staff.


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What new features do I get with CUPS?

CUPS can print pdf, dvi, gif, jpeg, tiff, and other file types to most printers without the need for local filters.


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What is the advantage of using the CUPS client?

The CUPS client allows you to list all available printers and classes from your local computer. It also allows you to send command line options to the printer when submitting print jobs. Thus, with the CUPS client, a client machine can see and use to all Lab printers on the CUPS system. However, please bear in mind that all Lab printers are owned by specific groups or departments or divisions.


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Why doesn't my print job show up in the print queue.

The cups server prints very quickly compared to the previous AppleTalk system. Further, the cups server considers a job "completed" once it has transmitted the job to the printer, even though the printer itself may not have completed printing the job.


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My Adobe postscript file is not printing correctly!

PrintPro is the commercial version of CUPS. As of PrintPro release 4.3, (which includes the servers running at LBNL,) postscript files that identify themselves as compliant with the Adobe Document Structuring Conventions (the "PS-Adobe" text in the first line...) are required to actually conform to the spec.

Currently there are 2 work arounds for this.

  1. Add the following line as the first line of the file.
    %!
    
    OR print with the command
    (echo '%!'; cat $1) | lp -d printer filename
    
  2. Run fixps on the file. Fixps converts the file into proper postscript.
    fixps file.ps > file-fixed.ps
    

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How do I add a printer to CUPS?

requests for new UNIX distributed printer name


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kprinter does not work

With KDE 3.1.1 kprinter does not work with CUPS. Upgrade KDE.


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What format options can I submit on the command line?

There are a number of command line options that can be submitted with your print jobs. Pass printer options with the -o option to lp or lpr:

A comprehensive list of command line options are available at: http://www.cups.org/sum.html#STANDARD_OPTIONS


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How do I print to a CUPS/DP printer from Windows?

It is possible to print to a CUPS/DP printer from Windows XP systems.
To add a CUPS printer with the name PRINTERNAME to XP:

  1. Select add a printer
  2. Select add a network printer
  3. Put in for the URI:
    http://cups.lbl.gov:631/classes/PRINTERNAME
    Substitute the name of the printer for PRINTERNAME.
  4. For the print driver select "Generic" and "MS Publisher ImageSetter"

Other Windows operating systems:
Win98, ME and 2000: use the following for the IPP URI:
ipp://cups.lbl.gov/classes/PRINTERNAME This is untested other than with XP.


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How do I configure the client? Have your UNIX or Linux system administrator install the cups client; this procedure may well change over time.

Simple Case

Add the following line to /etc/cups/client.conf as root:
ServerName cups.lbl.gov

You should not run the cups daemon; turn off cups daemon as follows: chkconfig --list | egrep -i cups cups 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:off 5:on 6:off chkconfig cups off chkconfig --list | egrep -i cups cups 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off

CITG STRONGLY recommends AGAINST using cupsd with BrowsePoll because, although this configuration is meant to provide for load balancing and fail-over, this feature currently has a bug that may use all your system's CPU. DO NOT USE BrowsePoll.


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How do I select my printer from a web browser? Select Print from the File menu. Click on Properties. Replace the Print Command entry with the appropriate command. For example to print to csgroup-dup fill in: lpr -P csgroup-dup.

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Last modified Tue Mar 6 11:45:21 PST 2007