problem interacting with CUPS server

Asked by JamesM on 2013-06-07

I have recently upgraded to (K)Ubuntu 13.04. I skipped 12.10 because of CUPS printing problem between client with 1.6 and server with 1.5 (see bug #1069671). The printers run on a networked printer server running CUPS 1.5.

I now have a strange situation which I don't understand.

I can print fine in Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice and some other software. The Ctrl-P command offers a full list of networked printers (we have about 10), and the print job is executed fine.

But I can't print in acroread or okular, nor from lpr in the terminal.
In acroread and okular, if I hit ctrl-P, the dialog comes up but without the printer list.

If I hit lpr testfile.txt I get no warning, no error, but also no output. And nothing when I hit lpq - except the usual answer that the default printer is ready (and if I type lpq -PprinterA it tells me printerA is ready and no entries.
If I type
lpq -Pxxx
(xxx doesn't exist) it tells me correctly
lpq: Unknown destination "xxx".
So it obviously sees the list of printers somehow, even though lpr won't send the job. Similarly lpr will give me the expected error message if I send the jo to a non-existent printer.

Does anyone have any idea how this could happen? It's very frustrating - particularly not being able to print from acroread.

Thanks for any suggestions


ps In case it's relevant, I have made a couple of changes:
Firstly in ~/.cups/client.conf I changed
ServerName =
ServerName = / version=1.1
which gets around the cups version problem mentioned above.

The other change is to add KDE to OnlyShowIn=GNOME;Unity;MATE;KDE;
in /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-keyring-pkcs11.desktop
as I used to get a warning with lpq.

Question information

English Edit question
Ubuntu cups Edit question
No assignee Edit question
Last query:
Last reply:

Is the 13.04 a clean install? Did you upgrade from a previous install using the web? If you used the web, what steps did you take?


JamesM (j-montaldi) said : #2

Hi - thanks for your interest.

I upgraded from the web, using KDE's Muon Upgrade software.


Then you NEEDED to upgrade to 12.10 first, then to 13.04

You cannot leapfrog releases just because you feel like it. It is not how Ubuntu is upgraded. You need to upgrade to the next release in turn, or if you are on an LTS release and another LTS release come out then you can upgrade direct from LTS to LTS.

As you have not done this I suspect it is why you are having issues. I suggest you reinstall with either 12.04 giving support tilApril 2017, or Raring which you have which is only supported til January 2014. 12.10 is actually supported til April 2014 which is longer than Raring.

JamesM (j-montaldi) said : #4

Sorry - I forgot. I did indeed upgrade to 12.10 first. The update manager gave me no choice in that.

But perhaps a clean install of 13.04 will solve the problem. (I always like to have the latest version - I'm not really interested in long term support.)


James Montaldi (j-montaldi-4) said : #5

here's an update ...

I have now done a clean install of KUbuntu 13.04, but still have printing issues.

Printing from Firefox, Thunderbird, evince, libre office works fine and the dialog offers me the full list of printers on our server (there are 9). However,
1) acroread will only print to one printer. It doesn't offer the list of printers - it shows one printer (call it printer1, the first printer on the other dialogs) and no other choice. And when I click on print, it prints to printer3. Not even the one it's showing!

2) lpr -Pprinter1 works fine. But lpr alone doesn't pick up the default printer set in my ~/.cups/lpoptions file. Though lpq does respond correctly.

I created a new user to see if there was anything peculiar in my own account that was causing a problem, but I get the same result.


one final thing (no idea if it's useful):
> ps aux |grep cups
root 1086 0.0 0.0 8192 2640 ? Ss 12:18 0:00 /usr/sbin/cups-browsed
root 1099 0.0 0.0 7680 2960 ? Ss 12:18 0:00 /usr/sbin/cupsd -F

Can you help with this problem?

Provide an answer of your own, or ask JamesM for more information if necessary.

To post a message you must log in.