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Revision as of 02:54, 23 November 2014 by MichaelRpdx (talk | contribs) (→‎Other: Added a diagnostic and solution for a problem I encountered. CUPS would find but not print. something with either dnssd or CUPS detection of it is broken.)
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From CUPS' site:

"CUPS is the standards-based, open source printing system developed by Apple Inc. for OS® X and other UNIX®-like operating systems".

Although there are other printing packages such as LPRNG, the Common Unix Printing System is the most popular choice because of its relative ease of use.


CUPS Linux printing workflow

As of cups version 1.5.3-3, Arch Linux makes use of the new full pdf-based printing workflow. For further reading check PDF standard printing job format and an old CUPS filtering chart for history and fun. A good starting point for general Linux printing questions is here.

There are two ways to setup a printer.

  • If there's a CUPS server running in your network and sharing a printer you only need to install the client package.
  • If the printer is connected directly to your system or you have access to an IPP network printer then setup a local CUPS server.

Installing the client package

The package libcups is the only required package. Install it from the official repositories.

Then add your CUPS server's IP address or hostname into /etc/cups/client.conf, after ServerName. That is all you need. Every application should quickly find the printer(s) shared by that CUPS server.

Installing CUPS in a 32-bit chroot environment

If you have a 64-bit base installation with a 32-bit chroot environment, explicit installation of CUPS is not necessary in the 32-bit environment. To access installed CUPS printers from the chroot environment, one needs to bind the /var/run/cups directory to the same relative location in the chroot environment. Simply create the directory in the chroot (it probably does not exist), mount (with -o bind passed to the command}}, and printers should be available from 32-bit chroot applications immediately.

# mkdir /path/to/chroot/var/run/cups
# Example: # mkdir /opt/arch32/var/run/cups

# mount -o bind /var/run/cups /path/to/chroot/var/run/cups

Installing the server packages

The following packages and some printer drivers are needed. Install them from the official repositories.

  • cups - the actual CUPS daemon
  • ghostscript - (optional) PostScript interpreter
  • gsfonts - GhostScript standard Type1 fonts

If the system is connected to a networked printer using the Samba protocol or if the system is to be a print server for Windows clients, also install samba.

Printer driver

Choosing the right driver depends on the printer. Package names may be misleading because printers of other makes can rely on them. Additional printer drivers are available from the AUR.

  • cndrvcups-lbAUR - Canon UFR2 driver with support for LBP, iR and MF series printers.
  • cnijfilter-mg4200AUR - Printer drivers for Canon MG4200
  • cups-pdf - A package that allows one to setup a virtual PDF Printer that generates a PDF out of jobs sent to it
  • foo2zjsAUR - Drivers for ZjStream protocol printers such as the HP Laserjet 1018. More info here. It also includes drivers for HBPL protocol such as the Dell C1765 MFP. More info here
  • foomatic-db, foomatic-db-engine and foomatic-db-nonfree - Foomatic is a database-driven system for integrating free software printer drivers with common spoolers under Unix.
  • gutenprint - A collection of high quality drivers for Canon, Epson, Lexmark, Sony, Olympus, and PCL printers for use with GhostScript, CUPS, Foomatic, and the GIMP
  • hplip - HP drivers for DeskJet, OfficeJet, Photosmart, Business Inkjet and some LaserJet printer models, as well as a number of Brother printers.
  • hpojAUR - If you are using an HP Officejet, you should also install this package and follow the instructions to avoid problems as in this thread.
  • samsung-unified-driverAUR - Unified Linux Driver for Samsung printers and scanners. Required for new printers such as the ML-2160.
  • splix - Samsung drivers for SPL (Samsung Printer Language) printers.

Download printer PPD

Depending on the printer, this step is optional and may not be needed, as the standard CUPS installation already comes with quite a few PPD (Postscript Printer Description) files. Moreover, the foomatic-filters, gimp-print and hplip packages already include quite a few PPD files which will automatically be detected by CUPS.

Here is an explanation of what a PPD file is from the Linux Printing website:

"For every PostScript printer the manufacturers provide a PPD file which contains all printer-specific information about the particular printer model: Basic printer capabilities as whether the printer is a color printer, fonts, PostScript level, etc., and especially the user-adjustable options, as paper size, resolution, etc."

If the PPD for the printer is not already in CUPS, then:

  • check AUR to see if there are packages for the printer/manufacturer
  • visit the OpenPrinting database and select the manufacturer and model of the printer
  • visit the manufacturer's site and search for GNU/Linux drivers
Note: PPD files go in /usr/share/cups/model/

Another source for printer drivers

Turboprint is a proprietary driver for many printers not yet supported by GNU/Linux (Canon i*, for example). Unlike CUPS, however, high quality prints are either marked with a watermark or are a pay-only service.

Hardware support and configuration

USB printers

Tip: Most USB printers should work out of the box, you can skip this section and come back if you can not get your printer to work.

USB printers can get accessed with two methods: The usblp kernel module and libusb. The former is the classic way. It is simple: data is sent to the printer by writing it to a device file as a simple serial data stream. Reading the same device file allows bi-di access, at least for things like reading out ink levels, status, or printer capability information (PJL). It works very well for simple printers, but for multi-function devices (printer/scanner) it is not suitable and manufacturers like HP supply their own backends. Source: here.

Blacklisting usblp

Warning: As of cups version 1.6.0, it should no longer be needed to blacklist the usblp kernel module. If you find out this is the only way to fix a remaining issue please report this upstream to the CUPS bug tracker and maybe also get in contact with Till Kamppeter (Debian CUPS maintainer). See upstream bug for more info.

If you have problems getting your USB printer to work, you can try blacklisting the usblp kernel module:

blacklist usblp

Custom kernel users may need to manually load the usbcore kernel module before proceeding.

Once the modules are installed, plug in the printer and check if the kernel detected it by running the following:

# tail /var/log/messages.log


# dmesg

If you're using usblp, the output should indicate that the printer has been detected like so:

Feb 19 20:17:11 kernel: printer.c: usblp0: USB Bidirectional
printer dev 2 if 0 alt 0 proto 2 vid 0x04E8 pid 0x300E
Feb 19 20:17:11 kernel: usb.c: usblp driver claimed interface cfef3920
Feb 19 20:17:11 kernel: printer.c: v0.13: USB Printer Device Class driver

If you blacklisted usblp, you will see something like:

usb 3-2: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 3
usb 3-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice

Parallel port printers

To use a parallel port printer, you will need to load the lp, parport and parport_pc kernel modules.

Check the setup by running:

# tail /var/log/messages.log

It should display something like this:

lp0: using parport0 (polling).

If you are using a USB to parallel port adapter, CUPS will not be able to detect the printer. As a workaround, add the printer using a different connection type and then change DeviceID in /etc/cups/printers.conf:

DeviceID = parallel:/dev/usb/lp0

HP Printer

HP printers can also be installed via HP's Linux setup tool. Install it by installing hplip from the official repositories.

To run with qt frontend:

# hp-setup -u

To run with command line:

# hp-setup -i

To run systray spool manager:

$ hp-systray

PPD files are in /usr/share/ppd/HP/.

Note: If you get errors complaining about missing gobject/dbus dependencies, install python2-gobject2 and python2-dbus. For details see this bug report.

For printers that require the proprietary HP plugin (like the Laserjet Pro P1102w or 1020), install the hplip-pluginAUR package from AUR.

Warning: Due to a bug in hplip-setup, you might get error in sys tray or CUPS logs Print job failed - required plug-in not found. Please run hp-plugin even after you install the aforementioned hplip-pluginAUR package from AUR. To fix, simply modify the printer in CUPS web interface and select the driver manually (preferably the en,en version). After that restart CUPS service.
Note: hplip depends on foomatic-db-engine which prevents the drivers list from appearing when a printer is added to CUPS via the web user interface (following error : "Unable to get list of printer drivers"). The workaround consists of installing hplip first, retrieving the corresponding PPD file from /usr/share/ppd/HP/, then, removing hplip entirely and the unnecessary dependencies. Finally, install the printer manually using the CUPS web ui, select the PPD file you retrieved then re-install hplip. After a reboot, you should have a fully working printer.


Now that CUPS is installed, there are a variety of options on how to set up printing solutions. As always, the tried and true command line method is at your disposal. CUPS also embeds a full-featured web interface. Likewise, various desktop environments such as GNOME and KDE have useful programs that can help manage printers. Depending on your needs, you may choose one method or the other.

If you are planning on connecting to a network printer, rather than one that is directly connected to the computer, you might want to read the CUPS printer sharing page first. Printer sharing between GNU/Linux systems is quite easy and involves very little configuration, whereas sharing between a Windows and GNU/Linux host requires a little bit more effort.

CUPS daemon

Note: For cups 2.0.0, the service name has been changed to org.cups.cupsd.service instead of cups.service. This package is available in extra from October 31, 2014. When upgrading to version 2.0.0, it is necessary to manually disable the old service, otherwise broken symbolic links will be left in /etc/systemd/system/ subdirectories and systemd will warn about non-existent services.

With CUPS installed, you can now start org.cups.cupsd.service using systemd. Enable it as required.

Optionally, CUPS can use Avahi browsing to discover unknown shared printers in your network. This can be useful in large setups where the server is unknown. To use this feature, start the cups-browsed.service systemd unit.

Web interface and tool-kit

Once the daemon is running, open a browser and go to: http://localhost:631 (The localhost string may need to be replaced with the hostname found in /etc/hostname).

From here, follow the various wizards to add the printer. A usual procedure is to start by clicking on Adding Printers and Classes and then Add Printer. When prompted for a username and password, log in as root. The name assigned to the printer does not matter, the same applies for 'location' and 'description'. Next, a list of devices to select from will be presented. The actual name of the printer shows up next to the label (e.g., next to USB Printer #1 for USB printers). Finally, choose the appropriate drivers and the configuration is complete.

Now test the configuration by pressing the Maintenance drop-down menu then Print Test Page. If it does not print and there is certainty regarding the correctness of applied settings, then the problem is most likely due to missing a proper printer driver.

Tip: See: #Alternative CUPS interfaces for other front-ends.
  • When setting up a USB printer, you should see your printer listed on Add Printer page. If you can only see a "SCSI printer" option, it probably means that CUPS has failed to recognize your printer.
  • To enable wireless scanning on certain HP multi-function devices using the hplip package, you may need to add the printer as a Network Printer using the HTTP protocol. To determine the proper URI to use, run the hp-makeuri command.

CUPS administration

A username and password will be required when administering the printer in the web interface, such as: adding or removing printers, stopping print tasks, etc. The default username is the one assigned in the sys group, or root. Other admin groups (e.g. printadmin) may be added to the SystemGroup line in /etc/cups/cups-files.conf (you might have to add this line).

Create the group[s] (man groupadd)

# groupadd printadmin 
# groupadd lp

and add the users to the group(s) (man gpasswd).

# gpasswd -a username printadmin       # for printer administration
# gpasswd -a username lp               # for printing priviledges
 # Administrator user group, used to match @SYSTEM in cupsd.conf policy rules...
SystemGroup sys root printadmin

Restart org.cups.cupsd.service using systemd. The user must re-login for these changes to take affect.

Refer to the full cups documentation for further details.

Remote access to web interface

By default, the CUPS web interface can only be accessed by the localhost; i.e. the computer that it is installed on. To remotely access the interface, make the following changes to the /etc/cups/cupsd.conf file. Replace the line:

Listen localhost:631


Port 631

so that CUPS listens to incoming requests.

Three levels of access can be granted:

<Location />           #access to the server
<Location /admin>	#access to the admin pages
<Location /admin/conf>	#access to configuration files

To give remote hosts access to one of these levels, add an Allow statement to that level's section. An Allow statement can take one or more of the forms listed below:

Allow from all
Allow from
Allow from *
Allow from ip-address
Allow from ip-address/netmask
Allow from @LOCAL

Deny statements can also be used. For example, if wanting to give full access to all hosts on your local network interfaces, file /etc/cups/cupsd.conf would include this:

# Restrict access to the server...
# By default only localhost connections are possible
<Location />
   Order allow,deny
   Allow from @LOCAL

# Restrict access to the admin pages...
<Location /admin>
   Order allow,deny
   Allow from @LOCAL

# Restrict access to configuration files...
<Location /admin/conf>
   AuthType Basic
   Require user @SYSTEM
   Order allow,deny
   Allow From @LOCAL

You might also need to add:

DefaultEncryption Never

This should avoid the error: 426 - Upgrade Required when using the CUPS web interface from a remote machine.

Command-line configuration

CUPS can be fully controlled from command-line with nice tools, i.e. the lp* and the cups* command families.

On Arch Linux, most commands support auto-completion with common shells. Also note that command-line switches cannot be grouped.

List the devices
# lpinfo -v
List the drivers
# lpinfo -m
Add a new printer
# lpadmin -p printer -E -v device -P ppd

The printer is up to you. The device can be retrieved from the 'lpinfo -v' command. Example:

# lpadmin -p HP_DESKJET_940C -E -v "usb://HP/DESKJET%20940C?serial=CN16E6C364BH"  -P /usr/share/ppd/HP/hp-deskjet_940c.ppd.gz

In the following, the printer references the name you have used here to set up the printer.

Set the default printer
$ lpoptions -d printer
Check the status
$ lpstat -s
$ lpstat -p printer
Deactivate a printer
# cupsdisable printer
Activate a printer
# cupsenable printer
Remove a printer

First set it to reject all incoming entries:

# cupsreject printer

Then disable it.

# cupsdisable printer

Finally remove it.

# lpadmin -x printer
Print a file
$ lpr file
$ lpr -# 17 file              # print the file 17 times
$ echo "Hello, world!" | lpr -p # print the result of a command. The -p switch adds a header.
Check the printing queue
$ lpq
$ lpq -a # on all printers
Clear the printing queue
# lprm   # remove last entry only
# lprm - # remove all entries

Alternative CUPS interfaces


You can configure and manage printers by installing system-config-printer. This program does pull in some gnome dependencies.

If your user does not have sufficient priviliges to administer the cups scheduler, system-config-printer will request the root password when it starts. You can avoid this by performing the following instructions.

1. Create a group for administering the cups scheduler:

# groupadd lpadmin

2. Add yourself to the newly created group:

# usermod -aG lpadmin username

3. Tell cups to respect the newly created group:

 SystemGroup sys root lpadmin

4. Restart cups org.cups.cupsd.service using systemd.

5. Log out and log in again or restart your computer.


KDE users can modify their printers from the Control Center. The kdeutils-print-manager package may need be installed if the Printers interface isn't found in the Hardware group. KDE users should refer to the desktop environments' documentation for more information on how to use the interface.


There is also gtklpAUR in the AUR.

PDF virtual printer

Note: With GNOME, it is now possible to directly print into a PDF or Postscript file, therefore CUPS-PDF is no longer required on such system.

cups-pdf is a nice package that allows one to setup a virtual printer that will generate a PDF from anything sent to it. This package is not necessary, but it can be quite useful.

After installing the package, set it up as if it were for any other printer by using the web interface. Access the cups print manager: http://localhost:631 and select:

Administration -> Add Printer
Select CUPS-PDF (Virtual PDF), choose for the make and driver:
Make:	Generic
Driver:	Generic CUPS-PDF Printer

Find generated PDF documents in a sub-directory located at /var/spool/cups-pdf. Normally, the subdirectory is named after the user who performed the job. A little tweak helps you to find your printed PDF documents more easily. Edit /etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf by changing the line

#Out /var/spool/cups-pdf/${USER}


Out ${HOME}

Print to PostScript

The CUPS-PDF (Virtual PDF Printer) actually creates a PostScript file and then creates the PDF using the ps2pdf utility. To print to PostScript, just print as usual, in the print dialog choose "CUPS-PDF" as the printer, then select the checkbox for "print to file", hit print, enter the and click save. This is handy for faxes, etc...


The best way to get printing working is to set 'LogLevel' in /etc/cups/cupsd.conf to:

LogLevel debug

And then viewing the output from /var/log/cups/error_log like this:

# tail -n 100 -f /var/log/cups/error_log

The characters at the left of the output stand for:

  • D=Debug
  • E=Error
  • I=Information
  • And so on

These files may also prove useful:

  • /var/log/cups/page_log - Echoes a new entry each time a print is successful
  • /var/log/cups/access_log - Lists all cupsd http1.1 server activity

Of course, it is important to know how CUPS works if wanting to solve related issues:

  1. An application sends a .ps file (PostScript, a script language that details how the page will look) to CUPS when 'print' has been selected (this is the case with most programs).
  2. CUPS then looks at the printer's PPD file (printer description file) and figures out what filters it needs to use to convert the .ps file to a language that the printer understands (like PJL, PCL), usually GhostScript.
  3. GhostScript takes the input and figures out which filters it should use, then applies them and converts the .ps file to a format understood by the printer.
  4. Then it is sent to the back-end. For example, if the printer is connected to a USB port, it uses the USB back-end.

Print a document and watch error_log to get a more detailed and correct image of the printing process.

Problems resulting from upgrades

Issues that appeared after CUPS and related program packages underwent a version increment

CUPS stops working

The chances are that a new configuration file is needed for the new version to work properly. Messages such as "404 - page not found" may result from trying to manage CUPS via localhost:631, for example.

To use the new configuration, copy /etc/cups/cupsd.conf.default to /etc/cups/cupsd.conf (backup the old configuration if needed) and restart CUPS to employ the new settings.

All jobs are "stopped"

If all jobs sent to the printer become "stopped", delete the printer and add it again. Using the CUPS web interface, go to Printers > Delete Printer.

To check the printer's settings go to Printers, then Modify Printer. Copy down the information displayed, click 'Modify Printer' to proceed to the next page(s), and so on.

All jobs are "The printer is not responding"

On networked printers, you should check that the name that CUPS uses as its connection URI resolves to the printer's IP via DNS, e.g. If your printer's connection looks like this:


then the hostname 'BRN_020554' needs to resolve to the printer's IP from the server running CUPS

The PPD version is not compatible with gutenprint


# /usr/bin/cups-genppdupdate

And restart CUPS (as pointed out in gutenprint's post-install message)


Printer "Paused" or "Stopped" with Status "Rendering completed"

When low on ink, some printers will get stuck in "Rendering completed" status and, if it is a network printer, the printer may even become unreachable from CUPS' perspective despite being properly connected to the network. Replacing the low/depleted ink cartridge(s) in this setting will return the printer to "Ready" status and, if it is a network printer, will make the printer available to CUPS again.

Note: If you use third-party ink cartridges, the ink levels reported by the printer may be inaccurate. If you use third-party ink and your printer used to work fine but is now getting stuck on "Rendering completed" status, replace the ink cartridges regardless of the reported ink levels before trying other fixes.

If low ink is not the issue, check the "Group ID" of files in /etc/cups, /var/log/cups, and, if you have "root" permission, /var/spool/cups. The files should have GID lp. If some files have GID nobody, then check the named groups in the "Group" and "SystemGroup" directives in the file /etc/cups/cups-files.conf. Typically there will be Group lp and SystemGroup lpadmin sys root. Make sure that the group in "Group" is NOT also in "SystemGroup". In particular, make sure that the name lp is NOT listed in the "SystemGroup" directive, when it is used in the "Group" directive. This is counter to recommendations made in the CUPS and KDE wiki pages in the past. If you had added lp to the "SystemGroup" directive, as had been suggested, remove lp from the "SystemGroup", or run the following command and change lp to lpadmin in the "SystemGroup" directive.

# groupadd -g107 lpadmin
Explanation of the GID issue

For security reasons, cupsd does not allow external CUPS helper programs, which are run with the GID selected with the "Group" directive, to run with any GID of the administrative groups, which are those GIDs listed in the "SystemGroup" directive. If the named group in the Group directive is also in the SystemGroup directive, then cupsd will instead run the helper programs with GID nobody, without warning. Note that the printer devices in /dev/, for instance /dev/parport0, are created with user root and group lp. When cupsd then tries to print, it "pauses" or "stops" because it does not have permission to write the printer device file, and does not provide any useful error message. The printer device files can be made "world writable" to bypass the problem, but that is insecure and is not the proper solution.

As of CUPS version 2.0.0-2, if the group in the Group directive is also in the SystemGroup directive, cupsd will exit immediately after starting, and, at a log level of "notice" or higher, will log an error message to the default error log, but not to the system log.

Group and SystemGroup cannot use the same groups.

This solves the problem of cupsd running in a non-functional state and failing to print without explanation.

At the default log level of "warn", no group collision error message is logged. To see this error message, increase the log level to "notice", "info", "debug", or "debug2".

LogLevel notice

Error messages can be sent to the systemd-journald log instead of to the default /var/log/cups/error_log, but not to both, by explicitly setting the ErrorLog directive.

ErrorLog syslog

Currently, even then, the command systemctl status org.cups.cupsd.service will not properly display the final group collision error message, but the error message can still be seen in the journal, with for instance, sudo journalctl -f.

CUPS permission errors

  • Some users fixed 'NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED' (Windows clients) errors by using a slightly different syntax:
  • Sometimes, the block device has wrong permissions:
# ls /dev/usb/
# chgrp lp /dev/usb/lp0

HPLIP printer sends "/usr/lib/cups/backend/hp failed" error

Make sure dbus is installed and running. If the error persists, try starting avahi-daemon.

Try adding the printer as a Network Printer using the http:// protocol. Generate the printer URI with hp-makeuri.

Note: There might need to set permissions issues right. Follow indications here: CUPS#Device node permissions.

HPLIP printer claims job is complete but printer does nothing

This happens on HP printers when you select the (old) hpijs driver (e.g. the Deskjet D1600 series). Instead, use the hpcups driver when adding the printer.

Some HP printers (e.g HP LaserJet) require their firmware to be downloaded from the computer every time the printer is switched on. If there is an issue with udev (or equivalent) and the firmware download rule is never fired, you may experience this issue. As a workaround, you can manually download the firmware to the printer. Ensure the printer is plugged in and switched on, then enter

hp-firmware -n

hp-setup asks to specify the PPD file for the discovered printer

Install CUPS before running hp-setup.

I have installed Qt, but hp-setup reports "Qt/PyQt 4 initialization failed"

"hp-check -t" won't give you useful information to find the required package. You have to install all the "Dependent Packages" prefixed with "python2" in

hp-setup finds the printer automatically but reports "Unable to communicate with device" when printing test page immediately afterwards

This at least happens to hplip 3.13.5-2 for HP Officejet 6500A through local network connection. To solve the problem, specify the IP address of the HP printer for hp-setup to locate the printer.

hp-toolbox sends an error, "Unable to communicate with device"

If running hp-toolbox as a regular user results in:

# hp-toolbox
# error: Unable to communicate with device (code=12): hp:/usb/printer id

or, "Unable to communicate with device"", then it may be needed to add the user to the lp and sys groups.

This can also be caused by printers such as the P1102 that provide a virtual CD-ROM drive for MS Windows drivers. The lp dev appears and then disappears. In that case, try the usb-modeswitch and usb-modeswitch-data packages, that lets one switch off the "Smart Drive" (udev rules included in said packages).

This can also occur with network attached printers if the avahi-daemon is not running. Another possibility is the specification of the printer's IP address in hp-setup fails to locate the printer because the IP address of the the printer changed due to DHCP. If this is the case, consider adding a DHCP reservation for the printer in the DHCP server's configuration.

CUPS returns '"foomatic-rip" not available/stopped with status 3' with a HP printer

If receiving any of the following error messages in /var/log/cups/error_log while using a HP printer, with jobs appearing to be processed while they all end up not being completed with their status set to 'stopped':

Filter "foomatic-rip" for printer printer_name not available: No such file or director


PID 5771 (/usr/lib/cups/filter/foomatic-rip) stopped with status 3!

make sure hplip has been installed, in addition to the packages mentioned above. See this forum post for more information.

Printing fails with unauthorised error

If the user has been added to the lp group, and allowed to print (set in cupsd.conf), then the problem lies in /etc/cups/printers.conf. This line could be the culprit:

AuthInfoRequired negotiate

Comment it out and restart CUPS.

Unknown supported format: application/postscript

Comment the lines:

application/octet-stream        application/vnd.cups-raw        0      -

from /etc/cups/mime.convs, and:


in /etc/cups/mime.types.

Finding URIs for Windows print servers

Sometimes Windows is a little less than forthcoming about exact device URIs (device locations). If having trouble specifying the correct device location in CUPS, run the following command to list all shares available to a certain windows username:

$ smbtree -U windowsusername

This will list every share available to a certain Windows username on the local area network subnet, as long as Samba is set up and running properly. It should return something like this:

		\\REGULATOR-PC\print$         	Printer Drivers
		\\REGULATOR-PC\EPSON Stylus CX8400 Series	EPSON Stylus CX8400 Series

What is needed here is first part of the last line, the resource matching the printer description. So to print to the EPSON Stylus printer, one would enter:

smb://username.password@REGULATOR-PC/EPSON Stylus CX8400 Series

as the URI into CUPS. Notice that whitespaces are allowed in URIs, whereas backslashes get replaced with forward slashes. If it won't work try '%20' instead of spaces.

Print-Job client-error-document-format-not-supported

Try installing the foomatic packages and use a foomatic driver.

Unable to get list of printer drivers

  • Check the ServerName in /etc/cups/client.conf is written without http://
ServerName localhost:631
  • Try to remove Foomatic drivers or refer to #HP_Printer for a workaround.

lp: Error - Scheduler Not Responding

If you get this error when printing a document using:

$ lp document-to-print

Try setting the CUPS_SERVER environment variable:

$ export CUPS_SERVER=localhost

If this solves your problem, make the solution permanent by adding the export line above to ~/.bash_profile.

CUPS prints only an empty and an error-message page on HP LaserJet

There is a bug that causes CUPS to fail when printing images on HP LaserJet (in my case 3380). The bug has been reported and fixed by Ubuntu. The first page is empty, the second page contains the following error message:


In order to fix the issue, run the following command as root:

# lpadmin -p printer -o pdftops-renderer-default=pdftops

"Using invalid Host" error message

Try adding ServerAlias * into /etc/cups/cupsd.conf.

Printer doesn't print with an "Filter failed" message on CUPS web interface (HP printer)

Change the permissions of the printer USB port. Get the bus and device number from lsusb, then set the permission using:

 Bus <BUSID> Device <DEVID>: ID <PRINTERID>:<VENDOR> Hewlett-Packard DeskJet D1360

Then substitute the provided device information to the

# chmod 0666 /dev/bus/usb/<BUSID>/<DEVID>

To make the persistent permission change that will be triggered automatically each time the computer is rebooted, add the following line.

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="<VENDOR>", ATTRS{idProduct}=="<PRINTERID>", GROUP="lp", MODE:="666"

Each system may vary, so consult udev#List_attributes_of_a_device wiki page.

Printer does not print with a "Filter failed" message on CUPS web interface (HP printer connected over network)

Start, enable, and restart the avahi-daemon service.

HPLIP 3.13: Plugin is installed, but HP Device Manager complains it is not

The issue might have to do with the file permission change that had been made to /var/lib/hp/hplip.state. To correct the issue, a simple chmod 644 /var/lib/hp/hplip.state and chmod 755 /var/lib/hp should be sufficient. For further information, please read this link.

Printer is not recognized by CUPS

If your printer is not listed in the "Add Printers" page of the CUPS web interface, nor by lpinfo -v, try the following (suggested in this thread):

  • Remove usblp from blacklist
  • Load usblp module
# modprobe usblp
  • Stop CUPS
  • Add the following udev rule in a new rule file:
KERNEL=="lp[0-9]", SYMLINK+="%k", GROUP="lp"
  • Reload udev rules:
# udevadm control --reload-rules
  • Unplug the printer, and plug it in again.
  • Wait a few seconds, and then start the CUPS service.

Cannot load /etc/samba/smb.conf

If you are printing to a remote printer over SMB and get this error message: "Can't load /etc/samba/smb.conf - run testparm to debug it", then create an empty /etc/samba/smb.conf file:

# mkdir /etc/samba
# touch /etc/samba/smb.conf

and restart the CUPS service.

CUPS' systemd service does not start even though it is enabled

The systemd service file provided by CUPS uses socket activation, meaning the service is only started when an application connects to CUPS' socket. However, the systemd socket file provided by CUPS only works for the local /run/cups/cups.sock socket.

In order to have the CUPS service start when initiating a print job over the network, create the following file:

.include /usr/lib/systemd/system/org.cups.cupsd.socket


Then reload systemd:

# systemctl --system daemon-reload

Confirm that everything is working correctly:

# systemctl is-enabled org.cups.cupsd.service || systemctl enable org.cups.cupsd.service
# systemctl status org.cups.cupsd.socket
org.cups.cupsd.socket - CUPS Printing Service Sockets
         Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/org.cups.cupsd.socket; enabled)
         Active: inactive (dead)
         Listen: /run/cups/cups.sock (Stream)

CUPS should now start automatically when printing locally or over the network.

"Forbidden" error when adding a printer

If adding a printer through the web interface returns an error: Forbidden, the most likely reason is that the privileges are not set correctly. One way to fix it is to add the administering user to the group sys. For example,

# usermod -a -G sys username

CUPS identifies printer but cannot connect to it

Enable debug logging. If you see Executing backend "/usr/lib/cups/backend/dnssd"... over and over switch from dnssd to socket in the printer configuration.

Example: socket:// The port number can be confirmed via nmap or `telnet your-printer-ip 9100`

See also