How to debug printing problems

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This page explains information that should be included when filing bugs related to printing. Problems involving printing may relate to several components: the configuration GUI is [https://bugzilla.redhat.com/enter_bug.cgi?product=Fedora&component=system-config-printer system-config-printer], back end components include [https://bugzilla.redhat.com/enter_bug.cgi?product=Fedora&component=cups cups] (the actual printing sytem used by default), [https://bugzilla.redhat.com/enter_bug.cgi?product=Fedora&component=foomatic foomatic] (the main driver and printer information database), and [https://bugzilla.redhat.com/enter_bug.cgi?product=Fedora&component=hpijs hpijs] (the drivers used for HP printers). If you are not sure, make your best guess.
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'''Foreword'''
  
In system-config-printer ("System -> Administration -> Printing" on the Gnome menu), select "Help -> Troubleshoot" from the menu. If the troubleshooting wizard doesn't solve your problem, attach to your bug report the troubleshoot.txt file that results from the end of the process (if you can get that far).
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If you experiencing a problem with printing, please take a look at the [[Bugs/Common|common bugs]] page before filing a bug.  If the problem you are seeing is not listed there or none of the workarounds seem to help, please consider filing a bug report to help us make Fedora run better on your hardware.
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Be prepared to include some information about your system as well.  Some of this can be gathered automatically using the [[#Printing_troubleshooter|printing troubleshooter]], but you may also need to include other information such as:
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* the PPD file for the print queue (from the {{filename|/etc/cups/ppd}} directory)
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* the document you are attempting to print -- if this is large, please try to see if the problem also occurs with a smaller document
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== Identifying your problem area ==
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=== Printing troubleshooter ===
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The first thing to try is to run the printing troubleshooter: ''System > Administration > Printing'' from the main menu, then ''Help > Troubleshoot'' from the menu bar. This will ask a series of questions about the problem you are experiencing, with the aim of finding the reason for the problem.
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One step in this process is to print a test page.  There is a button in the troubleshooter to print a test page for you, but if the problem you are seeing is specific to printing from a certain application, or printing a certain document, just go ahead and print from that application or print that particular document.  The print job will appear in the troubleshooting window -- just put a tick in the box next to that print job to say that it is the one you are having trouble with.
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If the problem was not found automatically you will be given the option to save the diagnostic information collected during the troubleshooting process in a file named {{filename|troubleshoot.txt}}.  If you report a bug you should attach this file,  not compressed, with the MIME type set as text/plain.
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=== What make and model is my printer? ===
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Each different printer has a model-specific Device ID.  The [[#Printing_troubleshooter|printing troubleshooter]] attempts to collect this information from the printer, but you can do it yourself with the '''lpinfo''' command:
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<pre>
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su -c "lpinfo -l -v"
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</pre>
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This will output a series of blocks of lines, each one like this:
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<pre>
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Device: uri = usb://HP/DESKJET%20990C?serial=U123456789AB
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        class = direct
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        info = HP DESKJET 990C
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        make-and-model = HP DESKJET 990C
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        device-id = MFG:HEWLETT-PACKARD;MDL:DESKJET 990C;CMD:MLC,PCL,PML;CLS:PRINTER;DES:Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 990C;SN:U123456789AB;S:00808880800010032C1000000C2000000;P:0800,FL,B0;J:                    ;
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        location =
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</pre>
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The line which identifies this particular model type is the one that start "device-id =".
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== Filing a bug report ==
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Problems involving printing may relate to several components: the configuration GUI is [https://bugzilla.redhat.com/enter_bug.cgi?product=Fedora&component=system-config-printer system-config-printer], back end components include [https://bugzilla.redhat.com/enter_bug.cgi?product=Fedora&component=cups cups] (the actual printing sytem used by default), [https://bugzilla.redhat.com/enter_bug.cgi?product=Fedora&component=foomatic foomatic] (the main driver and printer information database), and [https://bugzilla.redhat.com/enter_bug.cgi?product=Fedora&component=hpijs hpijs] (the drivers used for HP printers). If you are not sure, make your best guess.
  
 
[[Category:Debugging|P]] [[Category:How to]]
 
[[Category:Debugging|P]] [[Category:How to]]

Revision as of 15:41, 18 March 2010

Foreword

If you experiencing a problem with printing, please take a look at the common bugs page before filing a bug. If the problem you are seeing is not listed there or none of the workarounds seem to help, please consider filing a bug report to help us make Fedora run better on your hardware.

Be prepared to include some information about your system as well. Some of this can be gathered automatically using the printing troubleshooter, but you may also need to include other information such as:

  • the PPD file for the print queue (from the /etc/cups/ppd directory)
  • the document you are attempting to print -- if this is large, please try to see if the problem also occurs with a smaller document

Contents

Identifying your problem area

Printing troubleshooter

The first thing to try is to run the printing troubleshooter: System > Administration > Printing from the main menu, then Help > Troubleshoot from the menu bar. This will ask a series of questions about the problem you are experiencing, with the aim of finding the reason for the problem.

One step in this process is to print a test page. There is a button in the troubleshooter to print a test page for you, but if the problem you are seeing is specific to printing from a certain application, or printing a certain document, just go ahead and print from that application or print that particular document. The print job will appear in the troubleshooting window -- just put a tick in the box next to that print job to say that it is the one you are having trouble with.

If the problem was not found automatically you will be given the option to save the diagnostic information collected during the troubleshooting process in a file named troubleshoot.txt. If you report a bug you should attach this file, not compressed, with the MIME type set as text/plain.

What make and model is my printer?

Each different printer has a model-specific Device ID. The printing troubleshooter attempts to collect this information from the printer, but you can do it yourself with the lpinfo command:

su -c "lpinfo -l -v"

This will output a series of blocks of lines, each one like this:

Device: uri = usb://HP/DESKJET%20990C?serial=U123456789AB
        class = direct
        info = HP DESKJET 990C
        make-and-model = HP DESKJET 990C
        device-id = MFG:HEWLETT-PACKARD;MDL:DESKJET 990C;CMD:MLC,PCL,PML;CLS:PRINTER;DES:Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 990C;SN:U123456789AB;S:00808880800010032C1000000C2000000;P:0800,FL,B0;J:                    ;
        location = 

The line which identifies this particular model type is the one that start "device-id =".

Filing a bug report

Problems involving printing may relate to several components: the configuration GUI is system-config-printer, back end components include cups (the actual printing sytem used by default), foomatic (the main driver and printer information database), and hpijs (the drivers used for HP printers). If you are not sure, make your best guess.