Troubleshooting printers

From Linuxintro

This is how to troubleshoot a local printer. If you are having problems with a network printer, go to the computer where the printer is attached (if any) and continue there.

your printer does not print at all

  • check if the printer has power supply
  • check if the printer has its data connection (e.g. USB)
  • go to http://localhost:631 and resume the printer
    • e.g. when you find an error message like
Paused - "/usr/lib/cups/backend/hp failed"

borders are not right when printing

It often happens that software defaults to letter size of paper while you want the format most often used in your country. There are two places where you can set your paper's format:

Network printer does not print

Symptom: You can print with kwrite. However, when trying to print with FireFox, the Print button is greyed out. Depending on FireFox' version, there is an information about missing printer information.

Reason: Even if you only specify the cups server's IP, not its hostname, the cups client will try to reach the cups server via its name during the client-/server dialog.

Solution: Make sure your cups client can ping the cups server under its hostname. For example, if the cups server is venus.universe with an IP address of, add a line to /etc/hosts on the cups client: venus.universe venus

printer is slow

The reason for slow printing can be that the borders are not set correctly. See here for more information.

See also

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