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I don't often use my printer but when I do, I expect it to work. So I try to print something, and nothing happens. Reason? Something wrong with the HP ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Angry I'm fed up to the back teeth with cups


    I don't often use my printer but when I do, I expect it to work. So I try to print something, and nothing happens. Reason? Something wrong with the HP backend. I call up the hplip toolkit and it can't open /dev/parport.

    My first thought was that there was a connection error. My printer is normally connected through a scanner. So, just to make sure I really was connected, I reconnected it directly to the parallel port, screwed everything tight and tried again. Still no joy.

    I tried catting a text file directly to /dev/lp0. It didn't print properly (I didn't expect it to) but some of it came out, so it wasn't the connection after all. It's the bloody software! Cups and hplip were both upgraded recently and now they don't work together any more.

    Then I remembered that I had used the printer under Crux without hplip, just with gutenprint. So I removed hplip and all its dependencies (they were legion!), installed gutenprint, removed the printer and reinstalled it, choosing the gutenprint driver for my model. Now I can print again.

    Why do they always make everything so bloody complicated? I hate Cups!
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
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    Me too. I have a Samsung ML-1660 and it took me months to get it to print. I bypassed CUPS completely and took the shovel and sledgehammer route. Convert FILE to FILE.ps, then ram it through the proprietary binary-only filter.

    If you want the gory details, I posted them on this forum a while ago:

    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/cof...lly-works.html

  3. #3
    oz
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    I've been concerned regarding CUPS ever since it was purchased by Apple and these days not so sure where Linux users reside on the scale of importance relating to printer issues.
    oz

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    Every time I have to deal with CUPS it makes me think that the whole way it operates is antithetical to the 'linux way of doing things', which I equate with elegant simplicity. A program that does 1 thing, 1 thing only, and does it well.

    The way CUPS operates doesn't make sense to me. Why on earth do you need a web interface for a printer?

    It seems to want to turn a simple print job into some kind of magic, leaving the user baffled as to what is actually going on.

    Once I figured out the 'cat FILE > /dev/lp0' thing, it was a simple matter to make a directory that is watched by a daemon process (a bash shell script about a page long) that prints anything dropped in there. I can scp a file there from any PC in my house and it gets printed within a minute. That's my print spooler. Done. And it doesn't depend on Merlin the Magician dancing with Bozo the Clown in a House of Smoke and Mirrors.

    I think simpifying the print process under linux should be a high priority, and, IMHO, CUPS should be relegated to the trash bin.

  6. #5
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miven View Post
    Me too. I have a Samsung ML-1660 and it took me months to get it to print. I bypassed CUPS completely and took the shovel and sledgehammer route. Convert FILE to FILE.ps, then ram it through the proprietary binary-only filter.

    If you want the gory details, I posted them on this forum a while ago:

    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/cof...lly-works.html
    I just tried your method using the cups rastertohp filter. Like you I had to add dummy arguments for job-id, user, etc. But then, instead of something displaying, I got the message: ERROR: No pages were found.

    I'll have to try again on my other system - I have hplip installed there.

    Has anyone here tried pdq?

    [Some time later] Hey! I did it! The driver I need is called foomatic-rip-hplip, which is part of the hplip package.
    Last edited by hazel; 12-20-2012 at 05:52 PM.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
    www.hrussman.entadsl.com

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    Awesome. Merry Christmas. And much love to you and yours.

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    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    This is weird! I don't know what I did yesterday but whatever it was, it doesn't work today. Not with foomatic-rip-hplip.

    But I can still do it with pstoraster|rastertohp. Maybe that won't work tomorrow!

    What is interesting is that the file I used today was created by Libreoffice using print-to-file. So even without cups, you can still print LO documents - only not directly out of LO.

    There is also an imagetoraster filter. I'll try out imagetoraster|rastertohp tomorrow. If it works then I can print stuff from the gimp as well.

    I am seriously thinking of emancipating myself from cups - keeping the filters that I need and getting rid of the rest.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
    www.hrussman.entadsl.com

  9. #8
    oz
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    I always install the cups, cups-filters, and ghostscript packages, and then install only the specific PPD file for my printer. I never fool around with gutenprint, foomatic-db and all that other stuff. I don't use any of the hp packages, so don't know if there might be something there causing you grief.
    oz

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    Can you view the ps files with gsview? Or does it cough errors and bail?

    I had the most bizarre thing happen when I was getting mine going:

    Everything was good, viewing, printing, etc. Then all of a sudden it stopped working at all.

    Most of the time I'm fooling around with stuff, I'm sitting in my tmp dir. Everything stopped working when I tried doing stuff from my home dir. I was baffled. Moved into ~/tmp, everything works. Move somewhere else, nothing works.

    I thought, "What the heck is the difference here?" Both of these dirs are stuffed full of crap. Looking, looking, deleting crap, looking some more. Oh, what's this? It's an old Fontmap sitting there from some weird experiment. I renamed it to Fontmap~ and now nothing works even in ~/tmp. Rename it back, ~/tmp goes back to working.

    Odd. I looked in my GS_LIB dir, it's Fontmap is different. Copy the ~/tmp version into GS_LIB, everything goes back to working, and this time viewing/printing/etc works everywhere.

    gs is *very* picky about Fontmaps, and for the life of me, at this point I cannot recall how I made that Fontmap or where it came from. There's some command you call when you're in Resource/Fonts.

  11. #10
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Well, imagetoraster|rastertohp doesn't work for a .png file. The rastertohp filter can't handle the raster file that imagetoraster produces. It crashes with a glib memory corruption (double free). That's a bug in the filter of course; it should exit gracefully with an error if it can't handle something.

    I would be very interested to know if the thing is possible in principle, using a different filter. Could someone who uses another printer than HP carry out the experiment for me? I can pm you on the precise procedure. If you get a printable file at the end of the day, report it in this thread.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
    www.hrussman.entadsl.com

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