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Capturing a Linux Spool File


PaperCut Support may ask you to supply a print-to-file or a spool file. This is a little more difficult on the Linux platform and involves “capturing” a spool file using one of the following procedures:

The video below demonstrates how to capture a Linux spool file:

1. Enable snapshot level debug logging in the Print Provider layer by adding the line:


to the file ~papercut/providers/print/linux-[arch]/print-provider.conf

2. Stop the PaperCut Print Server

3. Start the Print Server and make sure that no one else uses any of the attached printers or devices during the period of testing

4. Print a job that demonstrates the problem behavior and wait for it to spool. This printing may be performed from a workstation.

5. As a user with root privileges on the PaperCut printer server, enter the command:

cp /tmp/spool-snapshot.spl ~/10-pages-grayscale.spl NB Only copy the latest spool file

(Note: Replace 10-pages-grayscale.spl with an appropriate name).

6. Repeat steps 5 and 6 again as required to demonstrate the issue with different settings (e.g. grayscale, color, duplex etc.).

7. Compress the *.spl files in the root home directory as well as


and send it to us at .

9. Disable snapshot level debug logging in the Print Provider layer by removing the line:


to the file ~papercut/providers/print/linux-[arch]/print-provider.conf

10. Restart the PaperCut Print Server. Other users may now use it as normal.

See also:

Analyze your spool file

Curious to find out how PaperCut interprets that print job? Now that you’ve collected your spool file you can head over to our Spool File Analysis page to get the results yourself, and even compare how different versions of PaperCut stack up.

Categories: Troubleshooting Articles , Print Jobs

Keywords: linux print to file


Last updated February 15, 2024