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Troubleshooting common issues with Novell OES iPrint


Find common issues with Novell’s OES iPrint, diagnose issues and troubleshoot Novell iPrint.

PaperCut monitors printing on the Novell iPrint server by being configured as the accounting autoload command within iPrint Manager. This allows PaperCut to monitor and track all printing activity on the iPrint server.

If problems occur after enabling PaperCut on the Novell iPrint server (e.g. problems starting iPrint) some diagnosis will be required.

Also see:

SLES 15 SP3 known issue

There are some potential configuration changes needed for deploying Papercut with the latest SLES 15 SP3 version. In the earlier version SLES 12 SP3, the standard PaperCut ports of 9191 and 9192 could be added to the external zone in firewall settings. With the latest SLES 15 SP3 changes, the papercut configuration succeeds only after adding the ports in the public zone in firewall settings.

Printer redirection and/or Hardware Page Count validation is not working with iPrint 4.2 or above.

If you have a version of PaperCut NG/MF before 22.0.2 then you will need to upgrade so that iPrint 4.2 is supported.

If you have PaperCut NG/MF 22.0.2 or above, and you have recently upgraded from an old version of iPrint (e.g. version 3) to iPrint version 4.2 or above, then you may need to rerun the roottasks script located at:

PaperCut 22.0.2 and above will install (using roottasks) the appropriate version of novell-print-provider depending on the currently installed version of iPrint.

Ipsmd is running but iManager shows that the status is down

This issue is independent of PaperCut but we thought it was worth mentioning as we often suggest people to restart iManager after installing a new PaperCut Novell agent.

Apparently, in some iPrint versions it is not sufficient to restart ipsmd via:
rcnovell-ipsmd restart

Doing so will not cause Apache web server to be restarted. Instead one needs to restart apache as well:
rcnovell-ipsmd restart; rcapache2 restart

This is discussed further in the MicroFocus KB article here:

Check the autoload command is configured correctly

Verify that the autoload command is set to exactly papercut. Ensure that this is entered all as lower-case, and there are no spaces before or after the command. If this is incorrect, iPrint will fail to start.

Refer to Step 5: Configure the iPrint printer on the “Installation on Novell OES Linux (iPrint)” manual page for more information on the autoload setup.

Ensure that iprint has permission to the PaperCut files

A common cause of problems are caused by iPrint not having permission to access important PaperCut files. Verify that iprint has permissions as follows:

  • Read access: ~papercut/providers/print/[platform]/print-provider.conf
  • Write access: ~papercut/providers/print/[platform]/print-provider.log*
  • Write access: ~papercut/providers/print/[platform]/*

Check the Novell iPrint logs (ispsmd.log) and system log

If there are problems starting the PaperCut autoload command, this will be reported in the ispmd.log located in:

Check this log for any obvious error messages relating to the papercut autoload command.

Incorrect architecture

Support for the 32-bit variant of PaperCut NG and PaperCut MF on Novell OES was formally terminated on March 1st, 2014. However, if you happen to be running a 32-bit machine and have no recourse to upgrade to a 64-bit environment, caution must be taken to ensure the right architecture variant of PaperCut NG or PaperCut MF is deployed. Novell’s accounting plugin system is architecture dependent and does not handle loading of incorrect binaries. If for example, a 32-bit version was installed on an x64 system, the accounting autoload command will fail to start and the iPrint server will crash. To make matters worse, because ipsmd is then not running, the web interface will fail to load, so you can’t easily remove the autoload command! This also applies to a binary that may be corrupt or have incorrect permissions, etcetera.

In summary, it’s important to install the correct architecture. For your primary Application Server, the installer will warn you if you attempt to install the wrong architecture. When setting up a Secondary Server, you should take care to run the roottasks script found in the correct architecture directory. And if at all possible, move to 64-bit systems across the board, so as to guarantee supportability.

Debug builds of iPrint

For the same reason above, accounting plugins are not binary compatible with special “debug builds” of iPrint. If Novell provide you with a debug build of iPrint (say to diagnose an issue), you’ll need to remove the accounting autoload command before installing this version.

To run PaperCut with a debug version of iPrint, PaperCut needs to be recompiled with special debug flags against the matching debug version. If you’re working with the Novell support team to diagnose an issue and PaperCut needs to be enabled during this diagnostic, please contact our support team. We’ll look into the possibility of supplying a matching compatible debug version of PaperCut.

OES 2018 known issue

Found an issue where the error “Out of Memory - Unable to create new native thread errors” causes OES to crash thus causing PaperCut to crash.

The version of systemd shipped in SLES 12 SP2 uses the PIDs cgroup controller. This provides some per-service fork() protection, leading to a safer system. Though can cause some regressions as we have seen on some customer sites, which requires a configuration change.

To control the default TasksMax= setting for services and scopes running on the system, use the system.conf setting DefaultTasksMax=. This setting defaults to 512, which means services that are not explicitly configured otherwise will only be able to create 512 processes or threads at maximum which causes PaperCut to hit the thread limit.

For thread- or process-heavy services, you may need to set a higher TasksMax value. In such cases, set TasksMax directly in the specific unit files. Either choose a numeric value or even infinity.

More information on this can be found here: _64/SUSE-SLES/12-SP2/#fate-320358

Novell are also looking to create a technical article on this issue which will include further details.

Common Novell Cluster Setup Issues

A common issue seen with cluster setup is that iPrint (ipsmd) will fail to start after papercut is added to the accounting autoload command. If you’re experiencing this problem you’ll often see something like this in the ipsmd.log file
WARNING PSMLoadModule: the iPrint Manager can not access Accounting module /opt/novell/iprint/bin/papercut

This indicates that ipsmd does not have the ability to browse/execute the “papercut” binary. Check the permission on this file. In a cluster enviornemnt the file needs to be owned by root and in the iprintgrp group. Try running the following commands, where “[arch]” reflects the architecture of the server (either “x64” or “i686”):
/home/papercut/providers/print/linux-[arch]/roottasks chown root:iprintgrp /opt/novell/iprint/bin/papercut

on each node of the cluster to ensure permissions are set up correctly.

Collecting diagnostic information for PaperCut Support

If the above does not help resolve the problem, report the issue to PaperCut support.

It’s generally advisable to first enable debug logging (see here), reproduce the problem and then send the following information to PaperCut support:

Important: The iPrint Manager needs to be restarted!

Zip and send the following log files:

  • /var/opt/novell/log/iprint/ipsmd.log
  • /var/opt/novell/log/iprint/novell-print-provider.log
  • ~papercut/providers/print/[platform]/print-provider.log*

Also send the following information:

  • Description of the problem

  • Version of Novell OES / iPrint (rpm -qa novell-iprint-server)

  • Version of PaperCut installed

Collecting diagnostic information for Novell Support

If we need to further escalate this problem to Novell, then more information will be needed.

Please get the output of the iPrint Information gathering script from your iPrint Server. The script is available from:

Turn on debug logging from the health monitor in the Printer Manager. Follow the menus:

Novell Manager → Manager health monitor → Advanced iPrint Manager Information → Debug Options → Debug Screen Options.

Enable all of the options other than “errPause” and get the debug.log

Common questions

Q Does PaperCut run on Novell Netware?

No. PaperCut is developed to target iPrint on OES Linux. The development team has decided not to target Netware due to the a combination of the limited life of the platform and technical limitations such as the slower revision rate of iPrint on this platform. All Novell sites will need to migrate to OES Linux soon due to EOL of Netware. PaperCut, while running on a Novell OES Linux print server, will run fine alongside and within a Netware environment (e.g. a Netware eDirectory). Moving print services over to OES Linux running on a new server is also a good way to start the migration of servers to OES Linux.

Q I’ve edited my printer’s location but it’s not “sticking” in PaperCut?

We’ve had a few Novell sites report this problem. The issue seems to be if the change to the printer’s location is not made with an ADMIN userid, then the change will not hold. PaperCut extracts the printer’s location from the padbtxt.xml file and this information is used to update the Location field in the PaperCut database.

Q What is the Accounting Autoload Command under Novell iPrint?

The Accounting Autoload Command is a setting in Novell iPrint (found under Health Monitor) that allows programs such as PaperCut to hook into the print process to account, control and limit print jobs. The command (an external binary) is started by ipsmd and passed information about print events. It also has the opportunity to control print action such as hold jobs, deny or allow.

PaperCut uses the Accounting Autoload Command hook to interface with iPrint. Even though the command relates to “accounting” this does not mean that this is all PaperCut can do. PaperCut is also able to manage other aspects of printing under OES Linux including:

  • Implementing print policies rules
  • Routing print jobs based on conditions such as:
    • Large jobs to high volume printers
    • Stop printing of emails in color
    • Suggesting use of duplex if simplex is selected by accident
  • Full logging of print job details
  • Reporting of printer use

A trial version of the software is available for download on this website.

Q How do I temporarily disable PaperCut from tracking my iPrint Queues?

If papercut is removed from the Accounting Autoload Command, and the Print Manager restarted, PaperCut will no longer intercept and process print jobs. Do this on all queues to affectively “remove” PaperCut from your print queues. You may choose to do this to say help diagnose a difficult issue.

Categories: Troubleshooting Articles , Novell

Keywords: novell , npds , ipsmd , imanager , OES , iPrint


Last updated February 15, 2024