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Losing Held Jobs on a Linux CUPS Server


“Help! I’m a Systems Administrator of PaperCut, and I’ve run into a problem where my held print jobs in PaperCut are being routinely lost from my Linux Print Server. Every day (or week) I notice that the print jobs that were held in my queue(s) are no longer there, and there are Print Provider error messages in my logs. What do we need to do/how can we fix this/why does this happen?”

What causes this?

Due to the way PaperCut interacts with print jobs in a Linux CUPS environment, where a hold/release process is in place for printing PaperCut is reliant on the CUPS service on the server as part of the hold/release process.

Now, there is a ‘logrotate’ process that is enabled in most Linux systems which rotates the log files when they reach a certain size, or when they are scheduled to do so. The logrotate process is an automated process which can include a restart of the CUPS service during the rotation.

When the CUPS service is restarted by the logrotation, this causes the print jobs that are ‘held’ (pending release) in the print queue(s) on that server to become orphaned from the PaperCut Print Provider, and therefore unable to be released. They are lost.

What will you see?

  • Held jobs in the queue are no longer there (you’ll normally see that this occurs in a regular pattern of frequency)
  • Print Provider offline error messages in logs against print jobs

What can I do?

Although the problem isn’t directly caused by PaperCut, we do have a few tricks up-our-sleeve…. these tricks include attempting to force CUPS to remain active, and a configuration change in Linux to move from logrotate to syslog - which does not restart CUPS.

If you are a Linux maestro, and these suggestions already make sense to you, please feel free to give them a try as they should resolve your issue!

If you need further assistance from us, just get in touch with our Support Team at PaperCut, and we’ll be happy to discuss the workarounds with you!

Still have questions?

Let us know! We love chatting about what’s going on under the hood. Feel free to leave a comment below or visit our Support Portal for further assistance.

Categories: Troubleshooting Articles , Print Jobs

Keywords: cups , linux , print , held , missing print job


Last updated January 8, 2020