Strange Additions to Document Names (and How to Fix Them)

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Strange Additions to Document Names…

Some users report seeing document names logged in PaperCut NG or PaperCut MF which don’t line up with the name of the document as was originally printed. For example, a document name might show as Remote Downlevel Document, or be prepended by something like smbprn.00004.

By default, our software accepts the document name which is reported by the host operating system to be true, and so that is the value which we record in our print log. Sometimes, though, an operating system may override the original document name as it was recorded in the spool file, modifying it with a prefix, a suffix, or replacing it wholesale.

Remote Downlevel Document, for instance, is the default name Windows gives to documents when the program or computer does not provide a document name; this will be the same name that appears in the Windows print queue. Common reasons for seeing this document name replacement include the user printing from a legacy MS DOS application, printing to shared queues which have been mapped using a non-standard method (e.g. a local printer port defined as a UNC name, or through use of the net use lpt command), and in some cases when printing from macOS via the SMB protocol (due to a limitation in the CUPS SMB implementation).

Meanwhile, the smbprn.0000x style of prefix is most commonly seen when printing from Windows workstations through to CUPS print servers using SMB. In these cases, the actual document name will appear in full, but tailing the displayed prefix.

… How to Fix Them

In the past, these sorts of names were often avoidable by remapping the print queues to workstations using an alternative method, such as mapping them as network printers using their UNC name (e.g. //server/printername), or by using a protocol besides SMB.

In later versions of PaperCut NG and PaperCut MF, an automatic check for certain strings like Remote Downlevel Document was added, such that these errant document names derived from the operating system were ignored in favour of an attempt to read the genuine, original document name from within the spool file.

As of version 17.2.3, we’ve added a special item to the print-provider.conf configuration file to allow for custom strings to be added to the list of document name additions to ignore. The print-provider.conf file can be found on your Application Server, Site Servers, and Secondary Servers in the following location, where [app-path] is the installation directory of the application, and [platform] reflects the operating system of that print server:

[app-path]\providers\print\[platform]\print-provider.conf

From version 17.2.3 onwards, the following line can be added to this configuration file:

IgnoreOSDocumentNames=

After the = character, a comma-separated list of items can be added. If any of these items partially matches a document name the operating system reports to our application, we’ll ignore that name, and instead attempt to retrieve and log the document name as it appears in the spool file. Using the two examples discussed in this article, the line in the configuration file would look like so:

IgnoreOSDocumentNames=Remote Downlevel Document,smbprn

When you’ve made your change, save and close the file, and then restart the Print Provider service (this can be quickly done on any platform by running the debug-disable script found in the same directory as the print-provider.conf file).


Categories: Errors


Keywords: Local Downlevel Document

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Article last modified on August 10, 2017, at 03:41 AM
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