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PaperCut NG & PaperCut MF Manual


Troubleshooting and technical FAQs

There are a number of problems you might encounter in the course of installing and using PaperCut NG/MF. Many are resolved once you get a better idea of how PaperCut NG/MF works, while others might require you to dig deeper into the application’s workings.

The following list has been compiled over the course of years of PaperCut NG/MF usage. If you can’t find a reference to the problem you’re having here, try looking in the Knowledge Base at the PaperCut NG/MF website.

In addition to this section, there are more product and feature-targeted FAQs here:

I am running PaperCut NG/MF in a workgroup environment (that is, not as part of a domain). What do I need to consider?

PaperCut NG/MF is not detecting jobs printed from a network clients. How can I fix this?

There are two main causes of this problem:

  • Users are not correctly logging on to your network domain or computer. If the domain server does NOT authorize users, PaperCut NG/MF has no way of knowing who submitted the print job. With system policies, you can make login to the domain mandatory, eliminating this problem. Alternatively, you can set printer permissions on the print server to ensure only valid users can print to the printers.

  • Alternatively, you can configure the client computer to print directly to the network interface printer. Ensure all network clients are configured as outlined in the PaperCut NG/MF installation guide. All print jobs must pass through the print server running PaperCut NG/MF.

PaperCut NG/MF is not counting/detecting pages correctly. What's causing this?

PaperCut NG/MF currently supports about 90% of printers on the market. If a printer's language is not recognized, PaperCut NG/MF cannot detect any pages and record the print job as a zero page count. This is usually accompanied with an error message in the Application Event Log. We recommend you try the following problem resolution actions:

  1. Many printers come with a variety of driver options. Install the Postscript drivers if one is available for the printer. Do this on both the print server and all network clients.

  2. Try the drivers included with the Windows CD. PaperCut NG/MF supports the majority of drivers distributed with recent Windows releases.

  3. Try turning Enable advanced printing features as follows:

    1. On the print server, select Start > Settings > Printers.

    2. Right-click the printer; then select Properties

    3. Select the Advanced Tab.

    4. Turn off (disable) the Enable advanced printing features.

    For more information, see Knowledge Base.

  4. If you're still having problems, email PaperCut Software support. We might be able to recommend a suitable set up or even supply a recent update supporting your hardware.

  5. Specific information on printer compatibility is available in the PaperCut NG/MF Knowledge Base . Information here might be of assistance.

How do I ignore (not monitor or delete) a printer?

Configure the Print Provider via its configuration to ignore a printer. For more information see Add and remove/delete/ignore printers.

The system is not displaying the correct currency sign.

PaperCut NG/MF formats the currency based off the operating system's default regional settings. If the default regional settings are incorrect, you can change the format by defining your location under Options > General > Display Settings > Location .

I've setup a secondary print server. The printers on this server are not listed and not being monitored. What's wrong?

There are a number of possible explanations. The first step is to open the Print Provider's log file on the secondary server. This file often contains error messages indicating the cause or type of error. On a Windows system the log file is located at: [app-path]\providers\print\win\print-provider.log Open this file from any text editor such as Notepad.

Some common issues are:

  1. Verify that the secondary server's name is correctly defined in the print-provider.conf file. Open a command prompt on the secondary server and use the ping command to verify that the server can be contacted under this name. A server restart (or a manual restart of the PaperCut NG/MF Print Provider service) is required for any changes to the file to take effect.

  2. Ensure that firewall software on the primary server is not preventing the secondary server from connecting on port 9191. Configure your firewalls to allow all local network traffic on this particular port.

    A quick way to see if the secondary server can connect to the primary server is to use the command-line telnet program. Simply type: telnet servername 9191 at a command prompt.

    • If you receive an error such as Could not open connection to host, then there is probably a network/firewall issue not letting the connection through.

    • If the screen goes blank then the connection was established successfully. Press Ctrl+] then type quit to close the telnet session.

  3. Check that the Print Provider process/service is in fact installed and running. On a Windows system this is located under: Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services

The client software is not displaying the user's account balance and is displaying a network error. How do I fix this?

The client software needs to contact the Application Server. For the technical readers, the client makes an XML web services request to the server on port 9191. Most problems relate to either firewalls blocking access or the Application Server's name is not correctly defined. Ensure that:

  1. Any firewalling software on the server allows local network access to port 9191.

  2. The client.properties file (a text file) lists the correct server name or IP address of the server. If you've used the zero-install deployment option, this file is located on the server in the directory: [app-path]/client/client.properties

How do I change the built-in admin user's password?

The admin user's password is set up on initial install during the configuration wizard. You can change this password post-install:

  1. Select Options > Advanced. The Advanced page is displayed.

  2. In the Reset admin password area, select the Change internal admin password check box.

If you have forgotten the internal admin password, you can reset it by editing the admin.password property in the following text file:


I run a small peer-to-peer network and my users don't log onto the workstations. Can I still use PaperCut NG/MF?

PaperCut NG/MF is primarily designed for networks managed under a domain and/or authenticated environments. Peer-to-peer networks or Workgroups are, however, supported. The first option to consider is requiring users to log onto the workstations using their username and password. If this is not possible, an alternate option is to set up the user accounts on system hosting the printers (system running the PaperCut NG/MF server software) and configuring the account selection popup with the Charge to other users option selected. Users can then enter their username and password in the popup that displays each time they print.

I want to start the user inquiry tool (client software) with the window minimized. Is this possible?

Yes. You can start the client software minimized by executing the program with a command-line switch -minimized. See Configure the User Client using the command-line.

How do I stop users from closing/shutting down the client software?

If the user running the client software is configured to either:

  • select shared accounts

  • confirm the print job via a popup

The client software must be running at all times. If the user is configured in either of these modes, the client software's exit option is disabled.

Note: Restart the client software to pick up this option after the user's options have been changed.

Why does PaperCut NG/MF cache the group membership?

PaperCut NG/MF caches group membership by replicating the user/group relationship structure internally in the system. Typically network group membership is relatively static, and is usually set up when a user account is initially created. PaperCut NG/MF tries to be a good network application by avoiding common no-no's such as flooding domain controllers with group lookup requests. This is achieved by caching. Operations such as Bulk user operations, quota allocations, group reports and group filtering all need to do group membership lookups. Caching speeds up these operations and prevents excessive callouts to the domain servers.

The downside to caching is that group membership changes are not immediately reflected inside PaperCut NG/MF. To force PaperCut NG/MF to detect the change, perform a user/group synchronization:

  1. Select Options > User/Group Sync.

    The User/Group Sync page is displayed.

  2. Click Synchronize Now.

    The system also automatically refreshes group membership overnight during low network activity.

I have noticed a lot of extra options available under the Config Editor (Advanced) area. Can I change these?

The config area contains all of the PaperCut NG/MF system wide settings. You can change some of these via the normal options interface while others are designed for internal developer use and tuning and are only accessible via the Config Editor. Take care with any changes made in the Config Editor as an invalid entry might require you to reinstall the system!

I want to write some custom extensions. Do you support this?

One of the business objectives of PaperCut NG/MF was openness. The development team actually encourages this and can assist with detailed API documentation. If you want feedback on your ideas, please email our support team. They would be more than happy to offer advice.

What external databases are supported?

Running PaperCut NG/MF on top of an external database is an advanced option. For more information, see Deployment on an external database (RDBMS).

What is the internal database format?

PaperCut NG/MF's internal database is Apache Derby - an open source database written by IBM and based on IBM's DB2 Cloudscape database system. The internal database has proven to scale very well and is suitable for networks of all sizes.

What language is PaperCut NG/MF developed in?

PaperCut NG/MF is developed under a number of languages and development environments. The printer monitoring component and other native operating system interfaces such as user authentication are written in C/C++. The Application Server and web services are written in server-side Java.

I want to investigate server cluster support?

The PaperCut NG/MF is designed as a cluster compatible application and supports clustering at all layers of the application. For more information on configuring PaperCut NG/MF in a Microsoft Cluster environment, see Clustering and high availability. If you want to investigate clustering options on other platforms (Linux), contact our support team.

How do I print a spool file?

If you're utilizing the Print Archiving feature (see Print Archiving (viewing and content capture) , or have otherwise captured a spool file for debugging purposes - you can print this document by copying it to a printer, using it's full network path.


copy /B my-spool-file.pcl6 \\servername\printer

MacOS and Linux:

lp -h servername -d printer -o raw my-spool-file.pcl6