Linux Defined Printers Not Printing

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The usual cause for a Linux defined printer not printing is the print queue is in a disabled state. CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) periodically checks the status of its printers. If it does not get a reply back within 300 seconds (5 minutes) it will force the print queue to a "disabled" state. Turning printer or its network print server off can cause this condition.

Here is how to manage the Linux print queues:

From the main console, a Windows Telnet or a Putty session log in as root.

    To display the status of all printers:
    # lpstat -t

    To display queued print jobs:
    # lpstat -o

    To delete a queue print job:
    # cancel <job_id>

    To disable a print queue:
    # disable <queue_id>

    To enable a print queue:
    # /usr/bin/enable <queue_id>

For example, to enable print queue "lp" type: /usr/bin/enable lp

Under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 there are two "enable" commands. Enable is traditionally one of four Unix spooler commands, enable, disable, accept and reject.

To access the CUPS "enable" command you must fully specify the name "/usr/bin/enable". Under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 the commands were renamed to "cupsaccept", "cupsreject", "cupsenable" and "cupsdisable" just to clear up (or add to) the confusion.