cups and printers stopping

by Juliet Kemp

At intervals I get complaints that one of the printers isn't responding from a given machine. On investigation via the CUPS frontend the error is: /usr/lib/cups/backend/lpd failed Restarting the printer from there works, but it is slightly irritating.

This has happened several times in the last couple of days on one particular (aging) machine, which prompted me to seek a better solution. I found this entry which explains at the bottom how to change the CUPS setup appropriately. Edit /etc/cups/printers.conf and change the ErrorPolicy for each printer from stop-printer to retry-job. So far this seems to be working fine and I shall be rolling it out across the network.


2007-10-25 07:00:34
Another solution is to monitor the lpd and restart it when it stops. Daemontools' supervise works for this.
Carla Schroder
2007-10-25 19:55:04
Awesome Juliet, that's just the tip I needed for a similar problem. Yay!
Juliet Kemp
2007-10-29 09:56:18
Glad it's helpful, Carla!

William: true, but that seems a bit sledgehammer/nut, especially as one printer stopped != all printers stopped.

2007-10-31 15:10:32
I've had this problem too, looked suspiciously like a memory exhaustion problem. So the real answer for me was to upgrade the memory in the box.
Juliet Kemp
2007-11-01 04:49:18
Rachel: you may well be right in this case as well. Unfortunately upgrade isn't an option atm for various reasons. It also happens occasionally on most machines - we have some quite heavy load on some desktops reasonably often - so it's good to have found a solution for that as well.