printer problem

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printer problem

Richard Kimber
I'm trying to set up a networked printer on a fresh install of
Ubuntu-Mate (18.04.1) on a new PC.

The printer is detected by the new printer install but after searching
for drivers, I get a cups server error  "server-error-internal-error".

The printer (Canon MX920 series) set up easily and worked perfectly well
on the old PC under 18.04.1 and previous versions of Ubuntu

I'd really appreciate some suggestions.
- Richard.
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Re: printer problem

Peter Flynn
On 25/09/18 18:44, Richard Kimber wrote:
> I'm trying to set up a networked printer on a fresh install of
> Ubuntu-Mate (18.04.1) on a new PC.
>
> The printer is detected by the new printer install but after searching
> for drivers, I get a cups server error  "server-error-internal-error".

Is there anything useful in /var/log/cups/error_log ?

///Peter


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Re: printer problem

Brian-277
In reply to this post by Richard Kimber
On Tue 25 Sep 2018 at 18:44:09 +0100, Richard Kimber wrote:

> I'm trying to set up a networked printer on a fresh install of
> Ubuntu-Mate (18.04.1) on a new PC.
>
> The printer is detected by the new printer install but after searching
> for drivers, I get a cups server error  "server-error-internal-error".
>
> The printer (Canon MX920 series) set up easily and worked perfectly well
> on the old PC under 18.04.1 and previous versions of Ubuntu
>
> I'd really appreciate some suggestions.

According to

https://www.canon.co.uk/printers/inkjet/pixma/pixma_mx925/specification.aspx

your printer has AirPrint. Accordingly, it is a driverless printer. Why
not take advantage?

https://wiki.debian.org/DriverlessPrinting#The_Concept_of_Driverless_Printing

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Re: printer problem

Richard Kimber
In reply to this post by Peter Flynn
On Tue, 25 Sep 2018 19:15:24 +0100
Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Is there anything useful in /var/log/cups/error_log ?
>
I have a lot of these:-

E [25/Sep/2018:17:40:24 +0100] [Client 640] Returning IPP server-error
-internal-error for CUPS-Add-Modify-Printer (ipp://localhost/printers/
Canon-MX920-series) from localhost
E [25/Sep/2018:17:40:25 +0100] [CGI] Unable to create PPD file: Printe
r does not support required IPP attributes or document formats.
E [25/Sep/2018:17:40:25 +0100] copy_model: empty PPD file

- Richard
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Re: printer problem

Richard Kimber
In reply to this post by Brian-277
On Tue, 25 Sep 2018 19:27:50 +0100
Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:

> According to
>
> https://www.canon.co.uk/printers/inkjet/pixma/pixma_mx925/specification.aspx
>
> your printer has AirPrint. Accordingly, it is a driverless printer.
> Why not take advantage?
>
> https://wiki.debian.org/DriverlessPrinting#The_Concept_of_Driverless_Printing
>

Thanks. Thats a lot to digest, so I'll leave it until tomorrow.  I note
that I can print from Libre Office, which I suppose must be set up for
driverless printing, but I'd also like to be able to print from
Browsers and other apps like pluma.

- Richard.
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Re: printer problem

Brian-277
On Tue 25 Sep 2018 at 19:47:22 +0100, Richard Kimber wrote:

> On Tue, 25 Sep 2018 19:27:50 +0100
> Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > According to
> >
> > https://www.canon.co.uk/printers/inkjet/pixma/pixma_mx925/specification.aspx
> >
> > your printer has AirPrint. Accordingly, it is a driverless printer.
> > Why not take advantage?
> >
> > https://wiki.debian.org/DriverlessPrinting#The_Concept_of_Driverless_Printing
> >
>
> Thanks. Thats a lot to digest, so I'll leave it until tomorrow.  I note
> that I can print from Libre Office, which I suppose must be set up for
> driverless printing, but I'd also like to be able to print from
> Browsers and other apps like pluma.

Any app you have uses CUPS. CUPS+cups-filters does driverless printing.

Digest.

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Re: printer problem

Peter Flynn
In reply to this post by Richard Kimber
On 25/09/18 19:42, Richard Kimber wrote:

> On Tue, 25 Sep 2018 19:15:24 +0100
> Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Is there anything useful in /var/log/cups/error_log ?
>>
> I have a lot of these:-
>
> E [25/Sep/2018:17:40:24 +0100] [Client 640] Returning IPP server-error-internal-error for CUPS-Add-Modify-Printer (ipp://localhost/printers/Canon-MX920-series) from localhost
> E [25/Sep/2018:17:40:25 +0100] [CGI] Unable to create PPD file: Printer does not support required IPP attributes or document formats.
> E [25/Sep/2018:17:40:25 +0100] copy_model: empty PPD file

That's the problem. The printer either doesn't support the needed
functionality for a PPD file, OR (as brian said) it's "driverless"
(which is nothing of the sort: the "driver" — actually the Page
Description Language — is just embedded in the printer, not the client).

In theory, with a printer that supports PDF as one of its PDLs, you
should be able to copy the PDF straight to the printer, without using
CUPS at all. In practice, you may need a print monitor/scheduler to
synchronize properly and keep jobs separate IFF you are in a multi-user
environment. The Debian page says:

> Note that we are talking here about sending a job directly to a
> printer, not to a print queue being advertised by CUPS.

My (very limited) understanding is that CUPS should be able to get
everything it needs to create a PPD file by querying the printer direct.
If it can't (as appears to be the case) then either CUPS is broken and
needs an update, or the printer is not capable of talking to CUPS.

A PPD file is a Postscript Printer Description, which is an ASCII file
(therefore editable) describing to (eg) CUPS exactly what the printer is
capable of (size, speed, resolution, etc). If CUPS can't find one in its
libraries, you have the option of providing one (eg downloaded from
somewhere else). If you don't or can't, and the printer won't tell CUPS
what it can do, you get the result above.

The Debian page on Driverless Printing is a little specious:

> This is not seen as an acceptable situation for mobile clients,
> which may have limited storage for PPDs and drivers and which may
> lack resources, such as battery power. Neither is it deemed
> particularly realistic for a user to have to set up or reconfigure a
> mobile device for each printer that is encountered. This requires a
> level of expertise and a time and effort commitment that cannot be
> assumed to be possessed.
True for low-power mobile devices, already untrue for most Android
phones, with apps like PrinterShare, which can download and configure
themselves on-the-fly for whatever accessible printer you may be able to
connect to.

We are in a state of transition, like we were with WAP (remember WAP?)
and other historical kludges designed to overcome the limitations of
devices which held true for a few months or maybe a year before
technology took another step forward. In a year or few it'll probably be
irrelevant because mobile devices will just have more speed and space.

All of which probably doesn't solve the problem: you can either ditch
CUPS, which is probably a leap too far right now, or you can find a way
to fudge it with a PPD file that provides the missing information.

///Peter

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Re: printer problem

Brian-277
On Tue 25 Sep 2018 at 22:05:27 +0100, Peter Flynn wrote:

> On 25/09/18 19:42, Richard Kimber wrote:
> > On Tue, 25 Sep 2018 19:15:24 +0100
> > Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> Is there anything useful in /var/log/cups/error_log ?
> >>
> > I have a lot of these:-
> >
> > E [25/Sep/2018:17:40:24 +0100] [Client 640] Returning IPP server-error-internal-error for CUPS-Add-Modify-Printer (ipp://localhost/printers/Canon-MX920-series) from localhost
> > E [25/Sep/2018:17:40:25 +0100] [CGI] Unable to create PPD file: Printer does not support required IPP attributes or document formats.
> > E [25/Sep/2018:17:40:25 +0100] copy_model: empty PPD file
>
> That's the problem. The printer either doesn't support the needed
> functionality for a PPD file, OR (as brian said) it's "driverless"
> (which is nothing of the sort: the "driver" — actually the Page
> Description Language — is just embedded in the printer, not the client).

That's the whole point. "driverless" refers to what the client has to
do; it shouldn't have to care about which vendor-specific file to send,
which it does have to do with legacy printing. The PDL accepted by the
printer should be vendor-neutral. All the client has to do is generate
a suitable file for printing.

Contrast this with the legacy situation. A Brother printer wants one
type of file. A canon printer yet another type. An HP printer a third
type. Then, each printer within these three types requires a different
capability file (a PPD).

Gets complicated, eh? I'd take driverless any time of the day. Generate
Apple Raster for all AirPrint-capable printers. That's it. It doesn't
matter which printer I've purchased or am using - CUPS + cups-filters
prints to them all without my having to do any setup.

> In theory, with a printer that supports PDF as one of its PDLs, you
> should be able to copy the PDF straight to the printer, without using
> CUPS at all. In practice, you may need a print monitor/scheduler to
> synchronize properly and keep jobs separate IFF you are in a multi-user
> environment. The Debian page says:

PDF is fine as a PDL. Substitute "PDF" for "Apple Raster" in what is
above. Note that PDF direct printers are less common at the lower end
of the market than AirPrint printers.

> > Note that we are talking here about sending a job directly to a
> > printer, not to a print queue being advertised by CUPS.
>
> My (very limited) understanding is that CUPS should be able to get
> everything it needs to create a PPD file by querying the printer direct.

Correct - when the system is set up to print driverlessly. It can be
done by cups-browsed too. IPP has to be supported by the printer.

> If it can't (as appears to be the case) then either CUPS is broken and
> needs an update, or the printer is not capable of talking to CUPS.

The OP isn't taking advantage of the driverless possibilities of his
printing system or printer. Your point is moot.
 

> A PPD file is a Postscript Printer Description, which is an ASCII file
> (therefore editable) describing to (eg) CUPS exactly what the printer is
> capable of (size, speed, resolution, etc). If CUPS can't find one in its
> libraries, you have the option of providing one (eg downloaded from
> somewhere else). If you don't or can't, and the printer won't tell CUPS
> what it can do, you get the result above.
>
> The Debian page on Driverless Printing is a little specious:
>
> > This is not seen as an acceptable situation for mobile clients,
> > which may have limited storage for PPDs and drivers and which may
> > lack resources, such as battery power. Neither is it deemed
> > particularly realistic for a user to have to set up or reconfigure a
> > mobile device for each printer that is encountered. This requires a
> > level of expertise and a time and effort commitment that cannot be
> > assumed to be possessed.
> True for low-power mobile devices, already untrue for most Android
> phones, with apps like PrinterShare, which can download and configure
> themselves on-the-fly for whatever accessible printer you may be able to
> connect to.

Low-power is of not of consequence for the principles of driverless
printing. It is a practical feature of some battery powered devices
when CPU cycles, etc are used to process a job.

Incidentally the paragraph you quote from the wiki should be read in
conjunction with its preceding paragraph for context.

> We are in a state of transition, like we were with WAP (remember WAP?)
> and other historical kludges designed to overcome the limitations of
> devices which held true for a few months or maybe a year before
> technology took another step forward. In a year or few it'll probably be
> irrelevant because mobile devices will just have more speed and space.

A laptop is a mobile device. The same principles of driverless printing
apply here as well.

> All of which probably doesn't solve the problem: you can either ditch
> CUPS, which is probably a leap too far right now, or you can find a way
> to fudge it with a PPD file that provides the missing information.

Ditch CUPS for what?

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Re: printer problem [solved]

Richard Kimber
In reply to this post by Peter Flynn
 problemOn Tue, 25 Sep 2018 22:05:27 +0100
Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:

> My (very limited) understanding is that CUPS should be able to get
> everything it needs to create a PPD file by querying the printer
> direct. If it can't (as appears to be the case) then either CUPS is
> broken and needs an update, or the printer is not capable of talking
> to CUPS.

Thanks. It turned out, bizarrely, to be a browser problem - though I've
no idea why the basic ubuntu-mate configuration that I tried initially
wouldn't work.

After trying the Control Center method, I then tried to access CUPS via
http://localhost:631 using Chrome browser, but this didn't offer me the
option of giving my user and password - I just got a blank page saying
'Unauthorized' when I selected 'Add Printer'. However, switching to
Firefox produced the requisite authorisation dialog, and I was able to
proceed from there.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
- Richard.
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Re: printer problem [solved]

Peter Flynn
On 26/09/18 12:14, Richard Kimber wrote:

> On Tue, 25 Sep 2018 22:05:27 +0100 Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> My (very limited) understanding is that CUPS should be able to get
>> everything it needs to create a PPD file by querying the printer
>> direct. If it can't (as appears to be the case) then either CUPS is
>> broken and needs an update, or the printer is not capable of talking
>> to CUPS.
>
> Thanks. It turned out, bizarrely, to be a browser problem - though
> I've no idea why the basic ubuntu-mate configuration that I tried
> initially wouldn't work.
>
> After trying the Control Center method, I then tried to access CUPS
> via http://localhost:631 using Chrome browser, but this didn't offer
> me the option of giving my user and password - I just got a blank
> page saying 'Unauthorized' when I selected 'Add Printer'. However,
> switching to Firefox produced the requisite authorisation dialog, and
> I was able to proceed from there.

Very interesting. Chrome does appear to have some significant caching
problems as well as a rather idiosyncratic approach to HTML. Possibly
not coincidentally, this was noted by some speakers and delegates at the
annual XML Summer School in Oxford the week before last, so it does seem
to be a thing. I hope they fix it, because I'd hate to have to go back
to FF since I deleted it from my systems.

///Peter


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Re: printer problem [solved]

Brian-277
In reply to this post by Richard Kimber
On Wed 26 Sep 2018 at 12:14:24 +0100, Richard Kimber wrote:

>  problemOn Tue, 25 Sep 2018 22:05:27 +0100
> Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > My (very limited) understanding is that CUPS should be able to get
> > everything it needs to create a PPD file by querying the printer
> > direct. If it can't (as appears to be the case) then either CUPS is
> > broken and needs an update, or the printer is not capable of talking
> > to CUPS.
>
> Thanks. It turned out, bizarrely, to be a browser problem - though I've
> no idea why the basic ubuntu-mate configuration that I tried initially
> wouldn't work.
>
> After trying the Control Center method, I then tried to access CUPS via
> http://localhost:631 using Chrome browser, but this didn't offer me the
> option of giving my user and password - I just got a blank page saying
> 'Unauthorized' when I selected 'Add Printer'. However, switching to
> Firefox produced the requisite authorisation dialog, and I was able to
> proceed from there.
>
> Thanks for all the suggestions.

Browsers and Control Center method's provide oodles of possibilities to
degrade the process of setting up a print queue. lpadmin is your friend.
If that doesn't succeed, a user has a real problem.

Two simple commands with your printer for successful queue creation:

ippfind -T 5
lpadmin -p <print_queue_name> -v <device-uri> -E -m everywhere

Within three minutes you are on the road.

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