System Administration Guide: Printing

Troubleshooting Idle (Hung) Printers

You might find a printer that is idle, even though it has print requests queued to it.

A printer might seem idle when it should not be for one of the following reasons:

Check the Print Filters

Slow print filters run in the background to avoid tying up the printer. A print request that requires filtering will not print until it has been filtered.

Check Printer Faults

When the LP print service detects a fault, printing resumes automatically, but not immediately. The LP print service waits about five minutes before trying again, and continues trying until a request is printed successfully. You can force a retry immediately by enabling the printer.

Check Network Problems

When printing files over a network, you might encounter the following types of problems:

Print Requests Backed Up in the Local Queue

Print requests submitted to a print server might back up in the client system queue for the following reasons:

While you are tracking the source of the problem, you should stop new requests from being added to the queue. See How to Accept or Reject Print Requests for a Printer for more information.

Print Requests Backed Up in the Remote Queue

If print requests back up in the print server queue, the printer has probably been disabled. When a printer is accepting requests, but not processing them, the requests are queued to print. Unless there is a further problem, once the printer is enabled, the print requests in the queue should print.