SUMMARY: Print queue problem: could not talk to print service at <node>

From: Jim Winkle (
Date: Thu Nov 30 2000 - 12:33:00 CST

Problem restatement:
A user printed a file once, but the file continued to come out of their
printer, consuming much toner and a small forest. Trying to cancel the
print job with `cancel' yielded (after a 30 second delay):
    could not talk to print service at biocomp

# lpshut
# rm -r /var/spool/lp/tmp /var/spool/lp/temp /var/spool/lp/requests
# /usr/lib/lpsched

Starting lpsched recreated those directories I deleted.

I'm still getting the error message (and 30 second delay):
    could not talk to print service at biocomp
with cancel and lpq, but this may be a seperate problem. 'biocomp' is
the name of the UNIX box on which the printer is queued (same box as I
am executing cancel/lpq on). If anyone has any ideas, send 'em my way.

Cause of the problem:
Most likely caused by a network hangup, which lasted longer than
the printer timeout. Here's how it should work. The spooler sends the
the print job to the printer, which gets broken up into tcp packets. The
printer accepts these packets as it can, handshaking with the server.

If there is REALLY slow network response (as in a network storm), the
server doesn't get the response in time, assumes the printer didn't
get the file, and resends it. The printer itself prints the original,
and the retransmission of it. Things can get pretty confused, and
the spooler can end up sending endless copies of part of or a whole file.

Thanks much to respondants!

Jim Winkle, UNIX System Administrator, UW-Madison, DoIT. Contact info:

BioComp: Other:

Or use 264-HELP for help with services, 262-9507 to reach me directly. S U BEFORE POSTING please READ the FAQ located at N . and the list POLICY statement located at M A To submit questions/summaries to this list send your email message to: N A To unsubscribe from this list please send an email message to: G E and in the BODY type: R unsubscribe sun-managers S Or . unsubscribe sun-managers original@subscription.address L To view an archive of this list please visit: I S T

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:14:24 CDT