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Old 03-28-2005, 10:30 AM   #1
mitchloft
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lp:unable to print file:server-error-service-unavailable


I've seen all kinds of posts on the net describing a similar problem to this - but no real solutions or explanations that make sense to me. Here's what's happening:

I have fedora Core 3_64 running on an Athlon 64 3000+ server with a RAID5 arary, 1GB RAM, couple of other EIDE drives I'm using for backups, and several users on the system. I have developed an intense dislike for CUPS (can't get it to work reliably in my environment..) and have installed LPRng on this system - shut off the cupsd daemon. I seem to be able to print fine to all the printers I have connected in various ways whenever I (or any other user) manually ask the system to print something. The lprngtool seems to be able to handle setting up printers and managing them OK (although, It is a bit slow....).

The problem I'm having is when I run a shell script on a crontab that contains an "lp" command: lp -dsystem /absolute/pathname. Whenever the script executes, I get an error emailed to me that states:

lp: unable to print file: server-error-service-unavailable

If I run the very same script from the command line, it seems to be fine. If I enter that same lp command directly at the command line, it works fine.

I -think- this is a CUPS error, but -- in much the same manner as a Microsoft Blue Screen Of Death - there isn't NEARLY enough useful information in this error message to try to debug anything. All it does is tell me there has been a failure - no good indication as to WHY? It doesn't even state for certain that this is a CUPS error, although I -think- it is. The fine folks working on CUPS (and/or FC3) really need to step back a pace here and think about putting some better error messages in place, and leaving the printer-switcher in place until CUPS actually works right FOR EVERYONE. Oops, I'm editorializing.

I -suspect- that perhaps the FC3 kernel and/or the bourne-again shell or cron daemon might have been boogered up to expect that CUPS, and only CUPS, will be providing print services.

Anyway - if anyone out there can help pinpoint EXACTLY what might be causing this error, I'd appreciate the input. Thanks.
 
Old 03-28-2005, 11:42 AM   #2
JohnBoy
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I've had this trouble. In one install (the one I'm on now, actually) I had trouble getting CUPS to run for a bit. AFter it was running I noticed that the group name on my /home/username directory had been changed to lpadmin. It sounds to me like you are hitting a permissions barrier, so thought I'd mention the lpadmin thing. I do not know what caused the change or what changed it.
 
Old 03-28-2005, 12:45 PM   #3
mitchloft
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Yes, seems to me I noticed some goofy stuff like that when I had CUPS running too. Now, however I do NOT have cups running, I'm running LPRng. I'll have a peek at the groups in the /root directory (that's he "user" running the cron scripts I'm having a problem with) and see if I can spot anything amiss. Nooooo, I don't see anything here that looks odd. Everything in /var/spool/lpd is owned by "daemon" and is in the "daemon" group - which I'm thinking is probably right since everything prints OK when it's a "live" request. Guess I'll keep looking.

Thanks...
 
Old 03-29-2005, 12:26 PM   #4
mitchloft
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OK - I -think- I have this particular problem solved. In the shell script I was running, I had a redirected print output from the database manager that was originally set to print to a specific printer - which WAS a proper printer and was correctly set up and working. Somehow, redirecting the print output in the background cron process boogered that up (???? no idea how/why). It -seems- to have been fixed by just going into the original print output definition and removing the specific printer, letting the defined print output go to the system default printer. Now, I don't get the error and the print output is redirected as instructed. I don't know why this should work, but it seems to.
 
  


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