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Old 10-06-2016, 08:56 AM   #1
Dynosaw3
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Firefox printout is illegible (CUPS & hp P1102w)


Dear People,

My hp P1102w laser printer, recently installed, produces illegible
printout when called by FireFox. The result is simply a series of
horizontal smudges. With other programs, the printout is OK.
Can someone please give me advice as to where/how to start diagnosing
the cause of the problem. My knowlege of CUPS and the print stream
is very elementary.

SYSTEM INFO:
Printer: Hewlett-Packard P1102w (black/white) laser printer.
Platform: Debian 8.6; CUPS 1.7.5 ; hplip 3.16.8 ; hp prorietary driver

SYMPTOMS
1. Problem only occurs with Firefox and transmission to P1102w
printer. Tests with html text and jpeg files fail. No other
format tried. I can sent a scan copy of a printed page if
required.
2. Indirect print, i.e. print Firefox output to pdf file and then send
pdf file to P1102w printer works OK.
3. FireFox print preview works OK, also for html and jpeg.
4. No problems found with other programs (OpenOffice, gv, gimp,
evince, gedit).
5. Firefox's " about:config " didn't provide any clues.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

Cheers,
Dynosaw
--
 
Old 10-06-2016, 02:34 PM   #2
JeremyBoden
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What happens if (assuming you use CUPS) you print to a PDF file?

Assuming the PDF file makes sense, you could print it to your actual printer.
 
Old 10-06-2016, 04:14 PM   #3
Dynosaw3
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Jeremy:

You wrote:
> What happens if (assuming you use CUPS) you print to a PDF file?

See point 2. of my initial posting.
Or have I misunderstood what you are trying to tell me??

Dynosaw
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:44 PM   #4
c0wb0y
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What happens if you toggle between different font types under Preference, or even untick 'Allow pages....'?
 
Old 10-06-2016, 06:01 PM   #5
JeremyBoden
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Sorry - I didn't read what you wrote properly.

Do very simple web pages (no java, javascript etc) suffer from the problem?
You can save LibreOffice (perhaps OpenOffice too) files as html files - do they suffer from the Firefox problems?

Have you tried using an alternate browser such as Chromium or Opera?
(Just to see what happens).
 
Old 10-06-2016, 07:11 PM   #6
ferrari
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I recall that the PDF workflow (involving pdftops CUPS filter) moved from using Poppler to Ghostscript instead. This doesn't work well with some printers apparently. I'm not sure if this is related to the problem being described here, but the fact that you can print a PDF file successfully, but not from firefox did raise a flag for me. I apologise in advance if I'm on the wrong track with this, but FWIW the following might be helpful

https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....3#post12094433

In particular
Quote:
You can run the following commands in a terminal window for switching between Ghostscript and Poppler:

lpadmin -p <printer> -o pdftops-renderer-default=gs
lpadmin -p <printer> -o pdftops-renderer-default=pdftops
So, you could try switching to the pdftops renderer and then see whether printing from firefox is any different

See the README on this page too

https://github.com/Distrotech/cups-filters

This might be helpful to you too

https://wiki.debian.org/Dissecting%2...nting%20System
 
Old 10-07-2016, 04:44 AM   #7
Dynosaw3
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First of all, People, thanks for responding to
my call for help. Sorry that my reply is so long,
but I reporting results on most suggestions.

Just for total clarity: I understand that the P1102w
is NOT a pdf printer (that probably why you need hp's
prorietary software driver). When I said "indirect"
printing, I meant
Firefox >> PrinToFile(output.pdf) >> save it on desktop
Open output.pdf with Evince doc.Viewer >> print with hp P1102w
That indirect route does work OK, but it's not elegant.

Taking the suggestings in no particular order:

1. > Have you tried using an alternate browser
> such as Chromium or Opera? (Just to see
> what happens).

Good Idea. It helps to isolate the villain in the piece.
I downloaded/installed Chromium 53.0.2785.113-1-den8ul
and (after some finger trouble, coz I am unfamiliar
with Chromium) attemped to print my ISP's opening page.
The result was the same old illegible horizontal smudges
that I complained about originally.

2. > You can save LibreOffice files as html files -
> do they suffer from the Firefox problems?

I tried this. The html file lost all the tabs in the
original LibreOffice .odt text document. The printer
hung up so I looked at the HTML code and deleted the
only statement containing something like
"fontFamily DroidSansFallback"
(The other statements referred to DejaVuSans).
Saved/reloaded the modified HTML file and the printer
gave the same old horizontal smudges again.

3. > Do very simple web pages suffer from the problem?
Yes. My opening page on FireFox is a <table> of URLs
hand-coded in the simple HTML-2 (or 3?) that was used
in the 1990's. There are no font/pointSize directives
in the code. Again the same old horizontal smudge.

4. > What happens if you toggle between different font
> types under Preference, or even untick 'Allow pages....'?
I'm not sure I understand this suggestion completely
(my shortcoming) but here's what I did. I opened FireFox's
Preferences/Content and dug into "Fonts and Colours" and
set the following options:
Latin fonts
Proportional: SansSerif 16 point.
Serif: DejaVuSerif
SansSerif: DejaVuSans
MonoSpace: DejaVuMono 12 point.
Un-ticked "Allow pages to choose own fonts"
Again, the printout was the same old horizontal smudges.

5. > You can run the following commands in a terminal window
> for switching between Ghostscript and Poppler:
Your comments about past troubles are noted, but I'm "out of
my depth" here. I did look at FireFox's about:config and
searched on "Allow". Here's what I found, but I don't know
if it is relevant,
noscript:allowPackageLevel default integer 0
noscript.temp.AllowPage default string
noscript.show.AllowPage default boolean true
noscript.temp.TempAllowPage default boolean true

> lpadmin -p <printer> -o pdftops-renderer-default=gs
> lpadmin -p <printer> -o pdftops-renderer-default=pdftops
I haven't tried this yet, but I do have a question before
I start.
How do I snapshot the current configuration, in case I
have to go back to that? I get very nervous when changing
configurations I don't understand.

Again thanks, everybody.
Cheers,
Dynosaw
--
 
Old 10-07-2016, 04:08 PM   #8
ferrari
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If you want to try changing the renderer you just invoke it via a terminal. Use your actual printer name as reported by
Code:
lpstat -a
Substitute <printer> for the real name in the next command...
Code:
sudo lpadmin -p <printer> -o pdftops-renderer-default=pdftops
Try printing from firefox again. Any different?

It actually adds an entry in /etc/cups/printers.conf for the printer specified
Code:
Option pdftops-renderer pdftops
To remove it again, do
Code:
sudo lpadmin -p <printer> -R pdftops-renderer-default
 
Old 10-08-2016, 04:28 AM   #9
Dynosaw3
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Ferrarri,
Thanks for your advice, which is much appreciated.

> in root terminal: lpadmin -p <printer> -o pdftops-renderer-default=pdftops

lpadmin modified file /etc/cups/printers.conf as you predicted.
Unfortunately attempts to print out of FireFox gave no improvement and the
horizontal smudges were produced. What now??

BTW. I set the logging directive in /etc/cups/error_log to "debug" and later
inspected error log's profuse contents after printing out of FireFox, but
could find nothing that indicated an error.
(But I don't understand the file and I wasn't sure what I was looking for.)

In a terminal: lpr <filename.html> simply listed the html code faultlessly!

Cheers,
Dynosaw.
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:48 AM   #10
ferrari
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Quote:
Ferrarri,
Thanks for your advice, which is much appreciated.

> in root terminal: lpadmin -p <printer> -o pdftops-renderer-default=pdftops

lpadmin modified file /etc/cups/printers.conf as you predicted.
Unfortunately attempts to print out of FireFox gave no improvement and the
horizontal smudges were produced. What now??
Ok, well it was worth a shot. A bug report might be the next logical step.

The Debian CUPS debugging guide that I linked to previously is worth a read. In particular, the 'Capturing the File which is received by CUPS' and 'Capturing the File which is Sent to the Printer' sections.
 
Old 10-08-2016, 05:18 AM   #11
Dynosaw3
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Ferrari,

Thanks for your reaction and help.
As a last question for now, where
should I send the bug report?
Do you know the e-mail address?

Meanwhile I'll keep this thread
provisionally open, pending reaction
to the bug report.

Again thanks for your help, everybody.
We've narrowed down the field a little.

Cheers,
Dynosaw
--
 
Old 10-08-2016, 05:37 AM   #12
ferrari
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Here you go

https://www.debian.org/Bugs/Reporting
 
Old 10-08-2016, 01:49 PM   #13
Dynosaw3
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Folks,
For some reason, which I am at a loss to explain,
the problem seems to have righted itself.
The only thing I can think of, is that, after the
last posting I changed the /etc/cups/cupsd.conf
file from the original version that was provided
with the Debian 8.6 distro to one closer to (but
not identical to) a model cupsd.conf file given at
<http://www.debianadmin.com/setup-cups-common-unix-printing-system-server-and-client-in-debian.html>.

Whilst I'm glad that the trouble seems to be over,
I find it very unsatisfactory to have no deterministic
explanation for the cause of the cure.

As far as I'm concerned, this thread is closed.

Thanks again to all who gave their inputs.
Cheers,
Dynosaw.
 
Old 10-08-2016, 03:18 PM   #14
ferrari
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Hi Dynosaw. Glad to read that printing is now working for you, but I can't imagine that anything in cupsd.conf would have helped here. It is fr configuring the CUPS server. It would have been good to see your working printers.conf file though.
 
  


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