Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Weird CUPS printing problem

Since I installed Ubuntu's Feisty Fawn my user impressions have been very good. However, some days ago I experience a weird problem when my system began to work erratically. I was not expecting it so it took me some time till I realized my filesystem was full. I did not understand why that was happening as the last time I checked there where more than 7GB of free space on that partition. But the first trouble sign was that print jobs where not printed.

After some confusion I realized I had 7GB /var/log/cups/error_log file. So that was the cause of my trouble. Inside the file I had millions of lines with the error message "Too many open files". It was clear there was a problem with the printing system.

I googled for that and I learned there were not one but two different reports of a similar problem. Just restarting the printing system was restoring the service (but not deleting the error_log file).

As soon as I removed the error_log file and restarted cups I was back on, but I join the bug process and it seems that now the problem is fixed (but the fix is still manual though I guess it will be soon included in the automatic system updates). In the mean time, you can use the proposed patch. Happy printing!!

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