Debian 9 Stretch Print Server

Kernels & Hardware, configuring network, installing services

Debian 9 Stretch Print Server

Postby newb2debian » 2018-02-11 14:42

Hello...

I'm pretty new to Debian and I have to say that I like it very much; my favorite distro. I installed Debian 9 Stretch with the print server option. I connected my Debian computer to a switch that my wireless is connected to and my wireless Mac computers, iPhones and iPads are able to print with no problems. Recently however, something has occurred that's not letting my wireless devices print yet nothing has changed in my hardware, network, or anything else except for apt-get updating my Debian computer. I've done as much troubleshooting as I can with no definitive answers. Can the Debian print server shut itself off? Is there a way to restart the Debian print server? If there is an answer to this, I may need a bit of a walk through on fixing it seeing that I'm still new to Debian. Any suggestions would be most helpful. Thank you.
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Re: Debian 9 Stretch Print Server

Postby GarryRicketson » 2018-02-11 15:28

1.Can the Debian print server shut itself off?
I've done as much troubleshooting as I can with no definitive answers. Can the Debian print server shut itself off? Is there a way to restart the Debian print server?

It is hard , if not impossible to give a definitive answer ,when the question
has no definitive details, there are many types of printers, here they mostly talk about HP,
First hit, in the search results:
https://wiki.debian.org/SystemPrinting
Stopping and starting print queues. Acceptance and rejection of jobs sent to a destination: --snip--

====
Printer Status and Control

For a full picture of whether the scheduler (cupsd) is running, what the system default destination is, whether a queue is accepting jobs and what is yet to be printed you can do

Code: Select all
lpstat -t


Any suggestions would be most helpful

Read the link in my signature, about asking a question the smart way.
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Re: Debian 9 Stretch Print Server

Postby Bulkley » 2018-02-11 16:02

I don't envy you having to troubleshoot this. The problem can be in the computer (hardware or software), the printer (hardware or software), or somewhere in between (again, hardware or software). Most likely the snag is something so small that we tend to ignore it like a misspelled password. It's pull the hair out kick the bin time.

Break the problem down to its smallest bits. Rather than trying to solve the entire server try to print directly from the server machine. Etc. Make notes on everything you do.

I'd be tempted to rename the print configuration (temporarily) and create a new one. Try renewing the print driver in the server machine.
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Re: Debian 9 Stretch Print Server

Postby newb2debian » 2018-02-11 16:22

I apologize for offending anyone on the forum for not asking a question the smart way. I was just hoping to receive suggestions. After this post, I'll try not to post any more questions here unless I absolutely have to.

Before posting: I read the Debian documentation; I'm able to ping the server and all network devices with no issues; a packet capture doesn't show anything that's blocking the print server from receiving packets; the printer is an Epson ET-4550 that's been working for some time in the configuration that I have it and for some reason it just stopped; the printer works fine as I can print from the print server itself as I printed a test page; an lpstat -t shows the "scheduler is running" and provides my printer information although it does say "no system default destination"; the lpstat -t also shows lpd://<ip address>:515/PASSTRHU where ip address is my printer's correct ip address. When I want to print wireless using my MacBook Pro and I check the Preferences | Printers & Scanners, my printer's entry shows that it is it's an ippserver and that it's "Offline". I'm wondering if Debian uses Avahi to allow other devices to find the printer and if so could it have stopped?
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Re: Debian 9 Stretch Print Server

Postby shep » 2018-02-11 19:31

This can depend on either the printer settings and/or your cups settings.

Printer settings: Some printers have both infrastructure and ad-hoc wireless modes Some printers also have ethernet connections.

How is your printer connected: wireless ad-hoc, wireless infrastructure, ethernet or usb?

Cups settings: It sounds like you are trying to print via the cups server rather than directly to the printer. A usb connected printer has to go through a print server, the other connection types (wireless and ethernet) can bypass the print server. If you are using a cups server you have to check the "share" box in the configuration interface.
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Re: Debian 9 Stretch Print Server

Postby newb2debian » 2018-02-11 20:56

The printer is connected by ethernet. Everything is configured correctly; I triple checked.

The "Share" box is checked on the Cups server; I triple checked.

Wireless printing was working and then all of a sudden it stopped. My wireless laptops, iPhones and iPads were able to print and now not. Nothing changed except for apt-get updating the computer that the print server is installed on. Thanks for the response though.
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Re: Debian 9 Stretch Print Server

Postby shep » 2018-02-11 21:41

Several things can make it messy.

I'm wondering if Debian uses Avahi


If cups is sharing the printer, it will "advertise" the printers availability to the network. In this case the print job goes iPhone -wifi-> SOHO wireless/router -?-> Debian print server ->Back to SOHO -ethernet cable -> printer Given that your lost your phone/pad/laptop connections after an upgrade, I wonder if this is your setup?

1) If it is connected by ethernet cable to a SOHO wireless/router, you do not need the cups server at all.
2) If the printer has a dhcp assigned IP address, it can change. It is best to use static addresses for printers
3) Your iPhones/iPads/Wireless laptops can connect via the printers wireless card 2 ways; infrastructure :iPhone -> SOHO -> printer or ad-hoc: iPhone -> printer. My neighbors HP printer offered to turn off wireless when I plugged in a patch cable from SOHO to printer but it was not mandatory, both ethernet and wifi can be active. And some printers can have both ad-hoc wireless (for guests) and infrastructure active. It can even be possible that network discovery found both the ethernet and wifi routes - are you confident you selected the ethernet IP address?

In contrast to the print path above, you can go iPhone -wifi-> SOHO router -ethernet cable-> printer. This will encrypt your print jobs (once not twice) from wireless devices, prevents your neighbors from printing on your printer via an open wifi connection and will work when the Debian print server is powered off.

What I recommend, it to assign the printer a static IP address via ethernet. These are usually rock solid and durable. Static connects will not change after power outages. Then, if you do not need guest access, turn off the printers wireless cards so that all print jobs pass through the SOHO router. Turn off sharing in CUPs and then setup the iPhone/iPad/Laptops to send the print job to the static IP address. You should be able to do this with the computer hosting the Debian print server turned off. The jetdirect port 9100 (socket:///<IPaddress:9100>) is usually reliable and given the option, is what I choose.
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Re: Debian 9 Stretch Print Server

Postby newb2debian » 2018-02-11 22:04

The printer is already configured with a static IP address and wireless is not configured; the printer is on my LAN. My Wireless and my LAN are two different /24 networks with a rule in my router set to pass traffic from the static IP address set on my print server to the static IP address and port on my printer. It was working fine with no issues.

I don't want to have to set a DHCP reservation for each individual wireless device in my router. I will have to do some research and figure out a way to send print jobs direct to the printer from my wireless devices, however, my wireless devices need to be able to find the printer, or see the printer, before a print job can be sent to the printer.
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Re: Debian 9 Stretch Print Server

Postby shep » 2018-02-11 22:51

and wireless is not configured

Does this mean the printers wireless card is on and unencrypted? Your iPhone/iPad should find this.

two different /24 networks with a rule in my router set to pass traffic from the static IP address set on my print server to the static IP address and port on my printer. It was working fine with no issues.
. The term "rule" can be used for firewall (iptable) rules or routes. For clarity, I want to be sure your are defining a route.
https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/84552/set-persistent-routing-table-on-debian and http://www.tp-link.com/us/faq-560.html. It sound like you have a routing table rule(s) to route wireless network <=> LAN/Debian print server? Was this done for accounting? It is simpler to have the routes go directly to the printer: wireless network <=> LAN/Printer
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Re: Debian 9 Stretch Print Server

Postby newb2debian » 2018-02-12 00:15

If I try to setup wireless on the printer itself, it will see SSIDs. I've looked in the web interface of the printer to determine what's selected in Wifi. In Services | Wi-Fi Direct, the Connection Mode is set to Off and Connection Method is set to Not Set. I'm not sure if this means the wireless card is on and unencrypted or not.

That's correct, I have a rule that routes network 2 traffic, wireless - WLAN, to the printer which is on network 1, wired - LAN. This wasn't done for accounting, this was done to segregate my WLAN from my LAN. I just need access to my printer from both my LAN and my WLAN.

Without any pictures, the print path/job would be directed:
network 2 - wireless device print job => wireless ap => switch => print server => Router with rule => network 1 - printer
I hope that makes sense. As I mention, this was working for the longest time and now it's not.

I'm not sure how I would configure each wireless device on my WLAN to send print jobs direct to the printer on my LAN when they are on different networks without having a rule set in my router to allow the traffic to pass. Even with this rule in place, the printer is not recognized right now. When I first setup my wireless devices for the printer, the printer was automagically recognized; all you had to do was select the printer and you could print to it. Easy.
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Re: Debian 9 Stretch Print Server

Postby shep » 2018-02-12 00:42

I'm confused on this. Say you had a simple printer with just a usb connection to your Debian system. If you checked share in the cups web interface, the Debian computers IP and port 631 would be the cups print server. When sharing is not checked, it just provides printing for the Debian machine. When sharing is checked, via avahi/network discovery, it advertises the printer server to the network. This would allow an older usb only printer to provide network printing services. There are also small print servers that connect via ethernet to usb/parallel port of a printer. More expensive printers come with ethernet cards/wireless cards built in. The cups print server on the Debian machine or an independent print server or the one built in to the printer could each function as a print server. I would expect that a Debian upgrade would only bork the cups print server on the debian machine

network 2 - wireless device print job => wireless ap => switch => print server => Router with rule => network 1 - printer

This would diagram as
network 2 - wireless device print job => wireless ap => switch =>Router with rule => print server(?Debian machine) - printer. Note that printers with an ethernet port can also have a built in print server. It is possible to have the cups print server send the job to a second print server.
As far as wireless setting on the printer, different printer manufacturers use different terms but I'm guessing that in the web interface to the printer, you can select infrastructure vs ad-hoc (?direct) and if each of those is wpa2 or wep or open?
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