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Thread: Problem Printing Mailing Labels With Barcodes on OpenSUSE 12.1

  1. #1
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    Default Problem Printing Mailing Labels With Barcodes on OpenSUSE 12.1

    I recently upgraded to OpenSUSE 12.1 from 11.4 and have discovered a problem printing. That is, I cannot print FedEx and/or UPS mailing labels. I think that this may have something to do with the fact that these labels have barcodes. In any event, I have two printers as follows:

    HP OfficeJet 8500A909a
    HP OfficeJet 8500A910

    When I print FedEx and/or UPS mailing labels with Firefox, Okular or Evince then only the non-barcoded part of the label prints. For example, when I print a FedEx label then the top part which includes the barcode is omitted (left blank) but the bottom part, which includes FedEx instructions, does print properly. However, when I print with Adobe Acroread then nothing prints and the following errors are found in /var/log/cups/error_log:

    [Job 96] printer-state-message="/usr/lib/cups/filter/pstoraster failed"
    PID 31000 (/usr/lib/cups/filter/pstoraster) crashed on signal 11.

    There are no error_log entries generated when the label is partially printed (without barcode) with Firefox, Okular and Evince. The only time that error_log entries are generated is when I try to print with Acroread where nothing at all is printed.

    Printing all other documents works fine without any problems.

    I highly suspect that there is a problem with the ghostscript version in OpenSUSE 12.1.

    This problem exists right out of the box for OpenSUSE 12.1. As a test, I installed a fresh copy of OpenSUSE 12.1 under VirtualBox and attempted to print the labels immediately after the installation was complete, however, printing failed as described above.

    Just to rule out hplip, I installed the most current version of hplip (ver. 3.11.12) from HP Linux Imaging and Printing since the current OpenSUSE hplip version is 3.11.10, however, the problem exists with hplip 3.11.12 as well so hplip probably isn't the problem.

    Also, I have two CentOS 5.7 systems that print these labels to the same two printers successfully with older versions of CUPS and hplip.

    I am posting this in hopes that somebody else has experienced this problem and may have a solution. I also plan to file a bug report on this unless somebody comes up with a reasonable explanation.

    Thanks,

    Gordon

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Problem Printing Mailing Labels With Barcodes on OpenSUSE 12.1

    I don't have the answer, but I wanted to share this thread, which may (or may not) have some similarities to your issue. (You may well be right in that it is a bug too).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Problem Printing Mailing Labels With Barcodes on OpenSUSE 12.1

    On 2011-12-23 23:56, gldickens3 wrote:

    > There are no error_log entries generated when the label is partially
    > printed (without barcode) with Firefox, Okular and Evince. The only
    > time that error_log entries are generated is when I try to print with
    > Acroread where nothing at all is printed.


    Bug.

    > Printing all other documents works fine without any problems.


    Try printing to file, and load the file with "gv". Is it correct?


    > I highly suspect that there is a problem with the ghostscript version
    > in OpenSUSE 12.1.


    Yes, there is. IIRC there are newer versions, but the maintainer has no
    time to do the job. The comment about this would be found in one of the
    mail lists. I don't remember the details.

    >
    > This problem exists right out of the box for OpenSUSE 12.1. As a
    > test, I installed a fresh copy of OpenSUSE 12.1 under VirtualBox and
    > attempted to print the labels immediately after the installation was
    > complete, however, printing failed as described above.


    You should report this in Bugzilla.

    As a workaround, maybe you can install 11.4 in VB, and use its printer.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.4 x86_64 "Celadon" at Telcontar)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Problem Printing Mailing Labels With Barcodes on OpenSUSE 12.1

    Hi deano_ferrari and robin_listas,

    Thanks for your very prompt and accurate replies!

    The gist of all this is that printing images with HP printers and OpenSUSE 12.1 is unreliable at best and simply may not work at all. I don't know if this impacts other printer manufacturer's models or not. In any event, this is completely unacceptable for a leading Linux distro, especially with the reasoning that the developer has no time to fix the bug(s). Quite frankly, I am dismayed and unpleasantly surprised that this could happen. The OpenSUSE development team should have never adopted this version of ghostscript if the ghostscript developer is this unreliable for whatever reason. I just switched from Ubuntu to OpenSUSE in July, 2011 and this makes me want to move to another distro. Sorry for my rant but this is just totally unacceptable. Afterall, printing is a very basic requirement for any operating system. Unbelievable!....

    Now that I have that off my chest, I have found a workaround. That is, at both of my locations I have CentOS machines setup as NetBIOS/Samba print servers. I have found that if I set up my OpenSUSE computers to use my CentOS machines as NetBIOS/Samba print servers then printing the images works fine. Likewise, if you don't have existing print server machines then, as vrobin_listas suggested, you can install another OS under VirtualBox (such as CentOS, Windows or OpenSUSE 11.4) and then set it up as your print server. The only downside to using a print server on Virtual Box is that you would have to boot the other OS in VirtualBox everytime that you want to print.

    I have one more question. Shouldn't I post my bug report to the existing bug report at:

    https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=728215

    instead of creating a new bug report since I believe that my problem is a result of the same bug? Alternatively, since there is a slight chance that my problem could be a different bug, should I post a new bug report?

    Thanks,

    Gordon

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Problem Printing Mailing Labels With Barcodes on OpenSUSE 12.1

    On 2011-12-24 15:36, gldickens3 wrote:
    >
    > Hi deano_ferrari and robin_listas,
    >
    > Thanks for your very prompt and accurate replies!


    Welcome. :-)


    > The gist of all this is that printing images with HP printers and
    > OpenSUSE 12.1 is unreliable at best and simply may not work at all.


    It works for me till now. I normally print via the postscript driver.
    I haven't tried in 12.1 yet.


    > I have one more question.


    I would post a new bug.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.4 x86_64 "Celadon" at Telcontar)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Problem Printing Mailing Labels With Barcodes on OpenSUSE 12.1

    OK, I understand my problem better now and have devised a working solution for anyone that may encounter this or a similar problem.

    Firstly, The hpijs driver does not work at all for printing in OpenSUSE. You get the following errors in /var/log/cups/error_log with the hpijs driver:

    [Job 118] prnt/hpijs/hpijs.cpp 638: unable to open PrintContext object err=2
    [Job 118] GPL Ghostscript 9.00: Can't start ijs server "hpijs"
    [Job 118] **** Unable to open the initial device, quitting.
    [Job 118] renderer exited with status 1
    [Job 118] Possible error on renderer command line or PostScript error. Check options.kid3 exited with status 3
    [Job 118] Process is dying with "Error closing renderer

    Interestingly, this driver works fine with an older version of CUPS (1.3.7) and hplip (3.10.6) on my CentOS 5.7 machines so I think this is somehow related to OpenSUSE's implementation of CUPS (version 1.5.0) or hplip (3.11.10).

    So, the solution was to use the hpcups driver for printing. However, then you find the primary problem which led me to start this thread: The hpcups driver will not print some images such as barcodes. So, you solve all this by setting up the printer directly as follows. Access the CUPS interface at http://localhost:631/printers/ and setup the printer's network address as: socket://192.168.2.105:9100. This will be your driver for printing since it will print everything including barcode images, however, it will not work for xsane scanning. So, you then setup another printer for scanning using the hpcups driver.

    Also, as I previously mentioned, you can setup NetBIOS/Samba network printing to work through another networked system OS such as CentOS, Windows, etc where the hpijs driver works for all printing including barcode images, etc. On my networks, all printing, including image printing, works through CentOS print servers.

    In addition to the previously mentioned bug reports, there are additional bug reports posted on these issues here:

    OpenSUSE: https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=688614
    hplip: https://bugs.launchpad.net/hplip/+bug/773374

    FYI,

    Gordon

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Problem Printing Mailing Labels With Barcodes on OpenSUSE 12.1

    We have the same problem with an Epson InkJet Stylus Color 760, so I don't think this is a problem with the HP driver.

    Okular shows the PDF just fine, but some image parts are not printed. This mostly affects barcodes.

    Our workaround is to print to file in postscript format and then print the .ps file, which prints just fine.

    Edit to clarify:
    Printing was fine before the upgrade to 12.1. Printing testpages with Yast and CUPS show no error at all. Thus far, only PDFs are not printed correctly, mostly barcodes missing entirely, and some rendered text (i.e. text that is an image in the PDF and not real selectable text) - so it seems that a few grey tones are just turned to white.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Problem Printing Mailing Labels With Barcodes on OpenSUSE 12.1

    On 2011-12-29 12:06, STurtle wrote:
    >
    > We have the same problem with an Epson InkJet Stylus Color 760, so I
    > don't think this is a problem with the HP driver.
    >
    > Okular shows the PDF just fine, but some image parts are not printed.
    > This mostly affects barcodes.
    >
    > Our workaround is to print to file in postscript format and then print
    > the .ps file, which prints just fine.
    >
    >


    Report in bugzilla...


    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.4 x86_64 "Celadon" at Telcontar)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Problem Printing Mailing Labels With Barcodes on OpenSUSE 12.1

    It seems there have been bugs in ghostscript. There is now a testing package with ghostscript 9.05 which seems to solve these problems (it does for me). Check here:
    https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=735824

    Cheers
    Frank

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