[cups] Printed area offset from paper area

G.W. Haywood ged at jubileegroup.co.uk
Sun Nov 2 15:34:02 PST 2014

Hi there,

Thanks for getting back to me.

On Sun, 2 Nov 2014, Helge Blischke wrote:

> (1) describe your configuration, especially how your Windows
> printers are configured and connected to CUPS.

I'm afraid I don't really understand the question.  There are dozens
of printers and dozens of Windows machines and about a dozen servers
in the domain.  Do you want me to describe the whole thing?  It would
take me days to write such a document and even if I were allowed to
publish it (I would not be) it would take you weeks to digest it all,
if you ever did!  There are very few 'Windows printers', by which I
mean printers directly connected to Windows machines, and the few of
them that there are unsurprisingly give no problems printing from the
Windows machines to which they are connected.  The majority of the
printers are directly connected to the LAN, they are thus neither
'Windows printers' nor 'Linux printers', they are just 'printers'.  I
can describe one printer for example, and one Windows machine, and how
that machine prints to that printer via CUPS in case that will help:

The Windows machine (Windows XP Pro) prints via CUPS using the usual
menus presented by Windows for printing.  To add the printer is a
matter of using the menu options 'Start->Printers&faxes->Add printer
->network printer ->connect to a printer on the Internet'.  The URL
given is e.g. ""
which is the "scheme/IP address:port/.../QueueName" of a Linux box
CUPS printer queue as you would expect.  The Windows machine can use
either the generic 'Imagesetter' driver supplied with Windows or the
driver supplied by Brother.  Either way the print is unsatisfactory.
The CUPS server can use 'raw' printing, or a generic PPD file, or the
PPD file supplied by Brother for Linux/CUPS.  All methods produce
similar unsatisfactory results.  The same printer is visible both as a
normal Windows network printer and through CUPS.  Printing the exact
same job (from a Windows accounting application called 'Exchequer') to
the same printer using Windows printing directly to the printer with
the Windows driver (installed using the 125Mbyte Brother installer)
produces perfect results.  Sending that same print job through CUPS is
guaranteed to trash the print job.  It's as if the printing mechanism
somehow forgets both the size of the paper and the printable area.

Unfortunately at the moment I only have confidential printouts which
I can't show you but I'll try to produce some publishable prints of
garbage and scan them so that you can see the results together with
the debug output you request below.

> (2) switch on debug-logging (cupsctl ?debug-logging), print a test
> job which exhibits the issue, and post (an URL to) the portion of
> CUPS?s error_log which refers to that job.

Debug logging has been turned on for a while :( so that won't be a
problem, but I won't be able to do it for a day or two as I have some
commitments early in the week.

PS: Before you tell me that XP is EOL, the XP machines are firewalled
so they can't communicate with the Internet.  The particular version
of accounting software which I've mentioned doesn't run on any later
version of Windows.  That's another issue which is currently in hand.
The same problems are present when printing from Windows 7 Pro.



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