[cups] If you can read this, you are using the wrong driver for your printer.

Johannes Meixner jsmeix at suse.de
Wed Apr 11 03:06:59 PDT 2018


first and foremost:
It is neither an issue in CUPS which driver you set up
nor is it an issue in CUPS when a driver does not do
what you expect because printer driver software is
separated additional software "outside" of CUPS, cf.

On Apr 11 03:36 Paul Neuwirth wrote (excerpt):

> I just installed my brand new EPSON LX-1050+ printer, using defaults
> from cups (fully compatiblew EPSON LX-1050 model), the ppd is
> up-to-date.

But you do not use a PPD with a driver in your setup.
Wherever "the ppd is" on your system, you don't use it.

> https://openprinting.org/printer/Epson/Epson-LX-1050+
> says "works Perfectly"

It "works Perfectly" provided you use the 'epson' driver,
whatever "perfectly" actually means when printing on a
(black-only) dot matrix printer in raster graphics mode
(cf. below) - i.e. as "perfectly" as that piece of
printing hardware can do it.

> But the printout (test page) seems to be just some script,
> what is not what I expect from "works Perfectly"

Just assume the root cause could be even you who
did not "work perfectly" when setting up your printer
and you may describe your problems with your printer
in a bit different tone to those who might be able
to provide help for free to you with your specific
problem with your particular printer model.

> %!
> userdict dup(\004)cvn{}put (\004\004)cvn{}put
> %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
> %%%% If you can read this, you are using the wrong driver for your printer. %%%%
> %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

You get plain PostScript sent to your printer
but there is no driver run because
in your error_log there is only:

> ... Started filter /usr/lib/cups/filter/commandtops (PID 3180)
> ... Started backend /usr/lib/cups/backend/ipp (PID 3181)
> ... PID 3180 (/usr/lib/cups/filter/commandtops) exited with no errors.
> ... PID 3181 (/usr/lib/cups/backend/ipp) exited with no errors.


In gerenal regarding using dot matrix printers in nowadays
computing environments you may have a look at the sections
about "Printing Plain Text in Printer-Specific Encoding" in

Because you talk about "diver" I wonder if you really
intend to print nowadays arbitrary complex documents
in raster graphics mode on a dot matrix printer?

Printer drivers usually output printer-specific raster data
that is sent (by a CUPS backend) to the printer device.

Usually raster graphics mode on a dot matrix printer
is far too slow to be useful in practice for printing
nowadays arbitrary complex documents.

I think nowadays dot matrix printers are only used to
print plain text characters which are sent directly
(i.e. without any diver software in between)
to the printer device.

E.g. you have a file that contains plain text characters
in the right encoding for your dot matrix printer
e.g. plain ASCII or another 8-bit single-byte encoding
like ISO-8859-1 or the IBM PC character encoding
but usually no multibyte encoding like UTF-8, cf.

When you have a file that contains characters in the right
encoding for your dot matrix printer or when you have an
application that can output characters in the right encoding
for your dot matrix printer, you can send that "as is"
to the printer device by setting up a CUPS print queue
without any driver i.e. a so called "raw" queue,
cf. "raw" in "The Filter (includes the Driver)" at

Johannes Meixner
SUSE LINUX GmbH - GF: Felix Imendoerffer, Jane Smithard,
Graham Norton - HRB 21284 (AG Nuernberg)

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