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CUPS Printer not printing after a power cycle: Unable to write print data: Broken pipe

This document (7006889) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


Novell openSUSE


Printer errors out upon printing a job. The error results from either an incompatible printing format or some other software related issue.   To clear the error and resume printer operation it is necessary to power cycle the printing device. 
Once the printer is back online and display a green status light it does not print any job.  If the workstation sending the print jobs is rebooted the situation does not change and the printer remains in ready mode.  Yet printing from other workstations to the same printer is possible.


On the workstation where print jobs never complete edit the file /etc/cups/printers.conf with a text editor like vi.  Run the following command:

sudo vi /etc/cups/printers.conf

When prompted enter the administrative password for the system.  
Vi will open the file for viewing and editing.  At the top of the file you will note the text highlighted in red below.
You will need to edit the first line and change the string to State Idle.
You will need to delete the second line entirely

Below is what the printers.conf file looks like when the printer is not accepting jobs

# Printer configuration file for CUPS v1.3.9
# Written by cupsd on 2010-06-15 00:28
<DefaultPrinter gutenberg>
Info Brother HL-1470N BR-Script2
Location My office
DeviceURI socket://
State Stopped
StateMessage Unable to write print data: Broken pipe
StateTime 1276586906
Accepting Yes
Shared Yes

Below is what the printers.conf file should look like once the editing is complete.

# Printer configuration file for CUPS v1.3.9
# Written by cupsd on 2010-09-03 12:26
<DefaultPrinter gutenberg>
Info Brother HL-1470N BR-Script2
Location My office
DeviceURI socket://
State Idle
StateTime 1283541947
Accepting Yes
Shared Yes

Save your changes and exit vi.
You will need to restart CUPS on the workstation to reload the configuration information from printers.conf.  Perform the following command to accomplish this:

sudo /usr/sbin/rccups restart

Normal printing operations will resume once the CUPS daemon is restarted.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for NetIQ/Novell/SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7006889
  • Creation Date:22-SEP-10
  • Modified Date:26-APR-12
    • SUSESUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop

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