OSX Server: Print Queues Periodically Go Dead--WHY?!

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Makosuke, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I have very little hope of finding a solution for this, but I have been having the most maddening problem with our XServe (G5, running Server 10.3.9) at work and after ignoring it for over a year I'm now determined to find a fix somehow.

    The what of the problem is pretty simple: I have two printers connected to the XServe via Ethernet (a new-ish Brother and an old color laser QMS), each set up to be shared via LPR.

    No quotas, all the proper PPDs are there, the printers are supported, and they work just fine.

    ...for about a week. Then, for NO apparent reason, the queue will die. After a whole lot of banging my head against walls I eventually figured out that the spool folder for the "stalled" printer would have some corrupted print jobs in it that would cause the print daemon to crash immediately after starting.

    This doesn't, of course, show up in the printer logs (only the system logs), so it was hard to figure this out. Further, the Admin tool doesn't actually remove the spool folder for that queue name when you delete it, so unless you go in and manually clean it out, even deleting and recreating the printer won't fix it (recreating the printer under another name will, but then you have to go around and change the settings on 15 computers in the office).

    So I know WHAT is happening pretty well, and I know how to fix it, although having your print queue die every week gets old REAL fast. But what I just can't seem to figure out, and so far Google has been of no assistance with, is WHY this is happening--what causes these corrupt job files to become corrupt, and how come the daemon can't handle them on its own?

    Has anybody seen something like this? ANY idea what might be going on?

    And yes, I could upgrade it to 10.4, but I've heard from several people that the problem isn't resolved by Tiger.

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