Knowledgebase: PaperCut > Administration
Printer Error Notification Limitations on Linux and Mac
Last modified on 07 June 2012 02:55 PM

PaperCut tracks the error status of a printer. This printer error state is used by PaperCut for various features such as:

  • Error notification emails to administrators.
  • Decide which destination printer to use for a virtual printer in a load-balancing setup.
  • Informing users if they try and release a job to a printer in error during secure print release.
  • Real-time status reporting on the PaperCut dashboard.

Under Windows, there is good support for printer errors due to the appropriate Microsoft APIs as described here: and the driver support which pro-actively monitors the printer. Unfortunately, there is not the same level of printer error support in the CUPS API. Currently in CUPS, the error status is not determined until after sending the print job. This post-event type notification is OK for selected error status related features such as emailing an administrator, but it's too late to be used for features like selecting a printer automatically in a load balancing pool.

We currently have plans to create a Unix process for periodically monitoring the state of the printer via SNMP requests. This will be completely independent of CUPS and a core PaperCut component. R&D in this area is complete, development is done and will be released in PaperCut 12.3.

Does SNMP Hardware Validation Checks help in this situation?

No, it currently does not help. If the Hardware Validation checks are turned on, then the PaperCut backend will block waiting for the printer to get out of the error state, before it even attempts to send on the print job to the printer (via the original CUPS backend).