[Samba] Occasional printing to /dev/null with Windows 7

Peter Schaefer peter.schaefer at gmx.de
Tue Mar 2 11:35:04 MST 2010


I'm looking after a small office with several PCs that is using Samba for many years now; however it was Samba 3.2.x 
with Windows 2000 clients.

Now they bought entirely new PCs, of course with Windows 7 pre-installed. I managed to successfully move the setup over 
to Samba 3.3.10, 3.4.5 and now 3.4.6. Everything is working fine, however one problem stubbornly resists to go away: 
"Ghost Printing".

That phrase means that a print job sent to a samba printer is just spooled normally, it appears in the print job list of 
the Windows client, seemingly is printed and vanishes from the print job list. No error is displayed, the printer is 
shown as "ready" and can be seen in the "Network Neighborhood" just normally.

However, the print job that was spooled never gets printed. Printing system is CUPS and it can be deduced from the CUPS 
logs that the job was never given to CUPS.

What drives me mad is that this behavior is sporadic and somehow connected to the logon session of the user. It may 
happen that the user can print just fine several days in a row and it stops working the next day. Often it helps to just 
reboot the Windows client PC (just logging the user off and on again leads to "The User Profile Service failed the logon 
- User profile cannot be loaded" error in 80% of the cases).

Well; of course i combed through the samba smbd.log file at several log levels but honestly, i did not really recognize 
a error message that is related to cups printing (Samba logs are a bit too much on the chatty side for me...).

So, did anybody see similar problems? Or anything i could try to close in on the error?


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