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I have a printer capable of printing high res photos on photo paper, and duplex documents on plain A4.

I have set the printer up twice (i.e. two separate printers pointing to the same URI) using the CUPS interface at http://localhost:631, once called Documents, once called Photos. For each of these instances I have set up the appropriate defaults (media type, size, print quality, duplex...). CUPS seems to remember these fine but applications (e.g. LibreOffice, EOG, firefox ... under Gnome Shell FWIW) seem to have some weird other default that bears no resemblance to either the defaults I set up, nor the last settings I used with any particular application.

It's a problem because there are so many settings to change that it adds a couple of minutes to each and every print job. Inevitably I forget one or two and end up having to reprint the job.

Seems there must be somewhere that these defaults get stored? Anyone shed any light on it?

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Are you sure these apps are able to do that ? CUPS can do that not sure about others. Also try asking in – Suhaib Feb 8 '13 at 21:50
An app is able to use and configure a printer. So if an app can choose a printer, and that printer is set up a particular way, it does not place any further feature requirements on the app itself. The question is why apps are not using printers' defaults – artfulrobot Feb 10 '13 at 8:29

2 Answers 2

I came across this page because I had a problem in assigning multiple queues with one printer. That is: (in my case) 1. A4 Duplex Colour 2. A4 Duplex Mono 3. A4 Single Manual Black and White . It took me two days but it is here that I found the answer: search for: A LPD runs on the device and provides one or more LPD queues.

And now I can explain that somewhere in the far past it work (yes, than I had LPD defined) and all of a sudden I lost it.

So let cups know: - Print via Network - Connection Wizard --> OK - select Line Printer Deamon --> Connection Settings IP address e.g.: (no lpd:// in front: cups will fill this in) Give it a queue name e.g: A4DUPCOL and go ahead.....

and you are on...


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I have three CUPS print queues configured with the same printer URI. Queue "deskjet" is configured with my local standard paper, queue "Legal" is configured with "Legal" size paper, and queue "Envelopes" is configured for #10 Envelopes. "Legal" and "Envelopes" queues are stopped (via cupsdisable).

First, add the queue in CUPS (http://localhost:631), then use Administration->Modify Printer to change the paper type and other characteristics.

I use my setup like this:

# print to the Envelope queue ( select Envelope queue in your app)
envelope .envelope/addresses/Friend4 | lpr -PEnvelope 
cupsdisable deskjet
# remove regular paper, load envelopes
cupsenable Envelope
# wait until envelope is printed, then
cupsdisable Envelope
cupsenable deskjet
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Thanks, but I don't understand how this answers the question. Sounds like you've got a set up like me (same printer, multiple queues with different defaults/preferences/options). Are you saying that your apps recognise the defaults when the other queues are stopped? Even with just one queue my apps don't pick up the default :-( – artfulrobot Mar 22 '13 at 16:44
I set each app's default queue the way the app says (lpr -P, lpdest command, app preferences, environment variables). Which programs are you having trouble with? – waltinator Apr 12 '13 at 7:06
eog in particular. But none of the apps I've tried (firefox, eog, libreoffice) seem to pickup the default media size. – artfulrobot Apr 12 '13 at 16:35

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