Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I used to be able to print over the network, but then one day I received this message:

/usr/lib/cups/backend/lpd failed

This is a printer that I installed myself through the Administration>Printing (Lucid 10.04 Gnome UI).

From the shell, it looks good:

$ lpq
Xerox is ready
no entries

Here are the last few lines of the error log:

$ cat /var/log/cups/error_log
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] STATE: +connecting-to-device
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] Looking up ""...`
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] Connecting to for printer 
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] Connecting to printer...
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] STATE: -connecting-to-device
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] Connected to printer...
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] Connected to (IPv4) (local port 1023)...
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] lpd_command 02 
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] Sending command string (2 bytes)...
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] Reading command status...
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] lpd_command returning 1
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] Backend returned status 1 (failed)
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] End of messages
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] printer-state=3(idle)
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] printer-state-message="/usr/lib/cups/backend/lpd failed"
D [28/Feb/2013:14:07:11 -0800] [Job 472] printer-state-reasons=none

I am at a loss for what to do now. I have tried these things:

  • deleted the printer and reinstalled it
  • turned the printer off and on
  • stopped and restarted cups

Any ideas? Is this something that has to be fixed at the System Administrator level?

share|improve this question
In a matter of weeks Ubuntu 10.04 will be considered off topic in this forum as support ends in April assuming you are not running the Server edition. I would suggest a full backup and a clean install of either Ubuntu 12.04 or Xubuntu 12.04. I'm recommending the LTS versions because they are supported for longer. Try them both from a live CD/DVD or USB stick. Then install the one you prefer. If you still can't get printing to work let us know. – Warren Hill Mar 1 '13 at 8:19
I would have upgraded to Precise Pangolin by now, but I like the Gnome desktop. – Sammy Black Mar 1 '13 at 17:36
You don't have to use Unity. You can try Ubuntu with the Gnome Classic Desktop see here To install it sudo apt-get install gnome-panel I don't like Unity either -- I use it "Gnome Classic". – Warren Hill Mar 1 '13 at 17:54
There is more information in this questionHow to revert to GNOME Classic Desktop? – Warren Hill Mar 1 '13 at 18:02
can you type the ip address in the browser, check what it says? it may say device not attached. – shubhadip pal Jul 26 '13 at 7:35

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.