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In System->Administration->Printing, when choosing a printer's property, we have three options: "print test page" "print self-test page" and "clean print heads".

I was wondering what their differences are? Thanks and regards!

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

A test page is one sent from Ubuntu containing the Ubuntu/CUPS logo and some coloured charts.

A self-test page is a simple command sent to the printer to instruct it to do exactly that - most printers will print out a sheet showing the expected life of their ink cartridges/drum, toner, how many pages they've printed in their life and so on. Having said that, Self-Test Page doesn't work on either my Brother HL-2030 or my HP 2605dn via CUPS. The 2605dn prints "PrintSelfTestPage" and the HL-2030 does nothing!

Clean print heads should be fairly self explanatory though :)

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Thanks! Why do we need to "clean print heads"? – Tim Jan 18 '12 at 17:21
I think it was more relevant in the days of inkjets where ink could frequently dry up in the nozzles and really screw up the print quality. These days with lasers, not so much. I've never pressed that button for my lasers and nothing's stopped working ;) – Caesium Jan 18 '12 at 18:27

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