My printer no longer shows up in my Settings -> Devices GUI menu. Instead it says "Sorry! The system printing service doesn't seem to be available."

I tried searching the 'net for ideas and I ran these terminal commands with the following output:

john@john-max:~$ sudo service cups restart
john@john-max:~$ systemctl status cups

● cups.service - CUPS Scheduler
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/cups.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: failed (Result: start-limit-hit) since Mon 2018-08-13 15:07:46 EDT; 14s ago
     Docs: man:cupsd(8)
  Process: 3314 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/cupsd -l (code=killed, signal=TERM)
 Main PID: 3314 (code=killed, signal=TERM)
Aug 13 15:07:46 john-max systemd[1]: cups.service: Service hold-off time over, scheduling restart.
Aug 13 15:07:46 john-max systemd[1]: cups.service: Scheduled restart job, restart counter is at 5.
Aug 13 15:07:46 john-max systemd[1]: Stopped CUPS Scheduler.
Aug 13 15:07:46 john-max systemd[1]: cups.service: Start request repeated too quickly.
Aug 13 15:07:46 john-max systemd[1]: cups.service: Failed with result 'start-limit-hit'.
Aug 13 15:07:46 john-max systemd[1]: Failed to start CUPS Scheduler.

john@john-max:~$ sudo apt-get install cups
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
cups is already the newest version (2.2.7-1ubuntu2.1).
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.

One thing which might matter: I recently opened Startup Applications and accidentally over-deleted some things there and don't know what they were. Maybe something for the printer service was in there?

I also tried re-installing my printer drivers for my printer but it just says already installed.

On Ubutnu Software as well as by running

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

I show my software as all up to date.

I'm fairly novice so if you tell me what to do, if possible, please give me the actual terminal command.

  • Did you run sudo apt-get install --reinstall cups – George Udosen Aug 13 '18 at 20:08
  • Thanks for the reply. Yes I did that, and that ran, and when it was done I restarted my system. But when it was all over my GUI Settings-Devices screen still says: "Sorry! The printing service doesn't seem to be available.", and if I run 'systemctl status cups' it still says 'Failed to start CUPS Scheduler.' in red at the end. – Jerry777 Aug 31 '18 at 3:31
  • What's the next step, please? The only thing unusual I was doing before all this problem started was I was trying to install some extended Ubuntu video codecs from the command line. The printer was working on this OS before I did that. – Jerry777 Aug 31 '18 at 3:37
  • I don't have time to learn all about CUPS just to fix this. I'm thinking to reinstall Ubuntu which would take less time. – Jerry777 Aug 31 '18 at 3:41
  • As you wish but do a backup of important data before reinstalling – George Udosen Aug 31 '18 at 5:34

I had same problem. Config file is incorrectly located. Follow directions as per this link. https://ubuntu-mate.community/t/cups-service-stopped-um-18-04/17381

There is a default configuration file which should be installed in /usr/share/cups/cupsd.conf.default so I ran:

sudo cp /usr/share/cups/cupsd.conf.default /etc/cups/cupsd.conf
sudo service cups restart
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  • Sorry that's too complicated for me – Jerry777 Dec 19 '18 at 9:11
  • This fixed the issue for me. I believe that it should be the accepted answer. – jon3laze Mar 7 '19 at 5:06
  • Same issue on a fresh install 18.4.3 ran both commands as suggested and it works for me. HP Officejet 6500 / Gnome – Joris Donders Oct 4 '19 at 17:09
  • This worked for me also. Thank you – robster Mar 4 at 5:05

I fixed the problem by uninstalling Ubuntu 18.04 and reinstalling Ubuntu 16.04. Now not only the printer works, but the scanner too. Good thing there's Long Term Support.

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