My wife was consistently having issues printing to her Epson Sylus Photo R200 USB printer on Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS.

Noted the error in the printer properties Printing State:

Stopped - Waiting for printer to become available.

This had been happening for weeks to where she had taken to going to the library to print things before bringing it to my attention. Her computer is basically on all the time, but the printer gets powered off & on as needed, and is shared between two computers.

I found one innocuous resolution reference for a similar issue on Ubuntu 11.x. Wait until both Ubuntu and the printer are fully powered on and booted (post-POST), and then re-/connect the USB cable.

This solved the issue. I have seen numerous references to folks stating that swapping out a new USB cable or changing USB ports "fixes" this issue. It is likely that all these problems are simply due to CUPS (or some Linux printing sub-system) getting locked up on the USB device being not ready, and then never polling again.

FWIW: Her workstation is pretty old -- P4 w/2GB & usually dug ~1GB into swap (not actively swapping). Don't know if that matters in this particular case.

Thought it would be worth reporting as it seems like such a trivial fix for something affecting so many folks.

Is this the only fix or is there another way to fix this issue?


The solution that it works when both are on is because the USB 1.1 you are connecting the printer to has very little power and can have problems with detecting it due to that issue, nothing to be done on Ubuntu as it never makes the USBs go to sleep by default and always gives them the same ammount of power.

PS: If you have a USB 2.0 on the Pentium 4 you will see that you won´t have the issue again when connecting it to that port (once Ubuntu is booted)

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