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How to Perform Print Spool/Queue Maintenance WITHOUT Removing Configured Printers (Doc ID 1008553.1)

Last updated on JUNE 13, 2023

Applies to:

Solaris Operating System - Version 8 to 10 1/13 U11 [Release 8.0 to 10.0]
Oracle Solaris on x86-64 (64-bit)
Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)


The Solaris print queue directories can accumulate "dead" print jobs (and other supporting files) that will never leave the queue. Print jobs fail to be processed if they are zero length files, missing relevant (or correct) data, or if they have destination addresses. In extreme cases, the lp service will not start, or will core dump, as the lp commands will stat the spooler directories. Reboot of the server does not clear the spooler, which is intended behavior. Reasons for this accumulation include, but are not limited to:

- the use of third party printer software

- incomplete or interrupted communication between Solaris, remote print servers and network printers

- incomplete or interrupted data streams from applications to Solaris configured printers

This document will outline the "spool clean" (a.k.a. "spoolkick") procedure that will stop the print scheduler process (lpsched), remove ALL jobs from the print spooler permantly and rebuild the /var/spool/lp directories.  Printer configurations are not removed by this process.

This procedure may be recommended by a Support Engineer to stop the processing of corrupted print jobs.  This condition may be the root cause of the printing problem, or it may be necessary to correct the results of a seperate issue.  Regardless, it should stabilize the function of the print server.


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