System Administration Guide
Chapter 4, Managing printers and print jobs

Setting up printer fault alerts

Setting up printer fault alerts

The print service provides a method for detecting and alerting you to printer faults. Faults can range from simple problems, such as running out of paper, ribbon, or toner, to more serious faults, such as a local power failure or printer failure. The range of fault indicators is also broad, ranging from dropping the carrier (the signal that indicates that the printer is online) to sending an XOFF or a message. 

The print service itself only recognizes two classes of printer fault indicators: ``hangups'' (a loss of carrier) and excessive delays in printing (an XOFF flow-control character without a matching XON). For faults other than these, the printer service cannot determine the cause of the fault, so it cannot alert you. However, you can add filters that can detect other printer faults and inform the print service, which in turn alerts you. See ``Detecting printer fault indicators with filters''.

To set up printer fault alerts for a printer in the Printer Manager: 

  1. Select the printer from the list.

  2. Select Advanced from the Settings menu, then select Faults.

  3. Select the ``Fault Recovery'' method. See ``Specifying the print fault recovery method''.

  4. Select the ``Notification Method'' (how or if the print service alerts you when an error occurs):

    No notification
    Specifies that the print service not send any alerts when a fault occurs.

    NOTE: If you elect to receive no alerts, you need a way of finding out about the faults and fixing them; the print service does not continue to use a printer that has a fault.


    Quiet current fault notification
    Once a fault occurs and you start receiving repeated fault alerts, directs the print service to stop sending alerts.

    Execute command
    Specifies that the print service run a command for each fault alert. Enter the command to run in the ``Command'' field.

    The print service runs the command you specify using the shell environment currently in effect when you start the Printer Manager. This environment includes environment variables, user and group IDs, and the current directory.

    Write to screen
    Specifies that the print service write a message to your terminal. See the write(C) manual page.

    Mail administrator
    Specifies that the print service send electronic mail to the print service administrator. See the mail(C) manual page.

  5. Specify the ``Frequency'' (the number of minutes between repeated alerts). To receive only one alert for each fault that the print service detects, select Once.

Without a filter that provides better fault detection, the print service cannot automatically determine when a fault has been cleared except by trying to print another file. The print service assumes that a fault is cleared when it successfully prints a file. Until that time, if you have requested only one alert per fault, you do not receive another alert.

If, after you have fixed a fault but before the print service tries to print another file, the printer faults again or if your attempt to fix the fault did not succeed, you are not notified. Receiving repeated alerts per fault or requiring manual reenabling of the printer overcomes the problem. Refer to ``Specifying the print fault recovery method'' for more information. 

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