Anybody had luck with keeping Cups printing going

I have used Cups under Slackware and Cups crashed.  I reinstalled everything and it would not work again.  
I installed Cups under Suse 9.1 and it worked great but it crashed for no reason.  I looked up the error message and learned somehow I had to add my machine in Hosts.allow.    It worked again.
After some time Cups died under Suse 9.1 again!  It was not the same problem.  I reinstalled it and it would not work again.  

Why do I have such a bad time with CUPS ?   Cups is great if it would just keep on working.   I have soooo much time invested in fixing cups.  

The company that writes cups also has a commercial software.   Do you think there are intentinal bugs in it ?  Do others have cups working for years without strange 100% crashes that can not seem to be fixed ?

Should I be using something else to print with ?   I tried lprng and it seemed very pale in comparison  for graphics.  

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jlevieConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I could be a hardware problem with your parallel port or the printer.  If that was the case it might explain why removing & reinstalling Cups doesn't help.

Once Cups is set up and running the only time any of the configuration files should change is if you re-configure something. If you suspect that something is trashing the config I'd suggest that you install Cups & configure it, then execute an 'rpm --verify cups'. That should show that /etc/cups/cupsd.conf /etc/cups/printers.conf have changed (different md5sum) from what was installed by the package. Make a copy of those and when Cups breaks run the verify again to see that there were no other changes and compare your saved files with the current copies. No changes in the config files implies that you have to look elsewhere for the cause.

How does Cups fail? Do jobs simply get queued and never printed, or does Cups go through a normal print cycle (deleting the job from the queue) but nothing is printed?
I haven't had any problems with Cups on RedHat, Fedora, or RedHat Enterprise Linux. Maybe your problems are more related to the printers you are using or the network environment. Could you tell us more?
PsiCopConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I'm no CUPS expert, but I don't think the people writing it make it crash-prone. There was an article on /. about a month or two ago about CUPS issues, and the makers acknowledged its got rough edges, and they're working on that.

And, to a certain extent, you are getting what you paid for.

I wish I could be more helpful, but I'm not experienced with CUPS. Its on my List Of Things To Learn.
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TIMFOX123Author Commented:

It is just the simplest setup.  Just an epson 880 hooked directly to the computer.  It is just a "single computer network".  

PsiCop, I appriciate what you have said.  It is darn great software if it would stay running.  I spent 100$ after a long fight with cups to upgrade to SUSE Pro.   What I can not understand is why ripping it out and reinstalling it does not solve it. Are there files in /etc that are getting messed up.  Is there a way to see what files an RPM writes to ( under /etc).  Is there an rpm command to "live wild and dangerously, write over all old settings"?  
Can you have a look at logs in /var/log, instead of reinstalling your system every day, Linux is a bit different from windows you know.
TIMFOX123Author Commented:

what cups does is que up and just sit there.  

Your solution sounds very good.  Cups has worked fantastic and then just quits.  One time I had to add "allow" and the next time it failed in a way that that would not fix it.  This is three times cups has done this to me and on two totaly different distros.  Slackware and Suse are about as far apart  as two linux distros can go.

> what cups does is que up and just sit there.

Which sounds like Cups can't talk to the printer. That could be caused by a problem with interrupt delivery for the parallel port or some othe flaw on the motherboard. Or it could be that the printer  is just not working right and Cups never sees the printer as ready to print. Or it could be a communication problem with the printer and data is just not reaching the printer correctly.

The first thing I'd do is to see if there's a BIOS update for your motherboard. Wierd problems like this have been known to cured by a BIOS update. The other thing I'd do is to disable PnP mode in the BIOS setup if you have that option. Also it wouldn't hurt to try a different parallel cable (one of the good quality IEEE 1284 cables).
TIMFOX123Author Commented:
Actually I tried this on two different computers, USB and Parallel, Two different linuxes and it just stopped working.  I am going to build the system and try  'rpm --verify cups'. I will also backup the /etc directory as soon as I have it all working.  
Trying this on two different computers and two different I/O methods tends to point to the printer itself as being the cause.

Hmm, the printer is the only device connected to the parallel port, right?
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