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On my debian lenny box, printing via CUPS works fine, e.g. using OpenOffice.

When printing from Adobe Reader, however, stuff doesn't work. It appears the problem happens during the first step of the process, when Adobe Reader talks to lpr. I guess this is the reason because I get an error message from Adobe Reader like:

The following error occurred while printing...

'usage: lpr [-cdfghlmnpqrstv] [-#num] [-1234 font] [-C class] [-i [numcols]] [-J job] [-Pprinter] [-T title] [-U user] [-wnum] [name ...]'

Looks like lpr complains about the way Adobe Reader talks to it, doesn't it?

This happens no matter if I print to my laser or to CUPS-PDF. It seems like Adobe Reader sends a command like

lpr -P CUPS-PDF -o PageSizeA4 -o blah -o blah

In this particular installation of debian, the Adobe Reader (acroread package) obviously assumes a newer lpr than the one that's installed and sends options to lpr using -o.

Newer versions of lpr may use [ -o option[=value] ]; my older version does not allow using -o according to its manpage.

Some additional investigation with aptitude shows that lpr is marked as installed. man lpr tells me that this lpr is the BSD printing spooler. On another box where I do not have this problem, lpr is not installed as an individual package. However, I can call lpr from the command line and man lpr shows a valid manpage telling me I have an lpr version provided by Apple. Where did this lpr authored by Apple come from? What package do I need to install in order to use this particular version of lpr?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted
  • Remove lpr (and lprng). The stand-alone version of lpr will complain if confronted with options that are passed along via -o.

  • Install cups-bsd. This brings along a version of lpr that accepts things like -o and other common parameters used by acroread. (cups-bsd conflicts with lpr or lprng).

  • Look closely and read that acroread recommends cups-bsd.

Note: Some relevant details may also be found in this question.

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