cupsd-helper - Linux


cupsd-helper is a helper process for the CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) scheduler, cupsd. It handles printer device control, job starting, and cleanup to enhance overall printer management.


cupsd-helper [-h] [-v] [-D] [-f] [-i] [-k] [-o] [-x] [-p [PPD...]] [printer]


  • -h: Display help message and exit.
  • -v: Enable verbose mode for detailed logging.
  • -D: Disable initial device configuration to leave printer partially open.
  • -f: Force start of job even if printer is busy or offline.
  • -i: Queue job for printing, but do not start it.
  • -k: Kill the job with the specified ID.
  • -o: Open device without killing current job.
  • -x: Close device and discard print job.
  • -p [PPD]: Specify PostScript Printer Definition (PPD) file(s) for the printer.


  • Print a document: cupsd-helper printer filename.pdf
  • Start a queued job: cupsd-helper -i printer filename.pdf
  • Kill a job: cupsd-helper -k 123
  • Open printer to add a job: cupsd-helper -o printer
  • Close printer and discard job: cupsd-helper -x printer

Common Issues

  • Permission denied: Ensure the user running cupsd-helper has sufficient permissions to access the printer and perform the desired operations.
  • Printer not found: Verify the printer name is correct and that the printer is properly connected and powered on.
  • Job not printing: Check the printer status and ensure it is not paused, offline, or experiencing any errors.


cupsd-helper can be used in scripts or commands to automate printing tasks. For example:


# Print multiple PDF files
for file in *.pdf; do
  cupsd-helper -i printer "$file"

Related Commands

  • cupsd: Main CUPS scheduler
  • lp: Command-line interface for printing
  • lpadmin: Tool for managing printers and print classes