Cups, Duplex and Multiple Copies

Ever tried to print multiple copies of a document with an uneven number of pages duplex? A couple of days ago, I did. On a HP Color Laserjet 3700 the results were nothing but disastrous (on windows also, btw 🙂

First I used the drivers recommended by the KDE print configuration utility, namely Postscript and Postscript + foomatic. Results?

  • With the default Postscript driver the collate function does not work i. e. the printer churns out 50 copies of the first sheet of paper followed by 50 copies of the second sheet followed … you get the drift.
  • With foomatic collate works yet there is the issue that all copies are added to a single document before being sent to the printer as duplex print job. For a 3 page document and 2 copies you end up with pages 1-2, 3-1, 2-3 hence making every second copy unusable.

The cups website and forum mentions some details about certain ppd-commands (cupsEvenDuplex and OrderDependency) to avoid the second behaviour yet there is no way to set these config options as end user. Editing the ppd files in /etc/cups/share wasn’t successful either.

The solution? Just use the plain old generic postscript driver! Tested as a last approach to the problem, this drivers works as one expects it.