Testing duplex printing on Fedora

It was a while before OpenOffice.org and Evince both worked correctly with the GTK+ print dialog in Fedora Core 6, and most of the problems were with duplexing and printing multiple copies. Intrigued by a message on the fedora-list mailing list complaining about problems with duplex printing, I decided to spend a bit of time checking for regressions.

Not wanting to spend too long on it, I only used one test document, and only tested two applications: OpenOffice.org and Evince.

The test is fairly simple: create a three page document and print two copies of it, duplexed. We expect four sheets of paper in the output tray:

  • 1st copy: page 1, with page 2 on the reverse
  • page 3, the reverse blank
  • 2nd copy: page 1, with page 2 on the reverse
  • page 3, the reverse blank

Here are the test results:

  • Fedora Core 6
    • ✔ OpenOffice.org (2.0.4-5.5.24)
    • ✔ Evince (0.6.0-6.fc6)
  • Fedora 7
    • ✔ OpenOffice.org (2.2.0-14.11)
    • ✘ Evince (0.8.2-1.fc7)
      • bug #303371: It gets the sense of the ‘Collate’ check-box backwards, so although I asked for collated copies (1-2-3 1-2-3) I actually got uncollated copies (1-1-2-2-3-3).
      • bug #303391: Working around that bug by setting the check-box wrong, it printing the first page of the second copy on the reverse of the last page of the first copy, so I got three sheets of paper instead of four, with no way of separating the two copies from one another.
  • Fedora 8 (rawhide)
    • ✘ OpenOffice.org (2.3.0-5.1.fc8)
    • ✘ Evince (2.20.0-1.fc8)

Doesn’t anybody test this stuff?

3 Responses to “Testing duplex printing on Fedora”

  1. Gerry says:

    I just tested my trusty HP Laserjet 4 Plus w/duplexer using FC6 and OpenOffice 2.0.4 / Firefox 2 / Konqueror and in all cases it fails to print duplex. I checked the menu at the printer and it shows DUPLEX=ON and in the dialog boxes for printer setting it shows Flip on Long Edge. I am using the CUPS/hplaserjet4plus driver.

  2. Marty Connor says:

    I’m happy to say that I got duplex printing to work using Fedora 8.
    My test machine is an IBM Thinkpad T30, 512MB RAM, 80GB HD.

    I installed my LaserJet 5M printer (with duplex unit) using the System -> Admnistration -> Printing menu choice.

    On the “Installable Options” tab, I checked “Duplex Unit” and set my memory to > 11MB (I installed an additional DIMM a long time ago).

    On the “Printer Options” tab, I chose Duplex: “Long Edge Binding”.

    In OpenOffice 2.3, I chose File -> Printer Settings, and then clicked “Properties”.

    On the “Papter” tab, I chose Duplex: “Left Edge Binding”.

    On the “Device” tab, I made sure “Duplex Unit” was “installed”.

    I also chose “Postscript Level 2” and >11MB RAM, though I am not sure those are relevant.

    The System -> Administration -> Printing stuff seems to need to be done before the OpenOffice stuff, and it seems important that OpenOffice quit and restarted for the printing changes to be recognized.

    I am now able to print duplex documents from OpenOffice. It’s a nice thing. And I really like my LaserJet 5M. It’s lasted a lot of years at a very good price.

  3. tim says:

    Marty: glad you got it working, although having to follow that procedure is more complicated than it ought to be.

    You do of course need to enable ‘Duplex’ in the Installable Options; however, setting “Duplex: Long Edge Binding” using the Printing Administration tool sets duplex on by default for all print jobs. It is meant to be possible to have duplex off by default, but have each application able to enable duplexing on a per-job basis.

    For instance, in OpenOffice.org I would select File->Print (and in Fedora the print dialog for OpenOffice.org is the GTK+ one), select the device, then switch to the Page Setup tab and adjust the “Two-sided” selector. This is how the tests above were performed.

    That said, in Fedora 8 OpenOffice.org is now working again correctly, as the bug I filed has been fixed. 🙂 Meanwhile all four evince bugs are still in state NEW…