temp file links left in /tmp to ppd file in /etc/cups after printing

Bug #890705 reported by Scott Moser
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
colord (Ubuntu)
cups (Ubuntu)
Lars Karlitski

Bug Description

smoser@brickies:~/t/query$ ls -altr /tmp | grep cups | wc -l
smoser@brickies:~/t/query$ ls -altr /tmp | grep cups
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:01 4ec1d626d9c1e -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:10 4ec1d82e590c4 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:11 4ec1d86793e28 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:12 4ec1d899ddac3 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:13 4ec1d8ca65743 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:14 4ec1d8fc60981 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:14 4ec1d92ce256e -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:15 4ec1d95ec33e9 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:16 4ec1d98e7dc69 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:17 4ec1d9c07720b -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:18 4ec1d9f190626 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:18 4ec1da23d893b -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:19 4ec1da5434731 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:21 4ec1dad0e26ae -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:22 4ec1db085aa32 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:23 4ec1db3b399d0 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:24 4ec1db6aef2c6 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:25 4ec1db9cb3ce8 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:26 4ec1dbcd66aa5 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:26 4ec1dc0078de0 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:27 4ec1dc302ed89 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:28 4ec1dc6283de6 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:29 4ec1dc939456a -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 27 22:30 4ec1dcc685f46 -> /etc/cups/ppd/MFC-420CN.ppd

# ls output above had user , group and Day trimmed for width's sake.
# user and group were smoser, day was 'Nov 14' (yesterday).

I actually printed 24 copies of a document last night around that time, so that is likely what resulted in these links.

The ppd file in question is:
$ dpkg -S /usr/share/ppd/Brother/brmfc420cn_cups.ppd
brother-cups-wrapper-extra: /usr/share/ppd/Brother/brmfc420cn_cups.ppd
$ dpkg-query --show brother-cups-wrapper-extra
brother-cups-wrapper-extra 1.2.1-0ubuntu3

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.04
Package: cups 1.5.0-11
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.1.0-2.3-generic 3.1.0
Uname: Linux 3.1.0-2-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 1.26-0ubuntu1
Architecture: amd64
 W [15/Nov/2011:07:40:51 -0500] failed to AddProfile: org.freedesktop.ColorManager.Failed:profile object path '/org/freedesktop/ColorManager/profiles/MFC_420CN_Gray__' has already been added
 W [15/Nov/2011:07:40:51 -0500] failed to AddProfile: org.freedesktop.ColorManager.Failed:profile object path '/org/freedesktop/ColorManager/profiles/MFC_420CN_RGB__' has already been added
Date: Tue Nov 15 09:17:26 2011
EcryptfsInUse: Yes
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" - Release amd64 (20111012)
Lpstat: device for MFC-420CN: usb://Brother/MFC-420CN?serial=BROL5F736191
MachineType: LENOVO 7417CTO
Papersize: letter
 Socket 0:
   no product info available
 Socket 0:
   no card
PpdFiles: MFC-420CN: Brother MFC-420CN CUPS v1.1
 PATH=(custom, user)
ProcKernelCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-3.1.0-2-generic root=UUID=f9832678-e9fb-41c5-8edb-5edd5200ed0a ro quiet splash vt.handoff=7
SourcePackage: cups
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to precise on 2011-11-07 (8 days ago)
dmi.bios.date: 12/06/2010
dmi.bios.vendor: LENOVO
dmi.bios.version: 7UET91WW (3.21 )
dmi.board.name: 7417CTO
dmi.board.vendor: LENOVO
dmi.board.version: Not Available
dmi.chassis.asset.tag: No Asset Information
dmi.chassis.type: 10
dmi.chassis.vendor: LENOVO
dmi.chassis.version: Not Available
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnLENOVO:bvr7UET91WW(3.21):bd12/06/2010:svnLENOVO:pn7417CTO:pvrThinkPadT400:rvnLENOVO:rn7417CTO:rvrNotAvailable:cvnLENOVO:ct10:cvrNotAvailable:
dmi.product.name: 7417CTO
dmi.product.version: ThinkPad T400
dmi.sys.vendor: LENOVO

Revision history for this message
Scott Moser (smoser) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Lars Karlitski (larsu) wrote :

This is not a cups bug. It happens when an app calls cupsGetPPD and fails to unlink the returned file as described here:


With which application did you print? I'm only aware of acrobat reader still leaving those (and other) files around.

Changed in cups (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
assignee: nobody → Lars Uebernickel (larsu)
Revision history for this message
John McPherson (john-mcpherson) wrote :

I'm getting something similar, although it's not occurring when I print, so I don't think it's happening from any user action.

lrwxrwxrwx 1 jrm jrm 34 2012-01-21 07:57 4f19ff523c9d9 -> /etc/cups/ppd/L6-Postdoc-C3370.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jrm jrm 34 2012-01-21 07:57 4f19ff523ca99 -> /etc/cups/ppd/L6-Postdoc-C3370.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jrm jrm 34 2012-01-23 07:46 4f1c9ff2b1b8b -> /etc/cups/ppd/L6-Postdoc-C3370.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jrm jrm 34 2012-01-23 07:46 4f1c9ff2b1c10 -> /etc/cups/ppd/L6-Postdoc-C3370.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jrm jrm 34 2012-01-25 08:04 4f1f4712ae616 -> /etc/cups/ppd/L6-Postdoc-C3370.ppd
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jrm jrm 34 2012-01-25 08:04 4f1f4712ae6d6 -> /etc/cups/ppd/L6-Postdoc-C3370.ppd

I wasn't in the office at any of those dates/times, so it's not caused by me printing (the 21st was a Saturday and the 23rd was a public holiday).

the CUPS error log contains the following line 4 times:
W [25/Jan/2012:08:04:34 +0800] failed to AddProfile: org.freedesktop.ColorManager.Failed:profile object path '/org/freedesktop/ColorManager/profiles/L6_Postdoc_C3370_Gray__' has already been added

with similar lines in the older rotated log files for the same timestamps as the older files. I also see log messages for a 2nd printer (both printers were added manually, rather than discovered automatically via browsing), but that 2nd printer does not have symlinks to its ppd file.

Revision history for this message
John McPherson (john-mcpherson) wrote :

I tried to set the bug to "also affects" the colord package, but I can't see how to do that without removing the currently assigned package. It looks like the original poster's problem is caused by acroread (or another app).

Revision history for this message
Lars Karlitski (larsu) wrote :

Added colord and removed cups, since this is definitely a bug in the applications. Please add applications which you suspect of doing this.

@John you can add other projects by clicking "Also affects distribution". (I don't know why that makes sense ;) )

Changed in cups (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Invalid
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in colord (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Hans Deragon (deragon) wrote :

I am having the same problem, but only with one of my printer for which CUPS is not working. If I print to my HP Laserjet 6L, my page is printed and not temporary file is to be found under /tmp. If I print to my Brother MFC-j615W, nothing gets printed (no errors reported though; this is another bug) and the temporary files remain.

The application used is LibreOffice Build ID: 350m1(Build:2), Ubuntu 12.04 up to date as of 2012-08-30.

Revision history for this message
Marcel Partap (empee584) wrote :

I just deleted literally a million of these, or howevermuch the /tmp fs can handle when it ran out of inodes.. all created at the same time, same link... - -

Revision history for this message
Ray DeCampo (rdecampo) wrote :

I had the same thing as Marcel noted in comment #8. My /tmp directory was filled with links to a ppd file under /etc/cups. I had to reboot in recovery mode to remove them. There were more a million, there were at least one link for every 13-digit hexademical number starting with the same 6 digits so at least 2^28, or approximately a quarter of a billion. I had to create a script to delete them because it was too many arguments for rm to handle.

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