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1PyKota's FAQ :
3  # $Id$
5  * How can I diagnose the problem when something goes wrong ?
7    Put "LogLevel debug2" in cupsd.conf (usually in /etc/cups/).
8    Then put "logger: stderr", "debug: yes" and
9    "crashrecipient: youremailaddress" in /etc/pykota/pykota.conf.
10    Finally restart CUPS.
11    CUPS' error_log file will now contain many informations which
12    will help diagnose your problem. You will receive failure
13    notices by email, and you can send all this to us for
14    diagnostic. Please send complete files and not some sparse
15    parts of them. Also please send the log files as gzipped
16    (or bzip2-ed) attachments.
18    For LPRng, better to put "logger: system" in pykota.conf so
19    that all debug messages for PyKota will go to syslog's
20    destination for the LPR syslog facility.
22  * How can I limit my users to N pages per day (month/year) ?
24    The easiest way to do this is to create their print quota
25    entries using something like :
27      $ edpykota --add -S 30 -H 30 user1 user2 user3 ...
29      this would limit users to 30 pages on each printer.
31    Then in a crontab launched every day (month/year) you could   
32    do :
34      00 23 * * * /usr/bin/edpykota --reset
36      this would reset every user's page counter to 0 on each printer
37      at 23h00 every day.
39  * How can I tell PyKota to allow some users to print without limitation ?
41    Just create these users' print quota entries this way :
43      $ edpykota --add --limitby quota --noquota user1 user2 ...
45      This would effectively put these users in "no limit" mode on
46      each printer. If you want to do this only on some printers, just
47      use the --printer command line argument as well. See
48      edpykota's documentation for details.
50  * Nothing prints when my printer is in PowerSave mode, what
51    can I do ?
53    This happens if you use hardware accounting with SNMP, because
54    some (all ?) printers don't say they are idle when they are
55    in PowerSave mode.
56    For now your best bet is to disable PowerSave mode in
57    your printer. In the future, PyKota will modified to
58    handle such problems.
60  * I've installed all correctly, I've created users
61    and printers, but when printing nothing works.
62    What is the problem ?
63    The most probable cause for this is that you didn't
64    adapt /etc/pykota/pykota.conf to your own configuration.
65    The file installed by default is just an example, you
66    have to modify it. See the rest of this document to
67    learn how to really diagnose what went wrong.
69  * I've downloaded PyKota from CVS using a Windows based CVS 
70    tool, and now nothing works at all. What happened ?
72    Some (all?) Windows based CVS tools translate *nix line endings
73    (character Line Feed, ASCII code 10) into Windows line endings
74    (character Carriage Return, ASCII code 13, followed with
75    character Line Feed). This breaks the software which has
76    to run under *nix compatible systems. Set correct options
77    in your CVS software so that it doesn't do any translation,
78    or use an Unix-like version of CVS, download again and
79    reinstall the software. It should work.
81  * Why doesn't CUPS under Debian Woody automatically
82    detects PyKota managed devices ?
84    The CUPS version in Debian Woody is 1.1.14 which is a bit
85    too old. To use PyKota with this version, just install
86    your printers as usual in CUPS web interface, and ensure
87    they work fine, then save your changes, and modify
88    /etc/cups/printers.conf manually as explained in
89    PyKota's toplevel README file. Finally restart CUPS,
90    and your printers should be managed by PyKota.
91    Another solution is to install a newer CUPS release.
93  * Is print accounting ever exact ?
95    No. Print accounting is **never** exact, because it depends
96    on external factors like the presence of paper in the printer,
97    the quantity of remaining ink in the print cartridge, paper
98    jams, etc... All these things are very difficult to account
99    for correctly, and no print accounting package deals with
100    these artefacts correctly in all situations.
101    We are however confident that PyKota is one of the more
102    exact print accounting software, because by default it
103    asks the printers for how many pages they have really printed.
105  * Can PyKota account for ink usage ? 
107    No. Actually PyKota doesn't account for ink usage, but this
108    may come in a future release. PyKota only accounts for pages
109    printed and/or money spent.  If ink accounting is a necessity
110    for you, PrintBill is recommended instead of PyKota. PrintBill
111    allows you to bill differently per color, and to bill depending
112    on the percent of the ink covered part of the pages.
114  * What is a 'dumb printer' ?
116    In PyKota, the term 'dumb printer' defines a printer which doesn't
117    natively understand PostScript, PCL5 (up to), PCLXL (aka PCL6), PDF
118    or ESC/P2 and doesn't have an internal page counter, and for which
119    you don't know how to compute a job's size in number of pages by
120    analyzing its content.
121    Any printer which is not a 'dumb printer' according to the above
122    definition is supported by PyKota.
124  * How can I make PyKota work with my non-postscript printer under
125    CUPS ? 
127    From version 1.16alpha7, PyKota includes a CUPS backend which
128    allows you to use any type of printer and any driver, provided
129    your printer is not a 'dumb printer' (see above).
131  * How can I use my 'dumb printer' with CUPS and PyKota. 
133    You have to use a software accounter directive, and
134    create a script which understands your printer's
135    Page Description Language.
137    PyKota natively understands DSC compliant PostScript,
138    PCL3, PCL4, PCL5, PCLXL (aka PCL6), PDF and ESC/P2. Support
139    for Binary PostScript is done through GhostScript. More PDLs
140    will be added in the future. 
141    However you can always plug your own PDL analyzer in PyKota.
143  * I've got a great number of users. How can I automatically
144    set an initial print quota for them on first print ?
146    You have to define an external policy for unknown users,
147    to automatically add them to the Print Quota database.
148    The sample configuration file contains examples to do this.
150  * What does the --prototype command line option to edpykota do ?
152    This option currently (v1.20) only copies the soft and hard
153    page limits from a template user to other users. This option
154    needs to be updated to new PyKota functionnalities, because it
155    currently lacks.
157  * How can I share print quota between some printers only (not all) ?   
159    To do this you have to put the printers into a printers group, and
160    set quota on the printer group, instead of (or in addition to)
161    the printers themselves.
163  * What is a printer group ?
165     A printer group is exactly like a normal printer, but is
166     unknown by the printing system. You can use printer groups
167     to share print quota between printers.
169  * How can I create a printer group ?   
171    Just use pkprinters, like for normal printers, then create
172    quota entries for users or users groups on it using the
173    edpykota command
175  * How can I put a printer into a printer group ?
177    Use the pkprinters command to do this.
179      $ pkprinters --help
181    Will print the complete help and tell you how to do.
183  * How quota checking and update is done with printer groups ?   
185    Print accounting and quota checking is done for a printer and
186    all the printers groups it belongs to, recursively.
187    If quota is reached on ANY of these printers for the current user,
188    printing is denied.
190  * Is this feature robust ?
192    It should be. However, beware of integrity problems. LDAP has no
193    sense of database integrity, and PostgreSQL constraints have not
194    yet been fully implemented. The code actually *tries* to forbid
195    circular printers groups, but if you create printer groups with
196    another tool (e.g. psql or gq), then you are mostly on you
197    own to not create infinite loops.
199  * How is computed the job's price ? 
201    A job's price is computed with this formula :
203      SUM((NbPages * PricePerPage) + PricePerJob)
205    For current printer and all the printers groups it is
206    a member of, if any, recursively.
207    This may be difficult to grasp, but offers unprecedented
208    flexibility.
210  * My question isn't answered there, can you help ? 
212    Sure. Ask your question to the mailing list. If this is a
213    frequently asked question, or if your problem is on the contrary
214    very specific, it will probably be added to this document.
216    You can also ask questions by IRC :
218        /server
219        /join #pykota
221Send any new questions to Jerome Alet - <>
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