KDE apps not using system printer settings

Stephen Dowdy sdowdy at ucar.edu
Tue Mar 27 15:47:24 BST 2018

Here's a snippet from my internal wiki page on printing troubleshooting...
(FWIW, i've battled this type of issue before, sometimes left with just head-scratching :-( )


On Linux systems with the libpaper package installed, the system default papersize is stored in /etc/papersize.

You can get the value that will be used in libpapersize supporting applications with:

or if the paperconf package is not installed....
    echo ${PAPERSIZE:-$(cat ${PAPERCONF:-/etc/papersize} 2>/dev/null || echo "NO DEFAULT PAPERSIZE")}

I.e you can specify an environment variable PAPERSIZE with a valid paper size (see man -s 5 papersize for valid papersizes, or type 'paperconf -a' to list them), or you can specify an override to the system's default papersize configuration file (/etc/papersize) by using the PAPERCONF environment variable to point to a file of your choosing that contains the name of a valid paper size.
Other Possible Desktop Environment (DE) configurations

It could be other things setting this value, so you might do:
    find ~/.config/ ~/.local/ ~/.kde*/ -xdev -type f -exec grep -i -e paper -e a4 {} +  2>&1 | less

To see if there's any standard desktop configurations that refer to "paper" or "a4" (if you're always getting A4 printouts).
NOTE: this is likely to generate a LOT of noise

Also, CUPS may be configured to default a Printer to a specific size, either globally or individually.  Try these:

$ lpoptions | tr ' ' '\n' | grep -i -e letter -e a4 -e paper -e size

$ lpoptions -l | grep -i -e size
PageSize/Page Size: *Letter Legal Executive HalfLetter w612h935 4x6 5x7 5x8 A4 A5 A6 RA4 B5 B6 W283H425 w553h765 w522h737 w558h774 DoublePostcard Postcard Env10 Env9 EnvMonarch EnvISOB5 EnvC5 EnvC6 EnvDL Custom.WIDTHxHEIGHT
HPBookletPageSize/Paper For Booklet: *Letter Legal Executive HalfLetter w612h935 4x6 5x7 5x8 A4 A5 RA4 B5 B6 W283H425 w553h765 w522h737 w558h774 Postcard DoublePostcard
HPwmFontSize/Size: pt24 pt30 pt36 pt42 *pt48 pt54 pt60 pt66 pt72 pt78 pt84 pt90

add a '-P {printername}' to lpoptions (prior to '-l') to look at settings for specific printers

The options that are '*'-ed are default settings.


On 03/27/2018 08:11 AM, Bug Reporter wrote:
> I'm not sure how to list all KDE app versions with one command, however, here are the main ones:
> $ plasmashell --version
> plasmashell 5.12.3
> $ kate --version
> kate 17.12.3
> $ dolphin --version
> dolphin 17.12.3
> $ konsole --version
> konsole 17.12.3
> I'm running Arch Linux and all packages are up to date. I'm running stable versions of all packages. My Linux kernel version is:
> 4.15.10-1-ARCH #1 SMP PREEMPT Thu Mar 15 12:24:34 UTC 2018 x86_64 GNU/Linux
> My CUPS version is 2.2.6
> On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 5:03 AM, Ianseeks <bingmybong at btinternet.com <mailto:bingmybong at btinternet.com>> wrote:
>     On Sunday, 25 March 2018 20:00:44 BST Bug Reporter wrote:
>     > Starting several months ago, all KDE apps (e.g., Kate) no longer use the
>     > system printer settings. For example, in "Kickoff -> Computer -> System
>     > Settings -> Printer Configuration" I have US letter paper size set.
>     > However, Kate and other KDE apps all default to A4 paper size. I can't find
>     > a way to change this default, so I have to manually change paper size every
>     > single time I need to print.
>     I'm not having that problem.
>     I set my Printer Configuration to "Letter" and then ran kate, checked its settings and it showed it was set to "Letter", i then changed it back to A4 in the Printer Configuration, reran kate, checked its setting and it showed as A4.
>     >
>     > I'm running Arch Linux on several different computers (NUC, laptop, desktop
>     > and more). The problem appears on all systems. All packages, including KDE
>     > are fully up to date with Arch's most recent packages. The problem has
>     > persisted through several updates now. I estimate it has been going on for
>     > at least 3 months.
>     >
>     > Whenever I make a change (such as paper size) using "Configure your
>     > printers" in System Settings, I can see the change reflected in the
>     > printer's PPD file in /etc/cups/ppd. However, as I said, Kate and other KDE
>     > apps ignore that value.
>     >
>     > Is this a known bug? Is there a work-around?
>     >
>     > Thank you.
>     >
>     You might need to list the version levels of the software you are using in case someone else might notice a mismatch ot has the same as you and can check..
>     --
>     opensuse:tumbleweed:20180324
>     Qt: 5.10.0 KDE Frameworks: 5.44.0 - KDE Plasma:  5.12.3 - kwin 5.12.3
>     kmail2 5.7.3 - akonadiserver 5.7.3 - Kernel:  4.15.11-1-default  - xf86-video-nouveau:  1.0.15

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