CUPS print log missing jobs

I’m learning to use CUPS to check when the last prints were made on a couple of printers in our house, to be sure the ink doesn’t dry out, via http://localhost:631/jobs?which_jobs=all (Thanks to Dr. Drang for that!)

I printed a job this morning on my USB-connected printer beside my desk, and it was immediately listed by CUPS. However, I noticed that it’s not listing a job my wife did yesterday from her Mac on her printer that my Mac can access over the network.

Do you have to run a CUPS job list from each Mac using a printer to see all the jobs done on that printer?

That makes sense, so is there a way to run the report for my wife’s Mac, from my Mac, remotely? Even better, to have something running in the background on her Mac just send me a weekly report!


CUPS runs on the computer, not the printer, so yes, your computer will show only your jobs and your wife’s will show only hers.

Your printer may keep a log that is accessible and useful to you. Many have a web interface, but you’ll have to see for yourself what it offers. My printer keeps a page count but won’t tell me when the last print job was. You may be luckier.

If you’re stuck using CUPS, I found an easier way to get the last completed print job from the command line:

lpstat -W completed -o | head -1

This will print out the printer name, user name (on the computer you run the command on), job number, and date of last print job. The output should look like this:

Brother_HL_L2350DW_series-42 drang             86016   Thu Apr 29 21:12:53 2021

The lpstat command prints all the jobs in reverse chronological order, one per line, and the head command filters that to give just the first line. If you want to see more lines, change the number after the dash in the head command.

How you schedule this command to run periodically on your wife’s computer, and how you get it transferred to you, depends on the automation tools that are on her computer. You can schedule commands through Keyboard Maestro, cron or launchd. You might send the output to a shared Dropbox file or a shared Note. I hesitate to tell you how to do this, as the best way for you depends on what you and your wife are most comfortable with.

Thank you so much!

This is just what I needed. I can take it from here.


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