Troubleshooting

Consumer warns OCR for XX failed

If you find the OCR accuracy to be too low, and/or the document consumer warns that OCR for XX failed, but we're going to stick with what we've got since FORGIVING_OCR is enabled, then you might need to install the Tesseract language files marching your document’s languages.

As an example, if you are running Paperless from the Vagrant setup provided (or from any Ubuntu or Debian box), and your documents are written in Spanish you may need to run:

apt-get install -y tesseract-ocr-spa

Consumer dies with convert: unable to extent pixel cache

During the consumption process, Paperless invokes ImageMagick’s convert program to translate the source document into something that the OCR engine can understand and this can burn a Very Large amount of memory if the original document is rather long. Similarly, if your system doesn’t have a lot of memory to begin with (ie. a Raspberry Pi), then this can happen for even medium-sized documents.

The solution is to tell ImageMagick not to Use All The RAM, as is its default, and instead tell it to used a fixed amount. convert will then break up the job into hundreds of individual files and use them to slowly compile the finished image. Simply set PAPERLESS_CONVERT_MEMORY_LIMIT in /etc/paperless.conf to something like 32000000 and you’ll limit convert to 32MB. Fiddle with this value as you like.

HOWEVER: Simply setting this value may not be enough on system where /tmp is mounted as tmpfs, as this is where convert will write its temporary files. In these cases (most Systemd machines), you need to tell ImageMagick to use a different space for its scratch work. You do this by setting PAPERLESS_CONVERT_TMPDIR in /etc/paperless.conf to somewhere that’s actually on a physical disk (and writable by the user running Paperless), like /var/tmp/paperless or /home/my_user/tmp in a pinch.

DecompressionBombWarning and/or no text in the OCR output

Some users have had issues using Paperless to consume PDFs that were created by merging Very Large Scanned Images into one PDF. If this happens to you, it’s likely because the PDF you’ve created contains some very large pages (millions of pixels) and the process of converting the PDF to a OCR-friendly image is exploding.

Typically, this happens because the scanned images are created with a high DPI and then rolled into the PDF with an assumed DPI of 72 (the default). The best solution then is to specify the DPI used in the scan in the conversion-to-PDF step. So for example, if you scanned the original image with a DPI of 300, then merging the images into the single PDF with convert should look like this:

$ convert -density 300 *.jpg finished.pdf

For more information on this and situations like it, you should take a look at Issue #118 as that’s where this tip originated.