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Essential System Administration, 3rd Edition by Æleen Frisch

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The BSD Spooling Facility

The BSD printing subsystem is often referred to by the name of the spooling daemon, lpd . We will so designate it from now on. It can maintain multiple printers, printers at local and remote sites, and multiple print queues. This system can be adapted to support laser printers, raster printers, and other types of devices. As shipped, the spooling system is usually configured to support only a standard line printer.

User Commands

The LPD spooling system provides several commands allowing users to submit and manage their print jobs:

lpr

Submits a job for printing. When a job is submitted, the lpd daemon assigns it a job ID number, which is used to refer to it in any subsequent commands.

lpq

Lists jobs that are currently in a print queue.

lprm

Removes jobs from the print queues. By default, users can remove only their own jobs, but root can delete any job.

Each of these commands includes a -P option for specifying the desired printer. If it is omitted, the default printer is used, which is specified by setting the PRINTER environment variable to the name of the printer to be used by default. If this variable is not set and -P is not included on a command, the first printer defined in the /etc/printcap configuration file (discussed below) is used (although some older LPD subsystem implementations default to the printer named lp).

Tip

The LPD user commands are also supported for compatibility purposes by AIX and Solaris.

Manipulating Print Jobs

The system administrator ...

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