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Essential System Administration, 3rd Edition by Æleen Frisch

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System V Printing

The System V printing system is used on a wide range of Unix systems, from microcomputers with a single printer to high-end mainframes with many printers. Among the operating systems we are considering, the System V printing facility is used by HP-UX and Solaris.

Tip

Traditionally, System V printing command options did not allow a space between the option letter and its argument. Although some implementations are more flexible today, we retain the older syntax here.

User Commands

The System V spooling subsystem provides several user commands for submitting and managing print jobs:

lp

Initiate print requests. When a user submits a print job, it is assigned a unique request ID, which is used to identify it thereafter, usually consisting of the printer name and a number: “ps-102” for example. The lp user command is also supported for compatibility purposes by FreeBSD.

lpstat

List queue contents and configuration. This command is discussed later in this subsection.

cancel

Cancel a pending request. By default, users can remove only their own jobs, but root can delete any job.

All of these commands are supported by AIX as an alternate interface to its own queuing system.

The system default printer

The lp command includes a -d option for specifying the desired destination: printer or printer class (see below). If it is omitted, the destination designated in the LPDEST environment variable is used. If this variable is not set and -d is not included on a command, the system ...

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