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Linux® Desk Reference, Second Edition by Scott Hawkins

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The Print Process

After it leaves your application, lpr takes the print job and preprocesses it according to any command line options or printer-specific configuration requirements. The resultant file and a paired file containing processing instructions are placed in a directory associated with the printer, called a spool directory or print queue (usually /var/spool/lpd/*). Print jobs stored in these directories are said to be spooled or queued. Multiple jobs may wait in these directories until the printer is ready to handle them. Once the file is successfully spooled, lpr notifies the printer daemon, lpd, that there is a new job awaiting processing.

The printer daemon filters the file according to the instructions left for it by lpr and passes ...

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