You can use the lpc status or lpstat -t command to identify printers.

In most UNIX environments, you have more than one printer to choose from. You might want to send a print job to a certain printer because:

  • It’s closest to your desk

  • It’s a faster printer and you have a very large job

  • It doesn’t have other jobs already queued to it and you’re in a hurry

  • It has 1200 dpi resolution and you need a high-quality printout for reproduction

  • It has special fonts that you need in order to print

You can find out the names of printers by using the lpc status command on a BSD-based system, or the lpstat-t command on a System V—based system.

The lpc status command on a BSD-based system tells you what printers are available and whether they have any jobs on their queues (which is often all you care about, to find the printer with the shortest queue). For example:

% lpc status
        queuing is enabled
        printing is enabled
        2 entries in spool area
        emu is ready and printing
        queuing is enabled
        printing is enabled
        5 entries in spool area
        opal is ready and printing
        queuing is enabled
        printing is enabled
        no entries
        no daemon present

If you are looking for the shortest queue, you’ll want to send your job to rheas. opal has five jobs, and emu has two. (Although rheas says “no daemon present,” this doesn’t mean it isn’t functioning, just that it isn’t currently active.)

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