lpq - Examines the spool queues.
lpq [+] [number] [-l] [-Pprinter] [request-ID...]
Displays information about each of the files comprising
the printer request. Specifying printer displays requests
queued for that printer only. Displays the spool queue
until it empties. Sleeps number seconds between scans of
the queue if number is specified.
The lpq command examines the spooling area used by lpd for
printing files on the line printer and reports the status
of the specified requests or all requests associated with
The lpq command invoked without any arguments reports on
any requests currently in the queue. The -P option can be
used to specify a particular printer; otherwise, the
default line printer is used (or the value of the PRINTER
Specifying one or more request-IDs displays only the specified
requests. Specifying one or more users displays
print requests from those users only.
If you specify the + argument, lpq displays the spool
queue until it empties. Supplying a number immediately
after the + argument indicates that lpq should sleep number
seconds in between scans of the queue. All other
arguments supplied are interpreted as user or request-ID
arguments to display only those requests of interest.
For each request submitted (that is, each request invoked
by lp or lpr), lpq reports the user's name, current rank
in the queue, the names of files comprising the request,
the request ID (a number that you can use to identify the
request to other commands, such as lprm) and the total
size of the job in bytes.
The -l option causes information about each of the files
comprising the request to be displayed; without it, only
as much information as will fit on one line is displayed.
Job ordering depends on the algorithm used to scan the
spooling directory and is supposed to be FIFO (First In
First Out). Filenames comprising a request might be
unavailable (when lp or lpr is used as a sink in a
pipeline), in which case the file is indicated as follows:
Due to the dynamic nature of the information in the spooling
directory, lpq might report unreliably. Output formatting
is sensitive to the line length of the terminal
and can result in widely spaced columns.
Appropriate diagnostic messages appear under several conditions:
If there is no daemon active, but there are files
in the spooling directory, the message Warning: no daemon
present is displayed. If the network is unreachable, the
message connection to device is down is displayed. If the
printcap file is unavailable, the message lpq: device cannot
open printer description file is displayed. If the
spooling directory is unavailable, the message lpq: device
cannot chdir to spooling directory is displayed.
To display a request in the print queue, enter: lpq
This command displays a list similar to the following: Mon
March 2 15:15:15 1990: printer1 is ready and printing
Rank Pri Owner Job Files Total Size
active 0 rcb 888 massachusetts 1024 bytes
1st 0 jmp 110 berkshire 2048 bytes
(Output may be formatted differently on your system.)
An appropriate message is displayed if the lock file is
Manipulates the screen for repeated display. Printer
description file. Spool directories. Daemon control
files. Data files specified in cf files. Temporary
copies of cf files. Lock file used to obtain the process
ID of the current daemon and the request ID of the currently
Commands: lp(1), lpc(8), lpd(8), lpr(1), lprm(1),
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