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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       printcap - Printer capability data base

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]


DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       The printcap file is used to describe printer characteristics.
 The format of the printcap file is a simplified version
 of the /etc/termcap database format.

       The  lpd  line  printer  daemon accesses the /etc/printcap
       file every time a file is passed to the spooler for printing.
  The  print spooling system uses the printcap file to
       obtain information about each printer attached to the system
 and about remote printers.  Each entry in the printcap
       file describes a single printer.

       When the local line printer driver  supports  indentation,
       the  lpd line printer daemon must understand how to invoke
       this capability.

       The default printer for your system usually has the device
       reference lp, although environment variable PRINTER can be
       used to override the default printer reference. The  print
       commands  (for  example,  lpr,  lpq, and lprm) support the
       -Pprinter option, which enables you to specify a  specific


       See  the  RESTRICTIONS  section  for  information on using

   Printer Characteristic Symbols    [Toc]    [Back]
       Each printer has various characteristics that tell the lpd
       line  printer  daemon how to communicate with the printing
       device defined in the /dev directory. A table in this section
 lists the printer characteristic symbols and provides
       the following information for each: The symbol, which is a
       2-character mnemonic. The symbol must be specified exactly
       as it appears in this column.  Type of data  expressed  by
       the  entry  as str, num, or bool.  When the characteristic
       defined by the symbol is referenced as a  string  variable
       (str)  in  the  Type  column,  it must be followed by an =
       (equal sign) together with a string value; when you do not
       define  the  string value, it either remains a NULL string
       and contains no data or takes the value specified  in  the
       Default  column.   When  the  Type column defines a symbol
       type as bool, it may only be logically true (yes) or logically
 false (no).

              When  the parameter you define is a numerical variable,
 it must be followed with  a  #  (pound  sign)
              together  with the numerical value you assign; when
              you do not define the numerical parameter it  takes
              the  value  specified  in the Default column of the
              table.  A summary  of  the  printer  characteristic
              that the symbol specifies.

              Symbols whose descriptions are followed by "(I18N)"
              are  provided  to  meet  country-specific  printing
              requirements.  Refer to i18n_printing(5) for information
 about when these  symbols  are  valid  in  a
              printer entry.

              The following is an example of a printcap entry:


              Entries  can continue onto multiple lines by specifying
 the backslash (\) as the last character of  a
              line.  Empty fields can be included for readability
              (here between the last field  on  a  line  and  the
              first field on the next line).

              Comments  can  be  included on lines beginning with
              the pound sign (#).

              Refer to the RESTRICTIONS section  for  information
              on blank spaces and tab characters.

       Name   Type   Default          Description
       af     str    NULL             Name of accounting file
       br     num    none             If  lp  is  a tty, set the baud rate
                                      (ioctl call).
       cf     str    NULL             The cifplot data filter.
       ct     str    dev              The connection  type.   The  choices
                                      are:  dev,  LAT  (or  lat),  and tcp
       df     str    NULL             The tex data filter (DVI format).
       fc     num    0                If lp is  a  tty,  clear  flag  bits
       ff     str    \f               String to send for a form feed.
       fo     bool   false            Print a form feed when the device is
       fs     num    0                Like fc, but set bits.
       gf     str    NULL             The graph data filter (plot format).
       hl     bool   false            Print the burst header page last.
       if     str    NULL             Name  of  text  filter   that   does
       jj     bool   NULL             Turns  on  (or restores) the ability
                                      of lpd to keep one connection  to  a
                                      printer open for all pending jobs in
                                      the queue.  Zero (0) is off (one job
                                      per  connection),  1 is on (multiple
                                      jobs per connection).

       lf     str    /dev/con-        Error logging filename.
       lo     str    lock             Name of lock file.
       lp     str    /dev/lp          Device name to open for output.  For
                                      network (TCP/IP) printers, enter the
                                      name  a  @hostname/servicename.  The
                                      servicename is defined in  /etc/services
 with the port number.
       mj     num    1000             Maximum  number  of jobs that can be
                                      submitted to  a  print  queue.   The
                                      limit  is  1,000,000 (ranging from 0
                                      to 999,999).
       mx     num    1000             Maximum   file   size   (in   BUFSIZ
                                      blocks).  Zero = unlimited.
       nf     str    NULL             The  ditroff data filter (for device
                                      independent troff).
       of     str    NULL             Name of output filtering program.
       on     str    NULL             Supported in clusters  only.   Valid
                                      entries   are   localhost  and/or  a
                                      comma-separated list of cluster member
 (host) names.
       pl     num    66               Page length (in lines).
       pw     num    132              Page width (in columns).
       px     num    0                Page width in pixels (horizontal).
       py     num    0                Page length in pixels (vertical).
       rf     str    NULL             Filter  for  printing  FORTRAN style
                                      text files.
       rm     str    NULL             Machine  name  for  remote  printer.
                                      (Required  for remote printers.) Use
                                      the string @dpa to define an inbound
                                      gateway  for  the  Advanced Printing
       rp     str    lp               Remote   printer   name    argument.
                                      (Required   for   remote  printers.)
                                      Specify a logical printer name, such
                                      as  lpr1,  for the Advanced Printing
       rs     bool   false            Restrict remote users to those  with
                                      local accounts.
       rw     bool   false            Open  the printer device for reading
                                      and writing.
       sb     bool   false            Short banner (one line only).
       sc     bool   false            Suppress multiple copies.
       sd     str    /usr/spool/lpd   Spool  directory.  (Required for LAT
                                      and remote printers.)
       sf     bool   false            Suppress form feeds.
       sh     bool   false            Suppress  printing  of  burst   page
       st     str    status           Status filename.
       tf     str    NULL             The  troff  data filter (for the cat
       tr     str    NULL             Trailer string to print  when  queue
       vf     str    NULL             The raster image filter.
       xc     num    0                If  lp  is  a  tty, clear local mode
                                      bits (tty).
       xf     str    NULL             Pass-through filter.
       xs     num    0                Like xc, but set bits.
       ya     str    NULL             Additional parameters for print filter
       yd     str    NULL             Secondary   device   name  for  font
                                      faulting (I18N).
       yp     str    NULL             Printer  ID  conforming  to   Wototo
                                      standard (I18N).

       ys     num    0                Size   of  SoftODL  character  cache
       yt     str    "fifo"           SoftODL character replacement strategy

       When  the  local line printer driver supports indentation,
       the lpd line printer daemon must understand how to  invoke
       this capability.

   LAT Printing Characteristics    [Toc]    [Back]
       The  following  table  lists the LAT printing characteristics:

       Name   Type   Default      Description
       ct     str    LAT          Remote printing using  LAT
                                  as the transport
       lp     str    /dev/ttyWX   Device  name  to  open for
                                  output where WX is  a  LAT

   Network (TCP/IP) Printing Characteristics
       The  following table lists typical TCP/IP printing characteristics
 for a DEClaser3500 printer.  The  entry  in  the
       /etc/services file reads:

       dlaser35    10001/tcp

       Examples  of print symbol settings are set as follows: Has
       a value of tcp to specify network  printing  using  TCP/IP
       Has  a  value  of @prthub/dlaser35 which specifies service
       name dlaser35 on node prthub

   Advanced Printing Software    [Toc]    [Back]
       If Advanced Printing Software is installed you must  specify
  the string @dpa for the rm characteristic and specify
       a queue name for the rp characteristic.

       Refer to the Advanced Printing Software documentation  for
       more information on setting up the printing environment.

   Filter and Flags    [Toc]    [Back]
       The  lpd line printer daemon creates a pipeline of filters
       to process files for various different printer device. The
       filters  you select depend on the flags that are passed to
       the lpr command. The pipeline setup is:

       Flag   Filter    Description
       none   if        regular text
       -p     pr | if   regular text + pr
       -c     cf        cifplot
       -d     df        DVI (tex)
       -g     gf        plot
       -n     nf        ditroff
       -f     rf        FORTRAN
       -t     tf        troff
       -v     vf        raster image

       The if filter is invoked with arguments according  to  the
       following  format:  if   [-c]   -wwidth  -llength -iindent
       -nlogin -hhost acct-file

       The xf pass-through filter is  specified  when  output  is
       preformatted and does not require special filtering.

       The -c flag is passed only when the -l flag (pass controlcharacters
 literally) is specified to the lpr command. The
       -wwidth and -llength parameters specify the page width and
       length (from the assigned or default values of pw  and  pl
       respectively  in  the printcap file) in characters. The -n
       and -h flags specify the login name and  hostname  of  the
       owner  of  the job, respectively.  The acct-file is passed
       from the af entry in the printcap file.

       The if filter is opened for  all  individual  jobs,  which
       makes  it  suitable  for accounting. When the if filter is
       not specified, the  system  uses  the  of  filter  as  the
       default  value. The of filter however, is opened only once
       and is only given the -wwidth and -llength flags.

       All other filters are called according  to  the  following
       format: filter -xwidth -ylength -nlogin -h host acct-file

       In  this  format,  -xwidth and -ylength are represented in
       pixels as specified by the  px  and  py  entries,  respectively,
 in the printcap file.

       All filters take standard input (stdin) as the source file
       and standard  output  (stdout)  as  the  destination.  The
       printer  may  log either to standard error (stderr) or use
       syslogd, and must not ignore the SIGINT signal.

   ERROR LOGGING    [Toc]    [Back]
       Error messages generated  by  the  line  printer  programs
       (that  is,  the  lp* programs) are logged by syslogd using
       the lpr facility.  Messages printed on the stderr  of  one
       of the filters are sent to the corresponding lf file specified
 in the printcap file. The filters  may,  of  course,
       also use syslogd.

       Error  messages sent to the console have a carriage return
       and a line feed appended to them, rather than just a  line

RESTRICTIONS    [Toc]    [Back]

       Editing  the  /etc/printcap  file  manually  is not recommended.
  Use the appropriate  configuration  utilities  to
       add printers and symbols. If a printcap file is corrupted,
       you will see an error message to this  effect.   A  likely
       cause  of  such corruption is the presence of tab or space
       characters in a blank line  or  following  a  continuation
       character  (\).   Use the following command to find incorrect
 tabs or spaces in the printcap file:

       $ cat -e /etc/printcap | more

       The preceding command marks the end of each  line  with  a
       dollar  sign ($) so that trailing tabs and spaces are easily

       The following restrictions apply when using older versions
       of printcap files, at Digital UNIX Version 3.2 or earlier:
       The system assigns printers names  lp[0-9]*,  [0-9]*,  and
       for  the  default  printer,  lp.  For example, the default
       printer    may    have    a    name    field    such    as
       lp0|0|lp|default|declaser3500:...  and another printer may
       be lp7|7|some_alias|another alias:....  As a  result,  the
       system  will  have difficulty with printers that have less
       than two  names  or  that  use  these  reserved  names  as
       aliases.   Some of the attribute value checking is different.
  For example, some fields that were not required  now
       are,  and some attributes values that were legal no longer
       are.  The printconfig utility requires that  all  comments
       be  associated  with  a  printer.  As  a  result, comments
       appearing  after  the  last  printer  will  be   truncated
       (deleted).  As  a work around, invoke printconfig with the
       menu interface as follows:

              printconfig -ui menu

              this command invokes lprsetup which is  fully  compatible
 with earlier printcap files.

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       Commands:   lpq(1),   lpr(1),   lprm(1),  lpc(8),  lpd(8),
       lprsetup(8), pac(8)

       Files: termcap(4)

       Others: i18n_printing(5)

       System Administration

       Network Administration: Connections

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