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printcap (5)
  • >> printcap (5) ( FreeBSD man: Форматы файлов )
  • printcap (5) ( Linux man: Форматы файлов )

  • BSD mandoc


     - printer capability data base




    The Printcap function is a simplified version of the termcap(5) data base used to describe line printers. The spooling system accesses the file every time it is used, allowing dynamic addition and deletion of printers. Each entry in the data base is used to describe one printer. This data base may not be substituted for, as is possible for termcap(5), because it may allow accounting to be bypassed.

    The default printer is normally lp though the environment variable PRINTER may be used to override this. Each spooling utility supports an option, -P printer to allow explicit naming of a destination printer.

    Refer to the "4.3 BSD Line Printer Spooler Manual" for a complete discussion on how to setup the database for a given printer.  


    Refer to termcap(5) for a description of the file layout.

    Name  Type    Default Description

    "af        str" Ta NULL Ta name of accounting file
    "brnumnoneif lp is a tty, set the baud rate"
    "cf     str" Ta NULL Ta cifplot data filter
    "ct    num     120     TCP connection timeout in seconds"
    "dfstr" Ta NULL Ta tex data filter
    ( DVI format)
    "ff     str" Ta So \f Sc Ta string to send for a form feed
    "fo       bool    false   print a form feed when device is opened"
    "gfstr" Ta NULL Ta graph data filter
    "hl     bool    false   print the burst header page last"
    "ic  bool    false   driver supports (non standard) ioctl to indent printout"
    "ifstr" Ta NULL Ta name of text filter which does accounting
    "lfstr" Ta /dev/console Ta error logging file name
    "lostr" Ta lock Ta name of lock file
    "lpstr" Ta /dev/lp Ta device name to open for output, or port @ machine to open a TCP socket
    "mcnum0maximum number of copies which can be requested on"
    zero = unlimited
    "ms     str" Ta NULL Ta if lp is a tty, a comma-separated,
    list describing the tty modes
    "mx     num     0       maximum file size (in"
    BUFSIZ blocks), zero = unlimited
    "nd     str" Ta NULL Ta next directory for list of queues (unimplemented)
    "nf      str" Ta NULL Ta ditroff data filter (device independent troff)
    "ofstr" Ta NULL Ta name of output filtering program
    "pcnum200price per foot or page in hundredths of cents"
    "plnum66page length (in lines)"
    "pwnum132page width (in characters)"
    "pxnum0page width in pixels (horizontal)"
    "pynum0page length in pixels (vertical)"
    "rcboolfalsewhen sending to a remote host, resend copies (see below)"
    "rfstr" Ta NULL Ta filter for printing
    FORTRAN style text files
    "rg     str" Ta NULL Ta restricted group. Only members of group allowed access
    "rm str" Ta NULL Ta machine name for remote printer
    "rpstr" Ta lp Ta remote printer name argument
    "rsboolfalserestrict remote users to those with local accounts"
    "rwboolfalseopen the printer device for reading and writing"
    "sbboolfalseshort banner (one line only)"
    "scboolfalsesuppress multiple copies"
    "sdstr" Ta /var/spool/lpd Ta spool directory
    "sfboolfalsesuppress form feeds"
    "shboolfalsesuppress printing of burst page header"
    "srstr" Ta NULL Ta file name to hold statistics of each datafile as it is received
    "ssstr" Ta NULL Ta file name to hold statistics of each datafile as it is sent
    "ststr" Ta status Ta status file name
    "tfstr" Ta NULL Ta troff data filter (cat phototypesetter)
    "trstr" Ta NULL Ta trailer string to print when queue empties
    "vfstr" Ta NULL Ta raster image filter

    Each two-letter capability has a human-readable alternate name.

    Short form    Long form

    "af acct.file"
    "br tty.rate"
    "cf  filt.cifplot"
    "ct      remote.timeout"

    If the local line printer driver supports indentation, the daemon
    must understand how to invoke it.  


    The lpd(8) daemon creates a pipeline of filters to process files for various printer types. The filters selected depend on the flags passed to lpr(1). The pipeline set up is:
    p       pr | if regular text + pr(1)
    none    if      regular text
    c       cf      cifplot
    d       df      DVI (tex)
    g       gf      plot(3)
    n       nf      ditroff
    f       rf      Fortran
    t       tf      troff
    v       vf      raster image

    The if filter is invoked with arguments:

    if [-c ] -w width -l length -i indent -n login -h host acct-file

    The -c flag is passed only if the -l flag (pass control characters literally) is specified to lpr(1). The Width function and length specify the page width and length (from pw and pl respectively) in characters. The -n and -h parameters specify the login name and host name of the owner of the job respectively. The Acct-file function is passed from the af entry.

    If no if is specified, of is used instead, with the distinction that of is opened only once, while if is opened for every individual job. Thus, if is better suited to performing accounting. The of is only given the width and length flags.

    All other filters are called as:

    filter -x width -y length -n login -h host acct-file

    where width and length are represented in pixels, specified by the px and py entries respectively.

    All filters take stdin as the file, stdout as the printer, may log either to stderr or using syslog(3), and must not ignore SIGINT  


    When printing to a remote printer using rm it is possible to use either if or of If both are specified, of is ignored. Both filters behave the same except that they are passed different arguments as above. Specifically, the output filter is terminated and restarted for each file transmitted. This is necessary in order to pass the resulting size to the remote lpd(8).

    If the -p flag was passed to lpr(1), pr(1) is not executed locally, but is requested of the remote lpd(8). Any input filtering via if will therefore happen before pr(1) is executed rather than afterwards.

    There are some models of network printers which accept jobs from lpd(8), but they ignore the control file for a job and simply print each data file as it arrives at the printer. One side-effect of this behavior is that the printer will ignore any request for multiple copies as given with the -# flag on the lpr(1) command. The rc entry will cause lpd(8) to resend each data file for each copy that the user originally requested. Note that the rc entry should only be specified on hosts which send jobs directly to the printer.

    If lp is specified as port @ machine (and rm is not in use), print data will be sent directly to the given port on the given machine  


    When a print job is transfered to a remote machine (which might be another unix box, or may be a network printer), it may be useful to keep statistics on each transfer. The sr and ss options indicate filenames that lpd should use to store such statistics. A statistics line is written for each datafile of a job as the file is successfully transferred. The format of the line is the same for both the sending and receiving side of a transfer.

    Statistics on datafiles being received would be used on a print server, if you are interested in network performance between a variety of machines which are sending jobs to that print server. The print server could collect statistics on the speed of each print job as it arrived on the server.

    Statistics on datafiles being sent might be used as a minimal accounting record, when you want to know who sent which jobs to a remote printer, when they were sent, and how large (in bytes) the files were. This will not give include any idea of how many pages were printed, because there is no standard way to get that information back from a remote (network) printer in this case.  


    Error messages generated by the line printer programs themselves (that is, the lpd(8) and related programs) are logged by syslog(3) using the LPR facility. Messages printed on stderr of one of the filters are sent to the corresponding lf file. The filters may, of course, use syslogd(8) themselves.

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


    lpq(1), lpr(1), lprm(1), hosts.lpd5, termcap(5), chkprintcap(8), lpc(8), lpd(8), pac(8)
    "4.3 BSD Line Printer Spooler Manual"


    The file format appeared in BSD 4.2




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