The ncpfs package contains a small utility called
nprint that sends print jobs across an NCP
connection to a NetWare print queue. This command creates the
connection if it doesn't currently exist and uses the
~/.nwclient file that we described earlier to
hide the username and password from prying eyes. The command-line
arguments used to manage the login process are the same as those used
by the ncpmount, so we won't go through those again
here. We will cover the most important command-line options in our
examples; refer to the nprint(1) manual page for
The only required option for nprint is the name of
the file to print. If the filename specified is – or if no filename
is specified at all, nprint will accept the print job
from stdin. The most important nprint
options specify the fileserver and print queue to which you wish the job to be
sent. Table 15-4 lists the most
Table 15-4. nprint Command-Line Options
The name of the NetWare fileserver supporting the print queue to which you wish
to print. Usually it is convenient for the server to have an entry in
~/.nwclient. This option is mandatory.
The print queue to which to send the print job. This option is mandatory.
Text that will appear in the print console utility when displaying the
list of queued jobs.
The number of lines per printed page. This defaults to 66.
The number of columns per printed page. This defaults to 80.
The number of copies of the job that will be printed. The default is 1.
A simple example using nprint would look like:
$ nprint -S REDS01 -q PSLASER -c 2 /home/matt/ethylene.ps
This command would print two copies of the file
to the printer named
on the REDS01
fileserver using a username and password obtained from the
You will recall we previously mentioned that the
–c option for the ncpmount
is useful for printing. At last we'll explain why and how.
Linux usually uses BSD-style line printer software. The line printer daemon
(lpd ) is a daemon that checks a local spool directory
for queued jobs that are to be printed. lpd reads the
printer name and some other parameters from the specially formatted spool
file and writes the data to the printer, optionally passing the data
through a filter to transform or manipulate it in some way.
The lpd daemon uses a simple database called
/etc/printcap to store printer configuration
information, including what filters are to be
run. lpd usually runs with the permissions of a
special system user called lp.
You could configure nprint as a filter for
the lpd to use, which allows users of your Linux machine to
output directly to remote printers hosted by a NetWare fileserver. To do this,
the lp user must be able to write NCP
requests to the NCP connection to the server.
An easy way to achieve this without requiring the
lp user to establish its own connection
and login is to specify lp as the owner
of a connection established by another user. A complete example of how to set
up the Linux printing system to handle print jobs from clients over NetWare is listed in three steps:
Write a wrapper script.
The /etc/printcap file doesn't permit options to
be supplied to filters. Therefore, you need to write a short script
that invokes the command you want along with its options. The wrapper
script could be as simple as:
# p2pslaser - simple script to redirect stdin to the
# PSLASER queue on the REDS01 server
/usr/bin/nprint -S REDS01 -U stuart -q PSLASER
Store the script in the file /usr/local/bin/p2pslaser.
Write the /etc/printcap entry.
We'll need to configure the p2pslaser script we
created as the output filter in the /etc/printcap.
This would look something like:
pslaser|Postscript Laser Printer hosted by NetWare server:\
Add the –c option to the ncpmount.
ncpmount -S REDS01 .... -c lp ....
Our local user stuart must specify
the lp user as the owner of the
connection when he mounts the remote NetWare server.
Now any Linux user may choose to specify pslaser as the printer name
when invoking lp. The print job will be sent
to the specified NetWare server and spooled for printing.
The pqlist command lists all of the print queues available
to you on the specified server. If you do not specify a fileserver on
the command line using the -S option, or a login name and
password, these will be taken from the default entry in your
# pqlist -S vbrew_f1 -U guest -n
Print queue name Queue ID
Our example shows a list of the print queues available to the
guest user on the ALES_F1
To view the print jobs on a print queue, use the
pqstat command. It takes the
print queue name as an argument and lists all of the jobs in that queue.
You may optionally supply another argument indicating how many of the jobs
in the queue you'd like to list. The following sample output has been
compressed a bit to fit the width of this book's page:
$ pqstat -S ALES_F1 NPI223761_P1
Server: ALES_F1 Queue: NPI223761_P1 Queue ID: 6A0E000C
Seq Name Description Status Form Job ID
1 TOTRAN LyX document - proposal.lyx Active 0 02660001
We can see just one print job in the queue, owned by user
TOTRAN. The rest of the options include a
description of the job, its status, and its job identifier.
The pqrm command is used to remove print jobs from
a specified print queue. To remove the job in the queue we've just
obtained the status of, we'd use:
$ pqrm -S ALES_F1 NPI223761_P1 02660001
The command is pretty straightforward but is clumsy to use in a hurry. It
would be a worthwhile project to write a basic script to simplify this