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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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3.6.1 lpr/lpd

For the lpr/lpd type spoolers (lpr, lprng, and gnulpr), set up /etc/printcap as follows if they are connected to a PostScript or text-only printer (the basics):

     lp|alias:\
             :sd=/var/spool/lpd/lp:\
             :mx#0:\
             :sh:\
             :lp=/dev/lp0:

Meaning of the above lines:

  • Head line: lp – name of spool, alias = alias

  • mx#0 – max file size unlimited

  • sh – suppress printing of burst page header

  • lp=/dev/lp0 – local printer device, or [email protected] for remote

This is a good configuration if you are connected to a PostScript printer. Also, when printing from a Windows machine through Samba, this is a good configuration for any Windows-supported printer (no bidirectional communication is supported). You have to select the corresponding printer configuration on the Windows machine.

If you do not have a PostScript printer, you need to set up a filtering system using gs. There are many autoconfiguration tools provided for setting up /etc/printcap. Any of these combinations is an option:

  • gnulpr, (lpr-ppd) and printtool—I use this.

  • lpr and apsfilter

  • lpr and magicfilter

  • lprng and lprngtool

  • lprng and apsfilter

  • lprng and magicfilter

In order to run GUI configuration tools such as printtool, see Getting root in X, Section 9.4.12 to gain root privilege. Printer spools created with printtool use gs and act like PostScript printers. So when accessing them, use PostScript printer drivers. On the Windows side, "Apple LaserWriter" is the standard one.


Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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