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PRINTCAP(5) BSD File Formats Manual PRINTCAP(5)

NAME

printcap — printer capability database

SYNOPSIS

printcap

DESCRIPTION

The printcap file is a simplified version of the termcap(5) database used to describe line printers. The spooling system accesses the printcap file every time it is used, allowing dynamic addition and deletion of printers. Each entry in the database is used to describe one printer. This database 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, -Pprinter, 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 set up the database for a given printer.

CAPABILITIES

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

Name

Type

Default

Description

af

str

NULL

name of accounting file

br

num

none

if lp is a tty, set baud rate (ioctl(2) call)

cf

str

NULL

cifplot data filter

df

str

NULL

tex data filter (DVI format)

fc

num

0

if lp is a tty, clear flag bits (⟨ sgtty.h⟩ )

ff

str

\f ’ string to send for a form feed

fo bool false print a form feed when device is opened
fs num 0 if lp is a tty, set flag bits (⟨ sgtty.h⟩ )
gf str NULL graph data filter (plot(3) format)
hl bool false print the burst header page last
ic bool false supports non-standard ioctl to indent printout
if str NULL name of text filter which does accounting
lf str /dev/console error logging file name
lo str lock name of lock file
lp str /dev/lp local printer device, or port@host for remote
ms str NULL list of terminal modes to set or clear
mx num 1000 max file size (in BUFSIZ blocks); 0=unlimited
nd str NULL next directory for queues list (unimplemented)
nf str NULL ditroff data filter (device independent troff)
of str NULL name of output filtering program
pc num 200 price per foot or page in hundredths of cents
pl num 66 page length (in lines)
pw num 132 page width (in characters)
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
rg str NULL restricted group-only group members can access
rm str NULL machine name for remote printer
rp str ’’lp’’ remote printer name argument
rs bool false remote users must have a local account
rw bool false open printer device for reading and writing
sb bool false short banner (one line only)
sc bool false suppress multiple copies
sd str /var/spool/lpd spool directory
sf bool false suppress form feeds
sh bool false suppress printing of burst page header
st str status status file name
tf str NULL troff data filter (cat phototypesetter)
tr str NULL trailer string to print when queue empties
vf str NULL raster image filter
xc num 0 if lp is a tty, clear local mode bits (tty(4))
xs num 0 if lp is a tty, set local mode bits (tty(4))

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

FILTERS

If a printer is specified via lp (either local or remote), the lpd(8) daemon creates a pipeline of ’’filters’’ to process files for various printer types. The pipeline is not set up for remote printers specified via rm unless the local host is the same as the remote printer host given. 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] -wwidth -llength -iindent -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). width 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 printcap 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 -xwidth -ylength -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.

LOGGING

Error messages generated by the line printer programs themselves 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 syslog(3) themselves.

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

SEE ALSO

lpq(1), lpr(1), lprm(1), termcap(5), lpc(8), lpd(8), pac(8)

4.3 BSD Line Printer Spooler Manual

.

HISTORY

The printcap file format appeared in 4.2BSD.

BSD December 11, 1993 BSD

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