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PRINTCAP(5)               FreeBSD File Formats Manual              PRINTCAP(5)

     printcap -- 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
     printcap file every time it is used, allowing dynamic addition and dele-
     tion 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 discus-
     sion 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       NULL                   name of accounting file
     br         num       none                   if lp is a tty, set the baud
                                                 rate (ioctl(2) call)
     cf         str       NULL                   cifplot data filter
     ct         num       120                    TCP connection timeout in
     df         str       NULL                   tex data filter (DVI format)
     ff         str       `\f'                   string to send for a form
     fo         bool      false                  print a form feed when device
                                                 is opened
     gf         str       NULL                   graph data filter (plot(3)
     hl         bool      false                  print the burst header page
     ic         bool      false                  driver supports (non
                                                 standard) ioctl to indent
     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                device name to open for
                                                 output, or port@machine to
                                                 open a TCP socket
     mc         num       0                      maximum number of copies
                                                 which can be requested on
                                                 lpr(1), zero = unlimited
     ms         str       NULL                   if lp is a tty, a comma-
                                                 separated, stty(1)-like list
                                                 describing the tty modes
     mx         num       0                      maximum file size (in BUFSIZ
                                                 blocks), zero = unlimited
     nd         str       NULL                   next directory for list of
                                                 queues (unimplemented)
     nf         str       NULL                   ditroff data filter (device
                                                 independent troff)
     of         str       NULL                   name of output filtering
     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
     py         num       0                      page length in pixels
     rc         bool      false                  when sending to a remote
                                                 host, resend copies (see
     rf         str       NULL                   filter for printing FORTRAN
                                                 style text files
     rg         str       NULL                   restricted group. Only
                                                 members of group allowed
     rm         str       NULL                   machine name for remote
     rp         str       lp                     remote printer name argument
     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       /var/spool/lpd         spool directory
     sf         bool      false                  suppress form feeds
     sh         bool      false                  suppress printing of burst
                                                 page header
     sr         str       NULL                   file name to hold statistics
                                                 of each datafile as it is
     ss         str       NULL                   file name to hold statistics
                                                 of each datafile as it is
     st         str       status                 status file name
     tf         str       NULL                   troff data filter (cat
     tr         str       NULL                   trailer string to print when
                                                 queue empties
     vf         str       NULL                   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
     df            filt.dvi
     du            daemon.user
     ff            job.formfeed
     fo            job.topofform
     gf            filt.plot
     hl            banner.last
     if            filt.input
     lf            spool.log
     lo            spool.lock
     lp            tty.device
     mc            max.copies
     ms            tty.mode
     mx            max.blocks
     nf            filt.ditroff
     of            filt.output
     pc            acct.price
     pl            page.length
     pw            page.width
     px            page.pwidth
     py            page.plength
     rc            remote.resend_copies
     rf            filt.fortran
     rg            daemon.restrictgrp
     rp            remote.queue
     rs            daemon.restricted
     sb            banner.short
     sc            job.no_copies
     sd            spool.dir
     sf            job.no_formfeed
     sh            banner.disable
     sr            stat.recv
     ss            stat.send
     st            spool.status
     tf            filt.troff
     tr            job.trailer
     vf            filt.raster

     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 var-
     ious 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] -wwidth -llength -iindent -n login -h host acct-file

     The -c flag is passed only if the -l flag (pass control characters liter-
     ally) 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
     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.

     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.  Specifi-
     cally, the output filter is terminated and restarted for each file trans-
     mitted.  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 writ-
     ten 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)

     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.lpd(5), termcap(5), chkprintcap(8),
     lpc(8), lpd(8), pac(8)

     4.3 BSD Line Printer Spooler Manual.

     The printcap file format appeared in 4.2BSD.

FreeBSD 6.2                    October 11, 2000                    FreeBSD 6.2


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