LPR(1) General Commands Manual LPR(1)
lpr - send a job to the printer
lpr [ -Pprinter ] [ -#copies ] [ -Cclass ] [ -Jjob ]
[ -Ttitle ] [ -i [ indent ] ] [ -1234font ] [ -wcols ]
[ -r ] [ -m ] [ -h ] [ -s ] [ -filter-option ]
[ filename ... ]
lpr creates a printer job in a spooling area for subsequent printing as
facilities become available. Each printer job consists of a control
file and one or more data files. The data files are copies of (or,
with -s , symbolic links to) each filename you specify. The spool area
is managed by the line printer daemon, lpd(8). Jobs that specify a
printer on a remote machine are forwarded by lpd.
lpr reads from the standard input if no files are specified.
-Pprinter Send output to the named printer. Otherwise send output
to the printer named in the PRINTER environment vari-
able, or to the default printer, lp.
-#copies Produce the number of copies indicated for each named
file. For example:
example% lpr -#3 index.c lookup.c
produces three copies of index.c, followed by three
copies of lookup.c. On the other hand,
example% cat index.c lookup.c | lpr -#3
generates three copies of the concatenation of the
-Cclass Print class as the job classification on the burst page.
example% lpr -C Operations new.index.c
replaces the system name (the name returned by hostname)
with "Operations" on the burst page, and prints the file
-Jjob Print job as the job name on the burst page. Normally,
lpr uses the first file's name.
-Ttitle Use title instead of the file name for the title used by
-i[ indent ] Indent output indent SPACE characters. Eight SPACE
characters is the default. The indent is passed to the
input filter. If no input filter is present, this
option is ignored.
-4 font Mount the specified font on font position 1, 2, 3 or 4.
The daemon will construct a .railmag file in the spool
directory that indicates the mount by referencing
-wcols Use cols as the page width for pr.
-r Remove the file upon completion of spooling, or upon
completion of printing with the -s option.
-m Send mail upon completion.
-h Suppress printing the burst page.
-s Create a symbolic link from the spool area to the data
files rather than trying to copy them (so large files
can be printed). This means the data files should not
be modified or removed until they have been printed.
This option can be used to avoid truncating files larger
than the maximum given in the mx capability of the
printcap(5) entry. -s only prevents copies of local
files from being made. Jobs from remote hosts are
copied anyway. -s only works with named data files; if
the lpr command is at the end of a pipeline, the data is
copied to the spool.
filter-option The following single letter options notify the line
printer spooler that the files are not standard text
files. The spooling daemon will use the appropriate
filters to print the data accordingly.
-p Use pr to format the files (lpr -p is very much
like `pr | lpr').
-l Print control characters and suppress page
-t The files contain troff(1) (cat phototypesetter)
-n The files contain data from ditroff (device inde-
-d The files contain data from tex (DVI format from
-g The files contain standard plot data as produced
by the plot(3X) routines (see also plot(1G) for
the filters used by the printer spooler).
-v The files contain a raster image, see raster-
file(5). The printer must support an appropriate
imaging model such as PostScript in order to
print the image.
-c The files contain data produced by cifplot.
-f Interpret the first character of each line as a
standard FORTRAN carriage control character.
If no filter-option is given (and the printer can inter-
pret PostScript), the string `%!' as the first two
characters of a file indicates that it contains Post-
These filter options offer a standard user interface,
and all options may not be available for, nor applicable
to, all printers.
/etc/passwd personal identification
/etc/printcap printer capabilities data base
/usr/lib/lpd line printer daemon
/var/spool/l* directories used for spooling
/var/spool/l*/cf* daemon control files
/var/spool/l*/df* data files specified in `cf' files
/var/spool/l*/tf* temporary copies of `cf' files
lpq(1), lprm(1), plot(1G), pr(1V), screendump(1), troff(1), plot(3X),
printcap(5), rasterfile(5), lpc(8), lpd(8)
lpr: copy file is too large
A file is determined to be too "large" to print by copying into
the spool area. lpr truncates the file, and prints as much of
it as it can. The maximum file length is specified by the mx
capability of the printcap(5) entry for the printer. If no mx
capability is specified, the default limit is 1000 Kbytes. Use
the -s option as defined above to make a symbolic link to the
file instead of copying it.
lpr: printer: unknown printer
The printer was not found in the printcap database. Usually
this is a typing mistake; however, it may indicate a missing or
incorrect entry in the /etc/printcap file.
lpr: printer: jobs queued, but cannot start daemon.
The connection to lpd on the local machine failed. This usually
means the printer server started at boot time has died or is
hung. Check the local socket /dev/printer to be sure it still
exists (if it does not exist, there is no lpd process running).
lpr: printer: printer queue is disabled
This means the queue was turned off with
example% /usr/etc/lpc disable printer
to prevent lpr from putting files in the queue. This is nor-
mally done by the system manager when a printer is going to be
down for a long time. The printer can be turned back on by a
super-user with lpc.
If a connection to lpd on the local machine cannot be made lpr
will say that the daemon cannot be started. Diagnostics may be
printed in the daemon log file regarding missing spool files by
Command-line options cannot be combined into a single argument as with
some other commands. The command:
is not equivalent to
lpr -f -s
Placing the -s flag first, or writing each option as a separate argu-
ment, makes a link as expected.
lpr -p is not precisely equivalent to pr | lpr. lpr -p puts the cur-
rent date at the top of each page, rather than the date last modified.
Fonts for troff(1) and TEX(R) reside on the printer host. It is cur-
rently not possible to use local font libraries.
lpr refuses to print a.out files and library archives.
The -s option only avoids copying the data file to the spool directory
of the local machine. If the printer for a job resides on a remote
machine, the data file will be copied to the remote spool directory in
28 August 1989 LPR(1)