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Using XPRINT to Print from Unix Systems

  Rainer Többicke CN/DCI

A new version of the xprint command has recently been introduced. It is available automatically on all AFS client machines (usually in /usr/local/bin) or through installation from ASIS.

xprint can be used to print from Unix machines (such as workstations or servers like the IBM SP2) on printers registered in the central springer print server.

An (unordered) list of over 500 registered printers at CERN and remote sites is available via www, URL:

Printer names usually give a good idea where the printer is actually located. Additional information, however, on where exactly the printer is located and who is responsible for it, is subject to the willingness of owners to keep this information up to date.

Command syntax

Aside from submitting print jobs, the xprint command is also used for displaying print queues and cancelling print jobs. cancel is restricted to the user on the machine on which the original xprint print request originated. The basic command syntax for xprint is

xprint [-P\emph{printer}] [\emph{options}] {\emph{filename}|-q|-c\emph{spoolid}}
The -q and -c options specify query (display queue) and cancel, respectively. If the -Pprinter option is not specified, xprint uses the value of the XPRINTER or PRINTER environment variables (if they exist).

Further options can be specified, such as to control text formatting (except for already formatted documents, e.g. PostScript) or paper handling:

suppresses printing of the banner page,
-w num
number of characters per line,
-l num
number of lines per page,
-o landscape
selects ``landscape'' paper orientation,
-o simplex
prints on one side of the paper only instead of both sides (on printers where this is supported),
-f 3812-forms-code
is only for compatibility with applications written for the 3812 or XEROX printers; this option should otherwise be avoided.

More options exist, some only applicable to certain printer models. xprint -help will display a short summary of available options. For complete information please refer to man xprint.

xprint installation / setup

xprint does not require any specific configuration on the machine it is invoked on, and is therefore easier to set up than its traditional Unix counterparts lpr or lp.

While most printers are served directly by springer, sometimes springer simply acts as a relay host to other print servers. This makes it possible to print on printers connected to Novell servers or printers off the CERN site. However, text formatting or print job cancelling are generally ignored or refused in those cases, depending on the capabilities of the print server.

next up previous
Next: The New Software Up: Desktop Computing Previous: Clean up your

Janne Saarela
Fri May 19 16:03:15 METDST 1995