How to set up a network-attached printer

Warren Block wblock at
Sun Oct 14 19:26:43 PDT 2007

On Sun, 14 Oct 2007, Chris Hill wrote:
> On Sun, 14 Oct 2007, Warren Block wrote:
>> For extra points, add another printcap entry for lp: that will print plain 
>> text.
> I did something essentially identical to what Warren outlined, and it's 
> worked fine for many years now, since long before I'd ever heard of CUPS. 
> Here's the printcap entry:
> # HP color laser
> lp|snow|snowball|lj|ps|HP ColorLaserJet 4550N:\
>        :sh:\
>        :sd=/var/spool/output/lpd:\
>        :mx#0:\
>        :lp=:rm=snowball:rp="auto":

Some printers are pickier about the queue name than others; depends on 
the print server.

> By using various names separated by pipe symbols, they are all equivalent.

There's not much reason to have more than one name for a printer.  I use 
lp for text-only queues, and other names for non-text queues.

> Since one of them is lp, you can just send text to the printer and it works, 
> e.g.
> $ lpr textfile

>> /usr/ports/print/enscript* is nice for that, or lots of people use 
>> /usr/ports/print/apsfilter so they can send about anything to the printer 
>> and let it do the conversion.
> The printer should already know how to print text. Just send it via lpr; no 
> additional software needed.

Sometimes, depending on the printer.  Without a text filter, you might 
get the stairstep effect described in the handbook Troubleshooting 
section.  enscript is nice because it does page numbers and titles and 
other formatting.

-Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota USA

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list