Printing via USB Port

Bill Tillman btillman99 at
Fri Feb 26 22:09:57 UTC 2010

Okay, I have the setup like you show and at least now the jobs show up in the queue, but nothing makes it to the printer. It's funny because I can change the one line in /etc/printcap to point to lpt0 instead of ulpt0 and it works. I have both parallel and USB cables connected in this test setup, but the server I want to move the printer back to only has USB.
Something else that seems odd, when I rebooted and started lpd from the command line there are two instances of it showing up in the ps -ax output. Shouldn't only one be running?
After reboot and restarting lpd, the job is in the queue but nothing is printing when using the USB connection. Sorry to be so much trouble. I thought this would be one of those things that would just start working.

--- On Fri, 2/26/10, Warren Block <wblock at> wrote:

From: Warren Block <wblock at>
Subject: Re: Printing via USB Port
To: "Bill Tillman" <btillman99 at>
Cc: freebsd-questions at
Date: Friday, February 26, 2010, 1:54 PM

On Fri, 26 Feb 2010, Bill Tillman wrote:

> Your answers are usually spot on but this is one of those difficult times when the Windows and Linux guys at work laugh their asses off at me for being such a FreeBSD die-hard.

That's like laughing at a chef when fast food is available.

> So I added the standard #!/bin/sh line to the beginning of the ps2pcl

Doh.  Time for me to create an article on this to avoid mistakes like that.

> file and nothing printed, not even error messages about what happened.

This probably means it works.  The ps2pcl filter expects PostScript input; it doesn't auto-format like apsfilter.  So format your print jobs in PS first.  Many applications do that already (OpenOffice), or there are conversion programs like enscript (print/enscript-letter) for text.

  % enscript testfile.txt

Will format testfile.txt into PS and send it to the lp printer.

This works for me here--I reconnected my printer via USB to try it.

-Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota USA


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