Printing via USB Port

Bill Tillman btillman99 at
Fri Feb 26 23:05:43 UTC 2010

--- 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, 4:25 PM

On Fri, 26 Feb 2010, Bill Tillman wrote:

> 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.

[Please don't top-post, it makes replying harder.]

Some inexpensive printers don't auto-switch ports, so try disconnecting the parallel cable when testing 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?

If you have lpd_enable="YES" in rc.conf, you don't need to start lpd from the command line.

There should still only be one running.  Is the second one grep, maybe?

> After reboot and restarting lpd, the job is in the queue but nothing is printing when using the USB connection.

Check the status:

% lpc status lp

And try restarting the printer:

% lpc restart lp

-Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota USA

Thanks again for your valuable input. I have set up lpd printing on my old FreeBSD server at least a dozen times and it became a simple routine to do with apsfilter. Let me see if I can place all my cards in one place and perhaps we can find the bug.

/usr/local/bin/gs -dSAFER -dNOPAUSE -q -sDEVICE=ljet4 -sOutputFile=- -

I start lpd and there is only one instance of it running. But then when I did this command:
lpr /tmp/
This file in my /tmp directory is a postscript formatted file. The job gets locked up in the queue, nothing prints and then there are two instances of lpd running. For now I am not running lpd from /etc/rc.conf. 
ps -ax | grep lpd
 1241  ??  Is     0:00.00 lpd
 1246  ??  IE     0:00.00 lpd
The USB side seems to be lost in it's own world. Again I tested the cable and the printer on the Windows box and it printed some very nice docs for me.
Here is some other output of dmesg that shows the printer is out there and the system is seeing it. Why it will not print is beyond my understanding now.
BigDell# dmesg | grep ulpt
ulpt0: <Brother HL-2040 series, class 0/0, rev 2.00/1.00, addr 3> on usbus0
ulpt0: using bi-directional mode

BigDell# dmesg | grep ugen
ugen0.1: <nVidia> at usbus0
ugen1.1: <nVidia> at usbus1
ugen0.2: <vendor 0x058f> at usbus0
ugen0.3: <Brother> at usbus0
BigDell# ps -ax | grep lpd
 1241  ??  Is     0:00.00 lpd
 1246  ??  IE     0:00.00 lpd

BigDell# killall lpd
BigDell# ps -ax | grep lpd

BigDell# lpd

BigDell# ps -ax | grep lpd
 1311  ??  Ss     0:00.00 lpd

BigDell# lpr /tmp/

BigDell# lpq
lp is ready and printing
Rank   Owner      Job  Files                                 Total Size
active root       14   /tmp/                       22507 bytes



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