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Print Commands Under Unix

There are two different ways to do basic printing, use either the lp or the lpr commands. If you are trying to use more complicated printing functions you will need to use the lp command rather than lpr, or use some of our fancier commands (see below). See either of their manpages (lp or lpr) to see more options and commands, or see our page for printing options specific to the BWs and a larger description of the lp functions.

Note: Only print PostScript or text, all PDFs should be converted to PS.

pdf2ps file.pdf file.ps

Here are a few basic commands that will come in handy for the common user.

Function lp lpr
Specify a particular printer lp -d printername lpr -P printername
Check the print queue lpstat -d printername lpq -P printername
Cancel a print job cancel lprm
Print X number of pages lp -n X lpr -# X

Fancier Printing

For more complicated documents we recommend using commands other than lp or lpr. These are a few that are known to work well.

Command Function Notes
enscript prints text nicely man_enscript
vgrind prints C/C++ code nicely man_vgrind
psyapp prints code and text man_psyapp
mp prints mail and news well man_mp
ghostview file
or use gv
previews PS on the screen
before printing
[Q] - exit
[SPC] - next pg