Provided by: hpoj_0.91-9_i386
hpoj reference: "ptal-mlcd"
ptal-mlcd [mlc:]bus:name [options...]
The "ptal-mlcd" daemon implements the HP MLC (Multiple Logical
Channels) and IEEE 1284.4 packetized transport protocols over parallel
ports and USB, and enables access to the various MLC/1284.4 services on
the device, such as print, scan, and PML. Applications use the PTAL
frontend API to access local or remote devices, and "libptal" accesses
locally-connected devices controlled by "ptal-mlcd" through the use of
Unix-domain sockets, which, unlike TCP/IP sockets, are not accessible
across a network. Currently, "ptal-mlcd" performs parallel-port I/O by
accessing the hardware registers and performing the IEEE 1284 ECP- and
nibble-mode signalling directly from user mode, with no kernel
assistance. In most cases it now makes use of bounded ECP mode and
hardware assistance for faster ECP transfers, by writing/reading bytes
to/from the ECP FIFO registers. However, it doesn’t make use of
hardware interrupts or DMA, given that it runs in user mode. On the
other hand, "ptal-mlcd"’s USB support depends on "libusb" and/or the
Linux kernel USB printer-class driver ("printer.o"). "libusb" is
required in order to access all device functions on certain "composite
USB" models and to work around SMP issues in "printer.o", but otherwise
the two methods should work equally well. See the hpoj Supported
Devices page for more information about requirements for different
· "bus" is the connection type and is one of:
· "par" -- Parallel port
· "usb" -- Universal Serial Bus
· "name" is the desired name or number suffix for this device
· Common "options" for all "bus" types:
· "-devidmatch string" -- Matches portion of device ID string,
such as the model or serial-number fields to uniquely identify
· "-remconsole" -- Enables remote debug console (service name
"PTAL-MLCD-CONSOLE", socket -1), also makes log message output
less susceptible to data loss but slightly more susceptible to
· Less common "options" for all "bus" types:
· "-nofork" -- Stays in the foreground, enables local console
· "-nodrain" -- Disables channel-78 reset and reverse data drain
in case they cause a problem
· "-forcemlcdot4" -- Forces both 1284.4 and MLC modes to be tried
· "-nodot4" or "-nomlc" -- Disables 1284.4 or MLC mode
individually (Caution: Don’t disable both, because "raw" mode
currently does not work very well.)
· "-nopml" -- Disables PML multiplexing
· "-nolog", "-logwarn", "-log" -- Sets logging level
· Valid "options" for "par":
· "-base 0xADDR" -- I/O port base address (default is 0x378)
· "-basehigh 0xADDR" -- ECP high base address (default is
"base"+0x400, must be specified after "-base")
· "-device /dev/lp0" -- Path and filename of corresponding device
node, used to lock the port and prevent interference from other
· "-porttype porttype" -- Overrides port-type detection, one of:
· "spp" -- Standard (unidirectional) parallel port
· "bpp" -- Bidirectional (PS/2, not ECP) parallel port
· "ecp" -- Extended Capabilities Port with no hardware
· "ecphw" -- Extended Capabilities Port with hardware
· "ecphwfwd" -- Extended Capabilities Port with hardware
assistance in the forward direction only
· "ecphwrev" -- Extended Capabilities Port with hardware
assistance in the reverse direction only
· "-nobecp" -- Prevents bounded ECP mode from being used
· "-forcebecp" -- Forces bounded ECP mode to be used
· Valid "options" for "usb":
· "-device "/dev/usb/lp*"..." -- Path and filename of Linux
"printer.o" device node(s) (it’s OK to have multiple device
nodes and/or wildcards, preferably not expanded by the shell)
· "-device %bus%device" -- "libusb" bus and device names/numbers
· "-vpidmatch 0xVVVVPPPP" -- Matches USB vendor and product ID
instead of "-devidmatch"
· "-nocomp" -- Disables composite-USB support (FF/D4/00 or
FF/FF/FF MLC/1284.4 interface)
· "-nocompprint" -- Disables composite-USB "raw" print interface
(7/1/2) and always tries to print over (possibly composite)
· "-forcecomp" -- Enables extra composite-USB support (FF/FF/FF
MLC/1284.4 interface) that would not normally be used in most
· "-noglobusb" -- Disables implicit libusb device globbing
· "-nochannelchange" -- Disables HP USB "channel change" request
"ptal-mlcd" and "ptal-printd" are typically called by "ptal-init", and
it’s generally unnecessary to invoke them manually from the command
line except for development or debugging purposes. A "ptal-mlcd"
process exists in one of several overall states. When startup is
complete, it is in the inactive state. When an application tries to
access the device, "ptal-mlcd" starts to activate, or in other words,
establish an MLC/1284.4 communication session with the device. Once
that is complete, "ptal-mlcd" is in the active state. If a
communication error happens, which could be the result of a power-off
or disconnection of the device or a protocol error, "ptal-mlcd"
deactivates, which includes closing all active application sessions and
returning to the inactive state. For each "ptal-mlcd" instance, there
is a main process that services application requests and implements the
MLC/1284.4 protocols. When "ptal-mlcd" activates as described above,
it forks a sub-process which handles low-level I/O to/from the device
and passes data to/from the main process using anonymous pipes. In
addition, when operating in composite USB mode, it forks a separate
sub-process to service application connections to the raw 7/1/2 print
interface outside of the MLC/1284.4 session; this sub-process exits
when the application closes the connection or when "ptal-mlcd"
deactivates. "ptal-mlcd" special-cases the PML (Peripheral Management
Language) service on the device, by keeping open a single PML channel
while activated, virtualizing application requests to open the PML
service, and multiplexing PML requests (gets and sets but not yet
traps) from possibly multiple applications over a single PML session
with the device. On the other hand, if you specify the "-nopml"
switch, then this behavior is disabled, and only one application may
open PML at a time but has exclusive access to the device’s PML
service. Parallel-specific notes The typical invocation for
"ptal-mlcd" on parallel, set up automatically by ""ptal-init setup"",
is something like the following (split into multiple lines for
ptal-mlcd mlc:par:OfficeJet_K80 [-remconsole] \ -devidmatch
"MDL:OfficeJet K80;" \ -devidmatch "SERN:000000000010;" \ -base 0x378
-basehigh 0x778 -device /dev/lp0
Specifying the "-device" switch is recommended if your system has
kernel parallel-port support, because it gives "ptal-mlcd" a mechanism
to lock the parallel port and prevent other processes from opening it
and interfering with its signalling. Just make sure you specify the
right device node, or it won’t do any good. Also, unlike for USB, do
not specify multiple device nodes, including using wildcards. In order
to take advantage of "ptal-mlcd"’s new hardware-assisted parallel-port
I/O, you must configure your parallel port to ECP in your BIOS setup.
USB-specific notes The typical invocation for "ptal-mlcd" on USB, set
up automatically by ""ptal-init setup"", is something like the
following (split into multiple lines for clarity):
ptal-mlcd mlc:usb:OfficeJet_K80 [-remconsole] \ -devidmatch
"MDL:OfficeJet K80;" \ -devidmatch "SERN:000000000010;" \ -device
This means that whenever "ptal-mlcd" tries to activate, it will open up
each USB printer device node in turn (including the implicitly-globbed
"libusb" devices), search the device ID string for the specified
string(s) (normally the model field and possibly also the serial number
field), and use the first matching device it finds. Alternatively, if
you only have one USB-connected printer device, you can use a simpler
command line such as the following:
ptal-mlcd mlc:usb:0 -device /dev/usb/lp0 -noglobusb [-remconsole]
"-noglobusb" is required in this case to prevent the implicit globbing
of "libusb" devices and guarantee that you’ll really get the device you
want. This usage is not recommended, however, because if you add
another USB printer, you’ll find that the "/dev/usb/lp0" device node
assignment may change over time, depending on what order the devices
are connected and powered on. Even if you have multiple USB printers
with only one connected and powered on at a time, having a separate
instance of the daemons for each model makes it easier to have
different print queues/drivers and scanning profiles set up for the
different devices as needed. Raw printing directly to the 7/1/2 print
interface (on a composite-USB device) is very slow if done through
"libusb" instead of Linux "printer.o". "libusb" and/or Linux
"usbdevfs" don’t indicate how many bytes were successfully transferred
at a timeout condition, which can happen if the printer is busy or out
of paper. Therefore, this communication path had to be reduced to
sending only one "runt" USB packet (63 or 31 bytes) at a time, to
prevent data corruption when recovering from timeout conditions. User
interface "ptal-mlcd" includes the following user-interface features:
· Special "virtual" services
· Log messages to standard output and syslog ("/var/log/messsages")
· A debug console
"ptal-mlcd" supports the following "virtual" services through
· "PTAL-MLCD-CONSOLE" -- The debug console, if enabled with the
· "PTAL-MLCD-PID" -- The main process ID of this instance of
· "PTAL-MLCD-CMDLINE" -- The command line passed to this instance of
· "PTAL-MLCD-DEVNODE" -- The device node, if any, in use by this
instance of "ptal-mlcd"
· "PTAL-MLCD-DUMP" -- A dump of the current state of most internal
data structures (useful for debugging)
· "PTAL-MLCD-GLOB-DEVNODES" -- Used by ""ptal-init setup"" to glob
standard and "libusb" device nodes ("ptal-mlcd" must be in a
"ptal-mlcd" logs various kinds of messages to standard output (which
may not be visible unless started in a particular terminal window) and
· "FATAL ERROR" -- An internal error bad enough to cause "ptal-mlcd"
to exit. Normal behavior if a startup error (such as command-line
syntax error or problem setting up socket) occurred. Otherwise,
should never happen. If it does, especially if it’s preceeded by a
large data-structure dump, then please report the problem to the
"hpoj-devel" mailing list.
· "ERROR" -- An error, such as a loss of communication with the
device, which is (hopefully) recoverable without exiting. Probably
not a bug, with the exception of an "fdRegister" error, which
should be reported to the "hpoj-devel" mailing list.
· "WARNING" -- An unusual situation that could potentially indicate a
problem, but which is (hopefully) immediately recoverable with no
· "SYSLOG" -- An information message by default logged only to
syslog, not standard output, indicating successful startup or
· "ENTRY", "EXIT", "INFO" -- Debug messages.
Here is a sample log message followed by an explanation of the
ptal-mlcd: ERROR at ExMgr.cpp:871,
dev=<mlc:usb:OfficeJet_K80@/dev/usb/lp0>, pid=17306, e=19 t=1064276197
· "ERROR" indicates the severity (see above for the possibilities).
· "ExMgr.cpp:871" indicates the source-code file and line number
where the message was logged. Useful for debugging.
· "dev=<mlc:usb:OfficeJet_K80@/dev/usb/lp0>" indicates the device
name controlled by the "ptal-mlcd" instance that logged the message
as well as the device node (if one is currently open). In
contrast, this might look like
"dev=<mlc:usb:OfficeJet_K80@%001%006>" if the device was being
accessed through "libusb".
· "pid=17306" indicates the process ID that logged the message.
· "e=10" indicates the current value of the "errno" variable,
probably irrelevant unless it’s an error message complaining about
a failed system call.
· "t=1064276197" is a timestamp of when this message was logged, in
the form of number of seconds since the beginning of the Unix epoch
(January 1, 1970).
· "exClose(reason=0x0010)" is the specific message with parameter
substitution as appropriate. Some log messages, especially some
fatal errors that should never happen (but occasionally they do:-)
don’t even have a customized second-line message.
"ptal-mlcd"’s debug console is accessible in either of the following
· Invoke "ptal-mlcd" with the "-remconsole" switch, to enable the
"remote" console capability. Issue a command such as:
ptal-connect mlc:usb:OfficeJet_G85 -service PTAL-MLCD-CONSOLE
This will "steal" the console away from standard output or from
another connection to this same service. Press Control-C or
Control-D to exit "ptal-connect" and return the console back to
standard output (and no standard input).
· Invoke "ptal-mlcd" with the "-nofork" switch, to prevent
"ptal-mlcd" from forking itself into the background and start up
the "local" console. Press Control-C to kill "ptal-mlcd" and
return to the command prompt.
When the debug console is active, the following commands may be used:
· "dump" -- Dumps all data structures.
· "pid" -- Prints the current main process ID.
· "activate" -- Starts activation if not active. Prints return code
of "exActivate()", which may be 0 if already active, 1 if started
(and probably finished) activating, and -1 if an error occurred.
· "deactivate" -- Deactivates by calling "exClose()", which always
logs an error message.
· "log" -- Enables all log messages, including debug messages.
· "logwarn" -- Enables log messages other than debug messages
("ENTRY", "EXIT", and "INFO").
· "nolog" -- Returns to the default log level of logging "ERROR" and
""FATAL ERROR"" to standard output and syslog and "SYSLOG" to
syslog but not standard output.
File-system usage "ptal-mlcd" creates Unix-domain sockets in the
directory "/var/run/ptal-mlcd" with the filename based on the first
command-line parameter, such as "par:OfficeJet_Series_700" or
"usb:OfficeJet_G85". When "libptal" first opens the Unix-domain
socket, it exchanges several request/reply packets with "ptal-mlcd",
which might include getting the device ID string, service name to
socket ID lookup, socket ID to service name ("reverse") lookup, and
channel open. In most cases, "ptal-mlcd" attempts to activate if it’s
not already active before processing one of these requests. After a
successful open reply, for all practical purposes the connection is
then a pass-through connection to the requested service on the device.
"ptal-mlcd" maintains a fixed-maximum-size table of various kinds of
"session" structures. Whenever a new connection is received from the
named socket, it is assigned to a "command session", which handles the
request/reply command interaction with "libptal". When an open request
is received, the command session is linked with either a "transport
session" or virtual "PML session", depending on whether the open
request was for a peripheral socket ID corresponding to the PML service
(which is virtualized) or for a different service. As the open is
processed the linked sessions go through several state transitions
together. If/when the open succeeds, the connection is fully
transferred from the command session to the transport or PML session,
but if the open fails then the linked session is freed and the
connection stays with the command session ready for possibly other
commands. "ptal-mlcd" depends on the "/dev/null" "bit-bucket" device
for several purposes. First of all, it substitutes "/dev/null" for the
standard input, output, and/or error file descriptors if they aren’t
already open, which is the case when invoked from a hotplug script (not
recommended). Second, it substitutes "/dev/null" file descriptors for
sessions which don’t have an associated file descriptor (such as the
master PML session) or sessions which have been closed by "libptal" but
are not ready to be completely torn down by "ptal-mlcd" (such as when
"ptal-mlcd" gets an error writing to a session’s file descriptor, which
is not the right state for tearing down the session). The basic
requirements for the "/dev/null" device are that "select()" should
indicate ready to read and write, "read()" should return an end-of-file
condition (zero bytes read), and "write()" should always "succeed" in
writing all of the requested bytes. Class hierarchy "ParPort":
· "ParPort" -- Handles access to parallel ports with PC-style
· port type detection
· parallel-port register access (for efficiency assumes PC-style
parallel port accessed with the x86/Alpha I/O port read/write
· IEEE 1284-1994 signalling:
· negotiation into ECP and nibble modes
· termination back to compatibility mode
· ECP forward-to-reverse and reverse-to-forward
· ECP forward data transfers
· ECP and nibble reverse data transfers
· ECP hardware-assisted data transfers
· Reading the device ID string
· "QueueEntry", "Queue" -- Node and container base classes for a
doubly-linked list (derived by message, watchdog timer, "BDR", and
· "ExMsgHandler" -- Base class for "ExMgr", "ExTransport", and
"ExTransportChannel" classes that serves as a template for
receiving messages (either dispatched explicitly or as a result of
a watchdog timer).
· "ExMsg" -- Contains destination and parameter information to route
a message to the correct "ExMsgHandler"-derived class.
· "ExMsgQueue" -- Used to store free (available) or pending messages.
· "PolledTimer" -- After being "started" with a particular timeout or
delay, is polled periodically to determine if the timeout has
passed. Also contains utility functions to delay a particular
amount of time by blocking without polling.
· "ExWatchdogTimer" -- Once set with a timeout and started, "pops" if
the timeout happens before being cancelled. This class takes two
different forms, which determine the meaning of "pop":
· A message-based timer has an "ExMsg" and an "ExMsgHandler"
destination set. When the timer pops, the message is sent to
the destination. Ordered in the "ExWatchdogTimerQueue" based
on time remaining until pop.
· A periodic timer has no "ExMsg" or "ExMsgHandler" set and is
used only by various modules to request a maximum "select()"
timeout. Ordered in the "ExWatchdogTimerQueue" based on
· "ExCountingWatchdogTimer" -- "ExWatchdogTimer"-derived class that
starts the underlying timer every time a start request is received,
and doesn’t stop it until the same number of stop requests have
· "ExWatchdogTimerQueue" -- Queues "ExWatchdogTimer" objects in the
order they will pop.
· "ExBdr" -- "Buffer Data Record" -- Contains data buffer, offset,
length, and owning transport channel (if any). BDRs for a single
packet (i.e. header and multiple data BDRs) may be chained together
to ensure uninterrupted transmission. Note that this is not the
same as several BDRs stored in a queue, although in some situations
the chain is broken up and each BDR queued separately.
· "ExBdrQueue" -- Stores BDRs containing data waiting to be processed
(except when used by an "ExBufferPool").
· "ExBufferPool" -- Stores free (available) BDRs. Uses a "lazy
allocation" algorithm, in that BDRs aren’t allocated until they’re
needed, to reduce memory consumption in the average case.
· "ExSessionLookup" -- "ExLookup"-derived class that stores an "scd"
attribute missing from the "ExLookup" class (see below).
· "ExMgr" -- Base class for "ParMgr" and "UsbMgr" that manages lots
· buffer pool
· transport (see below)
· main runtime loop ("exMain()") that revolves around "select()"
· file descriptor sets for "select()" (from console, socket,
sessions, and LLIO)
· command-line processing
· message queue and pool
· timer queues
· debug console
· named Unix-domain socket
· application sessions (command, transport, and virtual PML)
· low-level I/O ("LLIO"), partially implemented in derived
· "ParMgr" -- "ExMgr"-derived class for parallel-port connections to
glue "ParPort" functionality into "ExMgr".
· "UsbMgr" --"ExMgr"-derived class for USB connections to implement
device enumeration, device ID retrieval, and "libusb" access.
· "ExLookup", "ExLookupQueue" -- Stores parameters/results of
requests for 1284.4 service name to socket ID (and vice versa)
· "ExCounter" -- Maintains a counter up to MAXINT (-1, to prevent
· "ExDebugCounter" -- "ExCounter"-derived class that only increments
for debug purposes, and otherwise just does a plain set.
· "ExCreditCounter" -- Maintains "credit" count for MLC/1284.4 and
maximum outstanding forward packets.
· "ExTransportChannel" -- Handles the basic logic of forward and
reverse data flow and reverse buffer management for a single data
channel between the host and peripheral. Base class for
· "ExTransport" -- Pass-through (raw) transport, manages a list of
"ExTransportChannel"-derived objects, and provides non-channel-
specific transport-level functionality.
· "ExMlcCreditCounter" -- "ExCreditCounter"-derived class that sets
the maximum credit count of 0xFFFF.
· "ExMlcTransportChannel" -- "ExTransportChannel"-derived class that
handles the specifics of an MLC/1284.4 channel, including channel
open/close, forward/reverse data flow, and credit management.
· "ExMlcCommandChannel" -- "ExMlcTransportChannel"-derived class that
handles sending/receiving of MLC/1284.4 command packets and special
credit management needed for the command channel.
· "ExMlcTransport" -- "ExTransport"-derived class that manages the
channel list consisting of one "ExMlcCommandChannel" object and
many "ExMlcTransportChannel" objects, MLC/1284.4 packet header
overhead, routing reverse data to the correct channel, negotiating
the protocol revision (MLC or 1284.4), and service name lookup.
Porting considerations The "ExTransport" classes were ported directly
from the USB I/O firmware of the HP JetDirect 175X external print
server, which is a VxWorks-based embedded system. The porting task was
greatly simplified because the code has almost no system-level
dependencies. It was designed to run in a task context with other
code, so it doesn’t block on anything. The rest of the necessary
functionality was largely re-written for Linux and (for better or for
worse) dumped into the "ExMgr" class, with an auxilliary "ParPort"
class. The following system-level assumptions are made by "ptal-mlcd":
· "Standard" Unix/Linux "libc" API and system-call semantics. It
works on Linux and FreeBSD, so from this standpoint it shouldn’t be
too hard to port it to other similar operating systems.
· The "ParPort" class assumes a PC-style parallel-port register set
(with several annoying inverted bits in the control and status
registers), that it can use x86/Alpha "inb" and "outb" operations
to access these registers, and that it can give itself permission
to do this in some OS-dependent manner, currently supported on
Linux and FreeBSD. Alternatively, the parallel-port support can be
turned off entirely with the "./configure --without-par" switch.
· At a minimum, USB support depends on a (presumably kernel-mode)
printer-class device driver which binds to the "7/1/3" USB
interface on the device, which is for MLC or 1284.4 packetized
communication, not raw print data as is the case with 7/1/1 and
7/1/2. Bidirectional support is required. Also, there needs to be
some sort of "ioctl()" call to retrieve the device ID string of the
currently-attached device, although it’s OK if it’s retrieved once
on plug-in and cached for subsequent queries. A "read()" error
needs to be returned when the device is unplugged or powered off,
and by extension, "select()" needs to unblock and indicate that the
file descriptor is readable in this situation.
· For better USB support, there also need to be "ioctl()" calls to
query supported protocols (7/1/1, 7/1/2, 7/1/3) and which one is
currently selected, select a different protocol, issue the HP
vendor-specific CHANNEL_CHANGE_REQUEST USB command (in order to
support channel-78 reset and running MLC/1284.4 over 7/1/2 needed
for certain models), query the device’s vendor and product IDs, and
query the USB bus and device addresses assigned to the device. The
Linux kernels 2.4.19 and 2.5.7 and later have the necessary
functionality for full USB support.
· For best (and most portable) USB support, "libusb" is used, either
in conjunction with the above-mentioned kernel printer-class driver
for non-printer-class interfaces, or by itself for all interfaces
(recommended for non-Linux platforms which don’t already have
sufficient printer-class driver support). If used in conjunction
with a kernel printer-class driver as above, it’s important to have
an "ioctl()" call to query the USB bus and device addresses
assigned to the device, in order to match up the printer-class
driver file descriptor with the appropriate "libusb" device.