Provided by: lpr_2008.05.17.3+nmu1_amd64 bug


     lpq — spool queue examination program


     lpq [-al] [-Pprinter] [job# ...] [user ...]


     lpq examines the spooling area used by lpd(8) for printing files on the line printer, and
     reports the status of the specified jobs or all jobs associated with a user.  lpq invoked
     without any arguments reports on any jobs currently in the queue.

     The options are as follows:

     -a      Report on the local queues for all printers, rather than just the specified printer.

     -l      Information about each of the files comprising the job entry is printed.  Normally,
             only as much information as will fit on one line is displayed.

             Specify a particular printer, otherwise the default line printer is used (or the
             value of the PRINTER variable in the environment).  All other arguments supplied are
             interpreted as user names or job numbers to filter out only those jobs of interest.

     For each job submitted (i.e., invocation of lpr(1)) lpq reports the user's name, current
     rank in the queue, the names of files comprising the job, the job identifier (a number which
     may be supplied to lprm(1) for removing a specific job), and the total size in bytes.  Job
     ordering is dependent on the algorithm used to scan the spooling directory and is supposed
     to be FIFO (First In First Out).  File names comprising a job may be unavailable (when
     lpr(1) is used as a sink in a pipeline) in which case the file is indicated as “(standard

     If lpq warns that there is no daemon present (i.e., due to some malfunction), the lpc(8)
     command can be used to restart the printer daemon.


     If the following environment variable exists, it is used by lpq:

     PRINTER  Specifies an alternate default printer.


     /etc/printcap             To determine printer characteristics.
     /var/spool/*              The spooling directory, as determined from printcap.
     /var/spool/output/*/cf*   Control files specifying jobs.
     /var/spool/output/*/lock  The lock file to obtain the currently active job.


     Unable to open various files.  The lock file being malformed.  Garbage files when there is
     no daemon active, but files in the spooling directory.


     lpr(1), lprm(1), lpc(8), lpd(8)


     lpq appeared in 3BSD.


     Due to the dynamic nature of the information in the spooling directory, lpq may report
     unreliably.  Output formatting is sensitive to the line length of the terminal; this can
     result in widely spaced columns.