Provided by: lpr_2008.05.17.3+nmu1_amd64 bug


     printcap — printer capability database




     The printcap file is a simplified version of the termcap(5) database used to describe line
     printers.  The spooling system accesses the printcap file every time it is used, allowing
     dynamic addition and deletion of printers.  Each entry in the database is used to describe
     one printer.  This database may not be substituted for, as is possible for termcap(5),
     because it may allow accounting to be bypassed.

     The default printer is normally “lp”, though the environment variable PRINTER may be used to
     override this.  Each spooling utility supports an option, -Pprinter, to allow explicit
     naming of a destination printer.

     Refer to the 4.3 BSD Line Printer Spooler Manual for a complete discussion on how to set up
     the database for a given printer.


     Refer to termcap(5) for a description of the file layout.

     Name  Type  Default        Description
     af    str   NULL           name of accounting file
     br    num   none           if lp is a tty, set baud rate (ioctl(2) call)
     cf    str   NULL           cifplot data filter
     df    str   NULL           tex data filter (DVI format)
     fc    num   0              if lp is a tty, clear flag bits (⟨sgtty.h⟩)
     ff    str   ‘\f’           string to send for a form feed
     fo    bool  false          print a form feed when device is opened
     fs    num   0              if lp is a tty, set flag bits (⟨sgtty.h⟩)
     gf    str   NULL           graph data filter (plot(3) format)
     hl    bool  false          print the burst header page last
     ic    bool  false          supports non-standard ioctl to indent printout
     if    str   NULL           name of text filter which does accounting
     lf    str   /dev/console   error logging file name
     lo    str   lock           name of lock file
     lp    str   /dev/lp        local printer device, or port@host for remote
     ms    str   NULL           list of terminal modes to set or clear
     mx    num   1000           max file size (in BUFSIZ blocks); 0=unlimited
     nd    str   NULL           next directory for queues list (unimplemented)
     nf    str   NULL           ditroff data filter (device independent troff)
     of    str   NULL           name of output filtering program
     pc    num   200            price per foot or page in hundredths of cents
     pl    num   66             page length (in lines)
     pw    num   132            page width (in characters)
     px    num   0              page width in pixels (horizontal)
     py    num   0              page length in pixels (vertical)
     rf    str   NULL           filter for printing FORTRAN style text files
     rg    str   NULL           restricted group-only group members can access
     rm    str   NULL           machine name for remote printer
     rp    str   ``lp''         remote printer name argument
     rs    bool  false          remote users must have a local account
     rw    bool  false          open printer device for reading and writing
     sb    bool  false          short banner (one line only)
     sc    bool  false          suppress multiple copies
     sd    str   /var/spool/lpd spool directory
     sf    bool  false          suppress form feeds
     sh    bool  false          suppress printing of burst page header
     st    str   status         status file name
     tf    str   NULL           troff data filter (cat phototypesetter)
     tr    str   NULL           trailer string to print when queue empties
     vf    str   NULL           raster image filter
     xc    num   0              if lp is a tty, clear local mode bits (tty(4))
     xs    num   0              if lp is a tty, set local mode bits (tty(4))

     If the local line printer driver supports indentation, the daemon must understand how to
     invoke it.


     If a printer is specified via lp (either local or remote), the lpd(8) daemon creates a
     pipeline of “filters” to process files for various printer types.  The pipeline is not set
     up for remote printers specified via rm unless the local host is the same as the remote
     printer host given.  The filters selected depend on the flags passed to lpr(1).  The
     pipeline set up is:

           p       pr | if regular text + pr(1)
           none    if      regular text
           c       cf      cifplot
           d       df      DVI (tex)
           g       gf      plot(3)
           n       nf      ditroff
           f       rf      Fortran
           t       tf      troff
           v       vf      raster image

     The if filter is invoked with arguments:

           if [-c] -wwidth -llength -iindent -n login -h host acct-file

     The -c flag is passed only if the -l flag (pass control characters literally) is specified
     to lpr(1).  width and length specify the page width and length (from pw and pl,
     respectively) in characters.  The -n and -h parameters specify the login name and host name
     of the owner of the job, respectively.  The acct-file function is passed from the af
     printcap entry.

     If no if is specified, of is used instead, with the distinction that of is opened only once,
     while if is opened for every individual job.  Thus, if is better suited to performing
     accounting.  The of is only given the width and length flags.

     All other filters are called as:

           filter -xwidth -ylength -n login -h host acct-file

     where width and length are represented in pixels, specified by the px and py entries,
     respectively.  All filters take stdin as the file, stdout as the printer, may log either to
     stderr or using syslog(3), and must not ignore SIGINT.


     Error messages generated by the line printer programs themselves are logged by syslog(3)
     using the LPR facility.  Messages printed on stderr of one of the filters are sent to the
     corresponding lf file.  The filters may, of course, use syslog(3) themselves.

     Error messages sent to the console have a carriage return and a line feed appended to them,
     rather than just a line feed.


     lpq(1), lpr(1), lprm(1), termcap(5), lpc(8), lpd(8), pac(8)

     4.3 BSD Line Printer Spooler Manual.


     The printcap file format appeared in 4.2BSD.