Printing CUPS lpr

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I don't print from the command-line a lot. This is the minimal I usually need to get something printed.

Install CUPS

On Ubuntu this is pretty easy.

aptitude install cupsys cupsys-client cupsys-bsd hpijs foomatic-bin

Install Network Printer

You probably don't need to do this. Network printers should be discovered when you install CUPS.

/usr/sbin/lpadmin -p LaserJet -E -v socket:// -m laserjet.ppd

You can also go through the CUPS web interface:

lynx http://localhost:631/admin

listing installed printers

lpstat -p

That will show something like the following. The important information is the printer name (NetworOptra-E321).

printer LaserJet-3055 is idle.  enabled since Tue 20 Nov 2007 12:09:55 PM PST
printer NetworkOptra-E321 is idle.  enabled since Tue 12 Jun 2007 03:42:31 PM PDT

printing to a named printer

You can print a document by specifying the printer name on the command-line:

lpr -P NetworkOptra-E321 my_document.txt

Or you can set the default printer with the PRINTER environment variable.

export PRINTER=NetworkOptra-E321
lpr -P NetworkOptra-E321 my_document.txt

hack to print to network printer

This is useful for testing. You can simply cat a file to a network printer using telnet to port 9100. For example, this will print the /etc/passwd file to the printer at

cat /etc/passwd | telnet 9100