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Printer Name

Choose a printer name for the printer you are adding to a system. A printer name must be unique among all printers known to the system, and can contain a maximum of 14 alphanumeric characters and underscores. When you administer printers in a complex network, keep printer names unique.

You should also establish conventions when naming printers. Make your printer names meaningful and easy to remember. A printer name can identify the type of printer, its location, or the print server name. Establish a naming convention that works for your site. If you have different types of printers on the network, for example, including the printer type as part of the printer name can help users choose an appropriate printer. You could identify, for instance, PostScript printers with the letters PS. If all of the printers at your site are PostScript printers, however, you do not need to include PS as part of the printer name.

You use printer names to perform the following tasks:

  Add the printer to the LP print service
  Change the configuration of the printer
  Monitor the print queue
  Check the status of the printer
  Accept or cancel print requests for the printer
  Enable or disable the printer
  Specify a default printer
  Submit a print job to a particular printer

Printer Port

When you install a printer or later change its setup, you can specify the device, or the printer port, to which the printer is connected by using Admintool or the lpadmin -p printer-name -v device-name command.

Most systems have two serial ports and a parallel port. Unless you add ports, you cannot connect more than two serial printers and a parallel printer to one system.

With Admintool, you can choose either /dev/term/a or /dev/term/b for the serial port, or choose Other and specify any port name that the print server recognizes. These options give you as much flexibility as the lpadmin command.

The LP print service initializes the printer port using the settings from the standard printer interface program. If you have a parallel printer or a serial printer for which the default settings do not work, you need to adjust the printer port characteristics to use a custom setting.

NOTE:  If you use multiple ports on an x86 microprocessor-based system, only the first port is enabled by default. To use more than one port, you must manually edit the device driver port configuration file for each additional asy (serial) port or lp (parallel) port. Here are the pathnames for the x86 port configuration files:

Refer to your x86 documentation for information about configuring serial and parallel ports on x86 systems.

Printer Type

A printer type is the generic name for a printer. By convention, it is often derived from the manufacturer's name. For example, the printer type for the Digital Equipment Corporation LN03 printer is ln03. However, one common printer type—PS, for PostScript laser printer—does not follow this convention. PS is used for many different models of PostScript printers.

For a local PostScript printer, use either PS or PSR (which reverses the pages) as the printer type. PSR works reliably only with PostScript files that conform to the standards in Appendix C of the PostScript Language Reference Manual. Refer to the bibliography at the back of this book for a complete reference.

The printer type must match an entry in the terminfo database. The LP print service uses the printer type to extract information about the capabilities of the printer from the terminfo database, as well as the control data, to initialize a particular printer before printing a file.

You specify the printer type with the -T option of the lpadmin command, where printer-type matches the name of a file in the terminfo database, which contains compiled terminal information files. These files are located in the /usr/share/lib/terminfo/* directories. For example, the terminfo file for the type name PS is /usr/share/lib/terminfo/P/PS.

If a printer can emulate more than one kind of printer, you can assign it several types. If you specify more than one printer type, the LP print service uses one of the types as appropriate for each print request.

If you don't specify a type, the default type is unknown, and the local printer does not get initialized before printing a file. When specifying the printer type on a SunOS 5.x print client, the default type unknown is desirable.

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