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Print Filters

Print filters are programs that convert print requests from one format to another. The LP print service uses filters to perform the following tasks:

  Convert a file from one data format to another so that you print it properly on a specific type of printer
  Handle the special modes of printing, such as two-sided printing, landscape printing, or draft- or letter-quality printing
  Detect printer faults and notify the LP print service of them so that the print service can alert users and system administrators

Not every print filter can perform all these tasks. Because each task is printer-specific, you can implement each one separately.

Solaris 2.x system software provides a default set of PostScript filters. Some of the TranScript filters used with SunOS 4.x have Solaris 2.x equivalents, and some do not. Table 11-7 lists and describes the default PostScript filters and identifies the TranScript filters, when applicable.

Table 11-7 PostScript Filters

Filter Action TranScript Equivalent
download Download fonts
dpost ditroff to PostScript psdit
postdaisy daisy to PostScript
postdmd dmd
postio Communicate with printer pscomm
postior Communicate with printer
postmd Matrix gray scales to PostScript
postplot plot to PostScript psplot
postprint simple to PostScript enscript
postreverse Reverse or select pages psrev
posttek TEK4014 to PostScript ps4014

Solaris 2.x system software does not provide the following filters:

  oscat (NeWSprint™ opost)

Universal Address for the Print Server

The universal address is required for setting up both print servers and print clients. As part of configuring the network listen process to listen for print requests from other systems, you must provide the universal address—the IP address of the print server in hexadecimal form—to the LP print service. You use the lpsystem -A command to find the universal address. The universal address has four parts, as shown in Figure 11-1. The last part, RFU, means Reserved for Future Use, and you could use it for other families of addresses (for example, Open Systems Interface) in the future.

Figure 11-1  Parts of the universal address.

Printer Description (Optional)

You can define a printer description for a printer. The description can contain any helpful information that might benefit its users. For example, the description could say where the printer is located, or whom to call when the printer has problems.

Users can display the printer's description by typing the command:

% lpstat -D -p printer-name

Default Printer (Optional)

You can specify a default printer for each system, even if it is the only printer connected to the system. When you specify a default printer, users do not need to type the default printer name when they use LP print service commands. However, they can override the default by explicitly naming a printer or setting the LPDEST environment variable. Before you can designate a default printer, it must be known to the LP print service on the system.

Local PostScript Printer Setup

The first task in setting up a print server is to set the printer up as a local Solaris 2.x printer. You generally perform the following tasks to set up a local printer:

  Connect the printer to the system.
  Set the printer switches or configure baud rate, port, and other settings.
  Plug the printer into a power outlet.
  Define the characteristics of the printer to the LP print service (using the lpadmin command).

You need the following information to set up a local printer:

  System's superuser password
  Device name (typically, /dev/term/a or /dev/term/b)
  Unique printer name
  Printer type
  Printer file content type
  Printer description (optional)

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