Printing to network printers

Rick Rankin
Tue Dec 16 16:13:00 GMT 2008

> From: Steve Rainbird

> How can I print to a network printer?
> I know if its attached to a server I can say
> lpr -d //server/printer file
> But what do I do if the printer isn't attached to a server and is just a printer 
> on the network?

You should be able to add the printer through control panel, which will give it a local name. You can then use that name as the argument to -d. It's usually simpler if the name doesn't contain any spaces, but that's not a requirement.

Many network printers also provide a UNC-style name (//server/printer), even though they're not directly connected a server, per se. If you can browse to the printer when you're adding it, you should be able to use that name directly. It all depends on how the provides its networking capability.

I assume you know that lpr is quite stupid, i.e., it just spools the file, assuming that it is already correctly formatted for the target printer. It was originally written to spool a postscript file to a postscript printer. It didn't need to do any formatting.


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