Frequently Asked Questions

None of these Questions have ever been asked by anyone but myself. I just made them up to give lpr-bash a touch of professionality...
Why should I use lpr-bash instead of other printing systems?
There could be different reasons to do so. lpr-bash needs less diskspace than any other printing system. It only uses networking if you permit it to. It doesn't spawn a daemon at startup, slowing down your boot process and eating your precious RAM.
But XY is so much better! Why should I use lpr-bash?
I won't force you to use lpr-bash. Use whatever you like best.
How can I use a unique printcap for each user?
Simply change the printcap setting in lpr.conf to ~/.printcap and use this file for each user. And sorry, the include statement of the printcap format is not handeled yet.
What happenes if I shut my system down while printing is in preparation?
It stays there. You can either use the internal commands on the job file manually or remove the files in the spooldir and print again. Why would you want to shutdown the system while printing anyway?
What are the exit codes?
See the following list:
   0 - OK
   1 - No/empty input file
   2 - Missing job file
   3 - Missing Ghostscript
   4 - Missing a2ps/PostScript Converter
   5 - Missing Samba for network printing
Why doesn't lpr-bash support my language?
I am only able to provide i18n-files in german and english. If you want support for other languages, look at the files in /usr/share/lpr and translate them to your locale (please send me a copy!).
Why does -# [number of copies] not work for printing to file?
Because it is difficult and there is no reason to support it. Why would you want to print multiple times to a file? You want a postscript concatenator, not a printing system.


lpr-bash works with a multitude of applications. Unfortunately, not every single one complies with the given standards and formats, but insist on using less common extensions e.g. of CUPS. The following applications have been tested:
Abiword / Gnumeric
Gnome-Office-Applications work flawlessly with lpr-bash.
Firefox / Thunderbird / Mozilla
All Products of the Mozilla Foundation work with lpr-bash, though the printer has to be selected manually via printer command option.
Gimp / Gimp-Print
Gimp uses Gimp-Print for printing. The simplest method is to choose a PostScript printer. Nevertheless, using one of the Gimp-Print-Drivers can be achieved by adding the option "-l" to the lpr call, so the output is not converted.
Inkscape doesn't work at the moment. The problem lies within the PostScript output of this application, a solution is being worked at.
This application only recognizes the default printer. Whether this error lies within OpenOffice or lpr-bash has yet to be determined.
Printing with Opera has yet to be tested more thoroughly, but doesn't work at the moment.
What about application XY?
If the application doesn't work out of the box, please throw a test report with detailed error messages at me.


Implementation of a PostScript Interpreter. There are different free and commercial versions. AFPL or GNU GhostScript is recommended for lpr-bash.
Since it is not advisable to print two documents to the same device at the same time to avoid unforeseeable superimposing, lpr-bash is capable to stop other jobs from using the same printer until the current job is finished.
Format, developed by Adobe Inc., for typesetting and printing in the area of desktop publishing and professional printing.
Printing System
Usually a program or system facility to manage printing to multiple printers, locking, spooling, etc.
Since not every document is sent to the printer directly, it is waiting in the spool dir (usually /var/spool/lpr-bash) until it can be printed.
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