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Note: printers are difficult to handle, and many times they do not behave as expected; be patient when giving printing commands. In case of problems, please do NOT open the printer; contact Mr. Nandagopal during office hours or Pablo outside office hours.


There are several printers in the School of Maths. At the time of writing this help (Tue Apr 6 17:42:29 GMT+0530 2004), these are the printers, and facilities in each, available:

  1. laser: printer in A-356, duplex unit (prints in both sides of the paper).
  2. backup: printer in A-356 used for backups, no duplex.
  3. lasernet: printer in A-349.
  4. singleg: Xerox-and-printer in A-349, one side of the paper.
  5. doubleg: Xerox-and-printer in A-349 (same as singleg), prints on both sides of the paper.
  6. colour: color laser printer in A-356.
Besides that, some users have printers in their offices; those printers are always called lp, and they are the default printer. For users without printer in the office the default printer in laser

If you want to know what printers are available type the following command:

   /usr/sbin/lpc status | grep ^[a-z]

lpr and prtmgr

All printers in common areas "understand" DVI, PS and PDF files, so you can print them directly (the machine that queues the jobs will do the necessary conversions). You can do that with a command of the type

   lpr -Pprinter-name file
where printer-name is one of the names in the above list.

You can also use the prtmgr program; this is menu driven, it will ask you several questions (printer, what type of file, what type of printout) and finally send the job to the printer. A typical screen of the prtmgr looks like this:

lpq and lprm

These two commands are used to see the queue and remove jobs from printers. However, given the way the printers are in our system, these commands do not give any information. The only case where you might want to use them is when a printer is not working and you have sent a job to it. To remove the job from the queue, first find out the jobs with

   lpq -Pprinter-name
Your job(s) will appear, together with some queue number(s). Remove the jobs by the number with a command like the following:

   lprm -Pprinter-name job-number
These commands are better executed in the machine called printserver (that is an alias for the machine in charge of the queue).

PostScript utilities

Although the printers can handle all sort of files, essentially they just print PostScript (PS) files. So it is good to know some of the things you can do with PS files, before sending them to the printer. Some of these utilities are incorporated in the prtmgr; others will be new. Here is a (partial) list of things you can do.

More information

Look at the Print HOWTO file.

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