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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to Network+
 9  Chapter 0110: Network Operating Systems (NOS)
      9  VI  Linux

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Linux File Sharing, Client Connectivity
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VII  Apple Macintosh
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Linux Printing, Client Connectivity

Some knowledge of the nitty-gritty details of how printing works in Linux is required for the Network+ exam.

As mentioned in the overview of NOS’s, Linux accomplishes printing by using an industry-standard set of TCP/IP protocols designed to manage tasks related to printing.

The main printer service on Linux (and UNIX) is lpd, the line printer daemon (daemon is the UNIX-geekspeak for service). When network users on Linux machines print to a Linux printer, they use the lpr command to communicate with the lpd on the print server, and send the user’s file to it for printing. For example, to print the file hello.txt to the system’s default printer, you would type at the Linux shell command line:

lpr hello.txt

To print hello.txt to the printer “techdept”, which is not the system’s default printer, you would type:

lpr –Ptechdept hello.txt

In Windows, you’d look at the print queue (that is, the list of print jobs lined up to print on a specific printer) by double-clicking on a printer. In Linux (hopefully, this won’t be too much of a surprise by now), you’d use another command line utility, lpq (line printer queue). For example, to view the queue for the system’s default printer, you’d use the command:


And when viewing the queue for the “techdept” printer, you’d type at the command line:

lpq -Ptechdept

The command line-oriented approach to printing in Linux is a bit different than users of Windows and Macintosh systems are used to, but in most cases, the only commands you’ll need to use to print in Linux and check on print job and printer status are lpr and lpq.

Linux Printing

The programs used to print and manage printing on Linux all begin with the letters lp, as in:

lpd is the program that runs the print service on Linux

lpr is used to submit print jobs on Linux

lpq is used to view the print queue on Linux

lprm is used to remove a print job from the print queue on Linux, if you decide you don’t want to print it

Print to Linux Printer from Windows

To print to a Linux printer from Windows you use the Add Printer wizard, select Local Printer, LPR port and then input the name of the printer and the server to which it is connected. Yes, you add a local rather than network printer, because a network printer is specifically one shared using Windows File and Printer sharing.

If you don’t see the LPR port option, install Print Services for UNIX on your Windows client computer, from your Windows installation CD, so that the LPR protocol becomes available.

Previous Topic/Section
Linux File Sharing, Client Connectivity
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VII  Apple Macintosh
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CertiGuide for Network+ ( on
Version 1.0 - Version Date: November 7, 2004

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