Printing Documents

This topic contains information about printing documents in the Department. Printing Duplex and Printing N-up save department resources, so use them whenever possible. Printing directly to a printer tells you a way to print when the default printing servises are down.

If you are looking to set up the printer on your laptop computer, see these instructions

Printing Duplex

Use the duplexed printer queues to print duplex in the department. Instead of printing to <printer> (e.g. shake), print to <printer>/duplex (e.g. shake/duplex).
An example: lpr -Pshake/duplex

An older and less reliable means of printing duplex is to invoke the /usr/staff/bin/duplex script. This script takes a PostScript input and outputs modified PostScript (with an embedded duplex command) to STDOUT. This method is known not to work with the output of psnup (see Printing N-up) and may not work in other situations as well.
An example: duplex | lpr

(FabrizioMorbini - 18 Aug 2005) In the case the print service is down (see Printing directly to a printer), the methods described in Printing N-up don't work. So manually edit the postscript file (resulting from psnup) and add, after the first line (that usually looks like this: %!PS-Adobe-2.0) the following three lines:

%%BeginFeature *Duplex True
<< /Duplex true >> setpagedevice
then follow the directions given in Printing directly to a printer.

Printing N-up

Printing a document n-up prints multiple pages of the document on a single side of a sheet of paper. There are multiple ways to print documents n-up that all boil down to the same thing: inserting appropriate commands into the PostScript representation of your document. Some of these methods are described below. If you are Printing N-up, you should also consider Printing Duplex.

  • lpr ... -o number-up=n: The number-up job parameter causes n-up formatting commands to be applied to the document. This method is appropriate for many different document types, in contrast to psnup (below). An example: lpr -Pshake/duplex -o number-up=2 myfile.txt

  • psnup: This command takes a PostScript file as input and generates PostScript output with embedded n-up (and possibly other) formatting commands. The output can be saved to a file (which will henceforth always be printed n-up) or piped to a some other program (e.g. lpr for printing). An example: psnup | lpr -Pshake/duplex

Checking Printer Queues

Use one of the following methods to check the documents that are queued to Department printers.

  • lpq - This command lists documents queued on all/any printer(s). To view the documents queued on shake, execute lpq -Pshake.
  • http://print:631/printers - This webpage allows you to check the status of Department printers. Selecting a printer yields slightly more detailed information about that printer.

Printing directly to a printer

When the department print service is down, it is still possible to print sending directly to the printer the postscript file. This method works on almost all Postscript network printers and needs the utility netcat ( that should be installed by default on any Linux workstation (the command name is nc). To print directly follow the following procedure:

  • prepare the postscript file, let's name it If needed use psnup and read the section about duplex above.
  • then print using the following command: cat | nc 9100. Where printer_name is the name of the printer to which you wanna print (e.g. chaucer or dali) and is your postscript file.

-- PhilMichalak - 18 Aug 2005

-- FabrizioMorbini - 18 Aug 2005 : Printing Directly To Printer Updated Printing Duplex

This topic: Main > WebLeftBar > TechTalk > PrintingStuff
Topic revision: r4 - 2009-09-09 - ChenDing
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