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lpd print filter

© December 2004 (various authors)

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From: johnd@sco.COM (John DuBois)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.sco.misc
Subject: Re: How the #$%&^* can I filter lpr/lpd output on SCO OS5?
Date: 15 Dec 2000 00:58:52 GMT
Message-ID: <91bqcc$2r3$1@hobbes.sco.com> 
References: <3A38FEBB.6EEBB92B@nxs.net> 

In article <3A38FEBB.6EEBB92B@nxs.net>,
Michael Sweeden  <msweeden@nxs.net> wrote:
+I have a client I am migrating to an SCO OpenServer 5.0.6 system on
+Saturday. I have set up lpr/lpd printing to several print servers on the
+network, and would like to to a couple of simple things to the output in
+some instances, like insert a trailing formfeed, and CR-CRNL mapping. I
+found you can supposedly add an "of=filtername" to the /etc/printcap to
+use a filter, so I tried creating one (though I can find nothing in the
+documentation on creating one to do these things), and the filter does
+not appear to be executed. A TA on the SCO support site says that the
+"of=filtername" indeed does not work, that it has been reported to SCO
+engineering, and that there is no current workaround. What a bummer!

In addition to misdescribing output filters in general, the documentation fails
to note that output filters only work for local printers, not network printers
(a limitation present in the BSD lpd source we started with).  However, this
enhanced capability has added to lpd for future releases.  Contact me if you'd
like a copy of the enhanced lpd.

Here's how the "of" capability is used, both for local printers in the present
release and remote printers in future releases:

If you set "of" to the path to a program, the program will be invoked with two
arguments, like this:

rm=132 -l66

rm=132 indicates that the paper right margin is at the 132nd column,
and -l 66 indicates that the page length is 66 lines.

Just setting e.g. of=/path/to/filter-program won't work if that program isn't
prepared to deal with those arguments.  If you want to use such a program,
create a front end for it that discards any arguments.  E.g. set
of=/usr/local/myfilter and make myfilter a two-line shell script:

exec /path/to/filter-program

John DuBois     johnd@sco.com       KC6QKZ/AE
I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam. - Charles Babbage

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