System Administration Guide: Printing

Setting Up Printer Fault Alerts by Using LP Print Commands

If you choose, the LP print service can notify you when it detects a printer fault. With the lpadmin -A command or with Solaris Print Manager, you can select any of the following methods to receive printer fault notification:

However, the lpadmin -A command offers you an additional option of receiving a message specified by the program of your choice. The lpadmin -A command also enables you to selectively turn off notification for an error that you already know about.

Unless you specify a program to deliver fault notification, the content of the fault alert is a predefined message that states that the printer has stopped printing and needs to be fixed.

The following table lists the alert values that you can set for a printer with the lpadmin -A command. These alert values can also be set for print wheels, font cartridges, and forms.

Table 6–4 Values for Printer Fault Alerts

Value for -A alert


'mail [username]'

Sends the alert message by email to root or lp on the print server, or the specified username, which is a name of a user.

'write [user-name]'

Sends the alert message to the root or lp console window on the print server, or to the console window of the specified username, which is a name of a user. The specified user must be logged in to the print server to get the alert message.


Runs the specified command file for each alert. The environment variables and current directory are saved and restored when the file is executed.


Stops alerts until the fault is fixed. Use this valve when you, root or a specified user, receive repeated alerts.


Does not send any alerts. This value is the default if you don't specify fault alerts for a printer.