System Administration Guide: Printing

Setting the Timeout Value

The timeout option allows the user to select the amount of time (in seconds) to wait between successive attempts to connect to the printer. Some printers have a long warm up time, and a longer timeout value is advised. The default is 10 seconds.

The timeout value does not impact the success or failure of the print process. The value is a seed value that the software uses as the initial timeout count. On repeated failures, this count is increased. A message is sent to the spooler when repeated attempts to connect to the printer fail. This message alerts the user that intervention might be required. The failure could be anything from the printer being turned off to the printer being out of paper. If these messages are produced too often, for example when the printer is warming up, increasing the timeout value will eliminate spurious messages.

You can experiment to find the optimal timeout value. Type the following command to set the timeout value:

lpadmin -p printer-name -o timeout=n