Solaris Transition Guide


This section describes how to set up and administer printers after you install Solaris 7 software. This chapter also describes the changes to printer commands that have taken place between the SunOS release 4 and the Solaris 7 release environments.

Summary of Printing Differences

The SunOS release 5.7 LP print service replaces the SunOS release 4 printing facilities, which were provided by the lpd daemon and lpr, lpq, lprm, and lpc commands. Admintool enables youto set up and administer printers through a graphical user interface. You can also use a command-line interface for the LP print service to administer SunOS release 5.7 printers. For detailed information about Admintool and the command-line interface to the LP service, see System Administration Guide, Volume II.

The services provided by the /etc/printcap file in the SunOS release 4 software are handled in the Solaris 7 operating environment by the terminfo database and by the files in the /etc/lp directory.

Print Commands and the Compatibility Package

You can still use many SunOS release 4 print commands if the system is running the SunOS/BSD Source Compatibility Package. Compatibility mode uses SunOS release 4 command names as an interface to underlying Solaris 7 LP print services and does not actually run them the way a SunOS release 4 system would. When a user types SunOS release 4 commands to set up printing or to print files from a Solaris 7 system, the commands create message files that are handled by the SunOS release 5.7 LP print service scheduler.

Solaris 7 printing provides additional capabilities not available in SunOS release 4 systems. These capabilities enable you to control forms, print wheels, and interface programs, and to set up network print services.

Using Printer Commands

As discussed in a previous section, you can continue to use SunOS release 4 print commands if you have the SunOS/BSD Source Compatibility Package. Table 11-1 shows the basic user print command equivalents.

Table 11-1 User Print Command Equivalents

SunOS release 4 

SunOS release 5.7 


lpr filename


lp filename

Print a file to the default printer 

lpr -P printer filename

lp -d printer file

Print a file to a specific printer 


lpstat -o printer

Look at a list of the files waiting to print on the default printer 

Check /etc/printcap

lpstat -d

Determine which is the default printer 

Check /etc/printcap


lpstat -a

Determine which printers are available 

lprm jobnumber


cancel jobid


Cancel a print job on the default printer 

Using SunOS Release 5.7 Printer Administration Commands

This section describes differences between printer setup and administration on SunOS release 4 and Solaris 7 systems. All the underlying system services described are available only in the Solaris 7 operating environment. The SunOS release 4 counterparts are not available even in compatibility mode.

You must use the System V printer administration commands lpadmin(1M) and lpsystem(1M) , the terminfo database, and the configuration files in the /etc/lp directory. See System Administration Guide, Volume II for details.

Table 11-2 shows the command equivalents for setting up printing.

Table 11-2 Printer Administration, Setup, and File Equivalents

SunOS release 4 

SunOS release 5.7 




Control line printer functions 


terminfo database and


File that defines printer functions 




Directory where printing system stores spool and lock files 

Not available 


Move print queues between printers 

lpc down


Stop queueing to a printer 

Printing troff

In the SunOS release 4 software, you need the following command to send a troff file to the default printer.

% troff filename

In the Solaris 7 operating environment, you must specify that you want the file printed by piping (|) the output to the lp command. Table 11-3 shows the SunOS release 5.7 troff commands.

Table 11-3 SunOS release 5.7 troff Commands

SunOS release 5.7 Command  


troff file | /usr/lib/lp/postscript/dpost|lp

Sends to default printer that supports troff jobs 

troff file| /usr/lib/lp/postscript/dpost|lp -d printer

Sends to a particular printer 

troff file | lp-Ttroff

Sends to any printer that supports troff jobs