Managing Your Print Jobs

When you send a print job to the printer daemon such as printing text file from Emacs or printing an image from The GIMP, the print job is added to the print spool queue. The print spool queue is a list of print jobs that have been sent to the printer and information about each print request such as the status of the request, the username of the person who sent the request, the hostname of the system that sent the request, the job number, and more. To view the list of print jobs in the print spool, open a shell prompt and type the command lpq. The last few lines will look similar to the following:

Example 21-1. Example of lpq output

Rank   Owner/ID            Class  Job Files       Size Time
active user@localhost+902    A    902 sample.txt  2050 01:20:46

If you want to cancel a print job, find the job number of the request with the command lpq and then use the command lprm job number. For example, lprm 902 would cancel the print job in Example 21-1. You must have proper permissions to cancel a print job. You can not cancel print jobs that were started by other users unless you are logged in as root on machine to which the printer is attached.

You can also print a file directly from a shell prompt. For example, the command lpr sample.txt will print the text file sample.txt. The print filter determines what type of file it is and converts it a format the printer can understand.