[Xprint] Xprint configuration oddities

Toby Blake toby at inf.ed.ac.uk
Fri Jul 29 13:24:43 EDT 2005

Hi there,

I'm relatively new to Xprint - we've just started using it across our
systems.  We're running release on Fedora Core 3, our
printing system is LPRng based, serving approximately 60 printers from
4 print servers.

I'm looking at configuring the behaviour of Xprint a bit for our
systems, but am experiencing some odd behaviour.  Firstly I'd like to
have more control over the list of printers Xprint provides.  We have
a local command 'printers' which provides a very basic list of
printers in the following form:

name\tdescription     # where \t is a tab

So, going by the info in the FAQ, I put the following line in

Augment_Printer_List /usr/bin/printers |cut -f1

...and, after restarting Xprt, I look at the list of printers in
Firefox and find that it seems to have taken the output of
/usr/bin/printers, but not piped it through 'cut', i.e. printers are
listed of the form 'name   HP4100DTN on 4th Floor'.  I can put the line
'/usr/bin/printers |cut -f1' in a separate script, change Xprinters to

Augment_Printer_List /path/to/one/line/script

... and it works OK.  This is the first oddity.

The second one is the ordering of the printer list - our 'printers'
command sorts the list of printers according to certain criteria, this
seems to be reversed by Xprint, i.e. our order of


....turns into


... with the xp_[pdf|ps]spooldir printers interspersed at strange
points in the output (one is second in the list, after my default
printer and the other is in the place where the default printer would
have been).

While I'm on the subject of the printer list provided by Xprint, is
there any way of formatting this output in any way?  e.g. we have 60+
printers - I would like to be able to split this list up, so that the
user sees, say, 4 categories which contain printers, rather than a
massive list.  I realise this is probably a function of the client
app, but thought it worth checking.

Also, one other important question on a different matter, how does
Xprint relate printer names to their models?  There is mention in the
FAQ of family/class but it doesn't describe how to tell Xprint which
family/class a particular printer belongs to.  If I have a list of
printers specified in the way above, how does Xprint know what model
each printer is, so we can use model-specific configurations?

Apologies for the length of this post.

Many thanks in advance for any help.

Toby Blake
School of Informatics
University of Edinburgh

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