Printer FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q1: What's the command to send a job to the printer?
lpr -Pprinter_name filename (where printer_name = 3rdFloorHP, LibHP, etc...)
Q2: Where can I pick up my output?
A: If you do not specify a printer name with the
-P option, output should go to
the printer on the same floor as the machine from which the job was submitted. Look
here for output locations.
Q3: How can I learn all the available options to the
A: type man lpr.
This will give you a help page that contains all the available
options for lpr.
You may find additional help at CUPS Printing & Options Help.
Q4: How can I find out where my job is in the queue?
lpstat -o -p.
This will show you all queued jobs on all printers on the network.
Q5: My job has already started to print, but I need to kill it. How can I do this?
A: Turn the
printer off (being careful to prevent a paper jam by cutting power between paper tray accesses).
This clears the printer's memory so that the job will not re-seed itself.
Once power is restored, the printer should resume activity starting with the next job in the queue.
Please do this only if you know that it is indeed your print job being printed at the moment.
Q6: The printer is out of paper. Where can I get more paper for the printer?
A: Extra printer paper is located below member mailboxes in the mail/copy room on the first floor.
Q7: How much paper can be put into each paper tray?
A: One ream (the entire contents of one paper package).
Q8: Is it possible to get double-sided output?
A: Yes. All three printers accessible to the computers in your office print double-sided by default from the computers on the MSRI network.
You may also specify it on the command line with
lpr -o sides=two-sided.
Q9: Is it possible to get double-sided output and print two pages per sheet?
A: Yes. The option to print multiple sheets per page is
To specify both options on the command line, use
lpr -o sides=two-sided -o number-up=2 . Be sure to precede every option you want with
Q10: How can I print from the wireless network?
A: You can connect to any of the three printers by following our
wireless printing instructions.
Q11: Hey! The 2nd floor lab is locked; how do I get my print job??
A: If you have already sent the print job, you may pick it up the next morning at 8:30, or re-send your job to the third floor printer.
Because our lab must be locked and the alarm must be armed when our administrative staff leaves
for the day, you should print to the third floor printer after 5:00pm.
You can do this by either choosing "3rdFloorHP" if your application gives you that option,
or by using the
-P option with the
lpr -P3rdFloorHP file-name.
Q12: Why doesn't
dvips print to my default printer?
A: You are probably used to the command
dvips file.dvi sending the file directly to your default printer.
As we currently use Debian Linux, the Debian developers have changed this default behavior to instead send the output to a PostScript file, rather than
to your default printer.
Instead of using
dvips, you can print dvi files with
lpr, as with any other text, PDF,
or postscript file.
If you would rather use
dvips, you must specify the printer you would like to print to with the
-P option, such as:
dvips -P2ndFloorHP file.dvi
Q13: The HP LaserJet 8150 printer is telling me
PRINTER ERROR 79.00FE, a red light is blinking,
and no print jobs are coming out. What do I do?
A: The quickest resolution may be to simply turn off the printer [the power button is located next to the bottom drawer, on the left side],
then turn it back on again.
Our HP LaserJet 8150 printers are somewhat fickle with certain files, particularly certain PDFs from Macs connected to our wireless network.
If you notice that you are printing to one of our 8150s and always
get this error after printing a particular file, please send the file to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will print it for
If you continue to see this error and turning the printer off and on does not help, please let a member of the Computing Department know, either
by e-mail or in office 214.