Printing on Unix, 'black magic' or 'commandline wizardry' ?

Unix Systems usually doesn't have printer support like Windows or Macintosh computers. It's often something like black magic, to get something printed on a plain Unix system.

But even if you downloaded and installed every tool and filter script you need to convert your document type to something, your printer is capable to print, it's kind of commandline wizardry, to actually make it happen ;-)

It starts usually reading the friendly manual pages and ends up drinking some more coffee then you are used to. Often you need to take some aspirin pills as well ;-)

Apsfilter simplifies printing under Unix

Printing of different file formats is strongly simplified.

The following commandline shows, that the user doesn't have to know anymore, how different file formats have to be converted with different Unix utilities, to get printed onto your printer.

user@unixhost $ lpr -C high:duplex:32bpp:present:glossy ascii-file.gz
  LaTeX.dvi.bz2 picture.gif xfig-file.fig.Z
So you can relax and simply concentrate on the simple fact, that you want to print something, not how to pipe data through different Unix utilities.

From apsfilter version 5.2 up its even possible, to change print options on the command line using the -C option of the lpr command, the so called Class option.

Starting from apsfilter 6.0.0 duplex printing is supported. If your printer or driver is not duplex capable, then you can choose apsfilters "pseudo duplex mode". You get an e-mail containing a command that restarts the print queue for printing the backside of the paper. A "magic cookie", makes sure, that only you can start the print job, so that nobody other prints in the meantime.

Supported Filetypes

Click here for a complete list of supported filetypes.

Supported Printing Types

  • Locally connected serial, parallel or USB printer
  • Unix remote printer (lpd protocol)
  • HP JetDirect card (lpd protocol)
  • Network remote printer (lpd protocol)
  • Windows remote printer (smbprint, samba)
  • Appletalk remote printer (pap, netatalk)

  • Supported Printer

  • All true Postscript printer
  • All Printer Supported by the Ghostscript PS emulator
  • A very good source of information is the Foomatic printer support database at www.linuxprinting.org.

  • Best note for apsfilter

    Linuxberg, a resource for 1000's of the best Linux software and applications on the net, gave apsfilter the best note of "5 penguins" in the discipline console - printing.

    Articles about apsfilter

  • German Unix magazine iX, 06/98, S. 144, "Drucken unter Linux"
  • Unix Open, sorry, lost the source

  • [FreeBSD] Apsfilter Copyright © 1994-2017 Andreas Klemm
    Written in WML, page design with permission from Tom Gilbert