Print text from terminal
I would like to use a Linux distro without a desktop environment, but I need to print out homework that I type up.
I could always email it to myself and print from another computer, but it would be nice if I could just do something like
print homework.txt from a bash prompt. Does anyone have a way of doing this?
CUPS understands many different types of files directly, including text, PostScript, PDF, and image files. This allows you to print from inside your applications or at the command-line, whichever is most convenient! Type either of the following commands to print a file to the default (or only) printer on the system:
lp filename lpr filename
-d option with the
lp command to print to a specific printer:
lp -d printer filename
-P option with the
lpr -P printer filename
Printing the Output of a Program
lpr commands support printing from the standard input:
program | lp program | lp -d printer program | lpr program | lpr -P printer
If the program does not provide any output, then nothing will be queued for printing.
More advanced options can be added to the print job with the
-o options. For exampling stapling:
lpr -P printer -o StapleLocation=UpperLeft
Last time I was using such a system, I used to prefer
enscript. It’s been a while but I seem to recall it being a more sophisticated version of
lpr which could do everything that
lpr did and then some. It works like so:
It can either print directly to a printer or convert text to postscript. It should be available in the repositories of all major distributions.
Here’s what worked for me:
I chose to install Manjaro "Full" which includes printer networking and printing support. From past experience, the "Minimal" install requires a non-trivial amount of effort to get anything printed.
I didn’t know the name of my printer. I tried
lpstat -t but that showed the following:
scheduler is running no system default destination lpstat: No destinations added. lpstat: No destinations added. lpstat: No destinations added. lpstat: No destinations added.
At first, I was able to get lpstat working by connecting through Geany, but the printer would timeout after a few minutes.
Since I have a relatively new printer, it uses the "IPP" standard. I used
ippfind -l thanks to this answer https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/490827/8234
For me the address was ipp://whatever.local:631/ipp/print
Then I found this answer https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/683993/8234 and that worked great
lpadmin -p Cool -v ipp://whatever.local:631/ipp/print -m everywhere
lpstat -t works as expected:
Cool accepting requests since Sun 19 Mar 2023 02:23:37 AM CDT printer
Cool is idle. enabled since Sun 19 Mar 2023 02:23:37 AM CDT
Then I can simply do
echo "test" | lp -d Cool
PS: Perhaps there is an easier way. You can try
ippfind -s and then change the spaces to underscores like
echo "test" | lp -d Canon_Cool_series but I can’t get this to work without the underscores, and I can’t find any documentation explaining why this works. Basically, I cheated by activating the printer through Geany, and then I could see the printer with
For future reference, I would try the easier "underscore" method first, and if that times out or doesn’t work, use the longer "lpadmin" method.