Subject: Re: lpd and filter programs
To: John Nemeth <>
From: Parag Patel <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 07/29/1998 11:33:14
>} Lp is a bit more difficult to configure because information is more
>     This is a gross understatement.  I've configured both lp and lpr
>for both local and remote printers.  lpr is simple to setup and
>maintain.  lp is a royal pain in the butt.

It sure is.  When I was still at HP, I worked with some friends on a 
little shell-script sysadmin tool called "lpconfig".

It would take a single simple config file, then destroy and rebuild the 
entire "lp" system to match its contents.  The config file could handle 
both local and remote printers, arbitrary filters, and every possible 
lp option/configuration.  It was designed so a single config file could 
be used safely on all hosts (50+ at our site).  Made sysadmin *way* 

It kinda spread throughout HP.  For all I know they're still using it.  
Whenever there was a printer problem, people got in the habit of 
running "lpconfig" instead of figuring out what was really wrong just 
'cause it was so much easier and quicker.

Anyway, my point is that we'd turned "lp" into a single-config-file 
setup much like "lpr".  A single config file is much easier to deal 
with from a sysadmin config point-of-view - especially when you have 
50+ machines to support - even when it's cryptic and hard to understand.

Simply changing lpr's config file from termcap-like to complete words 
would help a lot in readability, but it's really not quite as flexible 
as "lp".  I can't say I really like either very much, but they both 
work well enough so it probably isn't worth the effort to design a 
whole new lp system.

	-- Parag Patel