Contributed by Sean Kelly <firstname.lastname@example.org> 30 September 1995
In order to use printers with FreeBSD, you will need to set them up to work with the Berkeley line printer spooling system, also known as the LPD spooling system. It is the standard printer control system in FreeBSD. This section introduces the LPD spooling system, often simply called LPD.
If you are already familiar with LPD or another printer spooling system, you may wish to skip to section Setting up the spooling system.
LPD controls everything about a host's printers. It is responsible for a number of things:
It controls access to attached printers and printers attached to other hosts on the network.
It enables users to submit files to be printed; these submissions are known as jobs.
It prevents multiple users from accessing a printer at the same time by maintaining a queue for each printer.
It can print header pages (also known as banner or burst pages) so users can easily find jobs they have printed in a stack of printouts.
It takes care of communications parameters for printers connected on serial ports.
It can send jobs over the network to another LPD spooler on another host.
It can run special filters to format jobs to be printed for various printer languages or printer capabilities.
It can account for printer usage.
Through a configuration file, and by providing the special filter programs, you can enable the LPD system to do all or some subset of the above for a great variety of printer hardware.