lpforms(1M) System Administration Commands lpforms(1M)
lpforms - administer forms used with the LP print service
lpforms -f form-name option
lpforms -f form-name -A alert-type [ -P paper-name [-d]] [-Q requests] [-W minutes]
The lpforms command administers the use of preprinted forms, such as company letterhead paper, with the LP print service. A form is speci-
fied by its form-name. Users may specify a form when submitting a print request (see lp(1)). The argument all can be used instead of
form-name with either of the command lines shown above. The first command line allows the administrator to add, change, and delete forms,
to list the attributes of an existing form, and to allow and deny users access to particular forms. The second command line is used to
establish the method by which the administrator is alerted that the form form-name must be mounted on a printer.
The following options are supported:
-f form-name Specify a form.
The first form of lpforms requires that one of the following options (-, -l, -F, -x) must be used:
-F pathname To add or change form form-name, as specified by the information in pathname.
- To add or change form form-name, as specified by the information from standard input.
-l To list the attributes of form form-name.
-x To delete form form-name (this option must be used separately; it may not be used with any other option).
The second form of the lpforms command requires the -A alert-type option. The other options are optional.
-A alert-type Defines an alert to mount the form when there are queued jobs which need it.
-P paper-name [ -d ] Specify the paper name when creating the form. If -d is specified, this paper is the default.
-Q requests An alert will be sent when a certain number of print requests that need the form are waiting.
-W minutes An alert will be sent at intervals specified by minutes.
Adding or Changing a Form
The -F pathname option is used to add a new form, form-name, to the LP print service, or to change the attributes of an existing form. The
form description is taken from pathname if the -F option is given, or from the standard input if the - option is used. One of these two
options must be used to define or change a form.
pathname is the path name of a file that contains all or any subset of the following information about the form.
Page length: scaled-decimal-number1
Page width: scaled-decimal-number2
Number of pages: integer
Line pitch: scaled-decimal-number3
Character pitch: scaled-decimal-number4
Character set choice: character-set/print-wheel [mandatory]
Ribbon color: ribbon-color
Alignment pattern: [content-type]
The term ``scaled-decimal-number'' refers to a non-negative number used to indicate a unit of size. The type of unit is shown by a
``trailing'' letter attached to the number. Three types of scaled decimal numbers can be used with the LP print service: numbers that show
sizes in centimeters (marked with a trailing c); numbers that show sizes in inches (marked with a trailing i); and numbers that show sizes
in units appropriate to use (without a trailing letter); lines, characters, lines per inch, or characters per inch.
Except for the last two lines, the above lines may appear in any order. The Comment: and comment items must appear in consecutive order but
may appear before the other items, and the Alignment pattern: and the content items must appear in consecutive order at the end of the
file. Also, the comment item may not contain a line that begins with any of the key phrases above, unless the key phrase is preceded with a
> sign. Any leading > sign found in the comment will be removed when the comment is displayed. There is no case distinction among the key
When this command is issued, the form specified by form-name is added to the list of forms. If the form already exists, its description is
changed to reflect the new information. Once added, a form is available for use in a print request, except where access to the form has
been restricted, as described under the -u option. A form may also be allowed to be used on certain printers only.
A description of each form attribute is below:
Page length and Page Width Before printing the content of a print request needing this form, the generic interface program
provided with the LP print service will initialize the physical printer to handle pages scaled-
decimal-number1 long, and scaled-decimal-number2 wide using the printer type as a key into the
terminfo(4) database. The page length and page width will also be passed, if possible, to each fil-
ter used in a request needing this form.
Number of pages Each time the alignment pattern is printed, the LP print service will attempt to truncate the con-
tent to a single form by, if possible, passing to each filter the page subset of 1-integer.
Line pitch and Character pitch Before printing the content of a print request needing this form, the interface program provided
with the LP print service will initialize the physical printer to handle these pitches, using the
printer type as a key into the terminfo(4) database. Also, the pitches will be passed, if possi-
ble, to each filter used in a request needing this form. scaled-decimal-number3 is in lines-per-
centimeter if a c is appended, and lines-per-inch otherwise; similarly, scaled-decimal-number4 is
in characters-per-centimeter if a c is appended, and characters-per-inch otherwise. The character
pitch can also be given as elite (12 characters-per-inch), pica (10 characters-per-inch), or com-
pressed (as many characters-per-inch as possible).
Character set choice When the LP print service alerts an administrator to mount this form, it will also mention that the
print wheel print-wheel should be used on those printers that take print wheels. If printing with
this form is to be done on a printer that has selectable or loadable character sets instead of
print wheels, the interface programs provided with the LP print service will automatically select
or load the correct character set. If mandatory is appended, a user is not allowed to select a dif-
ferent character set for use with the form; otherwise, the character set or print wheel named is a
suggestion and a default only.
Ribbon color When the LP print service alerts an administrator to mount this form, it will also mention that the
color of the ribbon should be ribbon-color.
Comment The LP print service will display the comment unaltered when a user asks about this form (see
Alignment pattern When mounting this form, an administrator can ask for the content to be printed repeatedly, as an
aid in correctly positioning the preprinted form. The optional content-type defines the type of
printer for which content had been generated. If content-type is not given, simple is assumed. Note
that the content is stored as given, and will be readable only by the user lp.
When an existing form is changed with this command, items missing in the new information are left as they were. When a new form is added
with this command, missing items will get the following defaults:
Page Length: 66
Page Width: 80
Number of Pages: 1
Line Pitch: 6
Character Pitch: 10
Character Set Choice: any
Ribbon Color: any
Deleting a Form
LP print service" The -x option is used to delete the form form-name from the LP print service.
Listing Form Attributes
The -l option is used to list the attributes of the existing form form-name. The attributes listed are those described under Adding and
Changing a Form, above. Because of the potentially sensitive nature of the alignment pattern, only the administrator can examine the form
with this command. Other people may use the lpstat(1) command to examine the non-sensitive part of the form description.
Allowing and Denying Access to a Form
The -u option, followed by the argument allow:login-ID-list or -u deny:login-ID-list lets you determine which users will be allowed to
specify a particular form with a print request. This option can be used with the -F or - option, each of which is described above under
Adding or Changing a Form.
The login-ID-list argument may include any or all of the following constructs:
login-ID A user on any system
system_name!login-ID A user on system system_name
system_name!all All users on system system_name
all!login-ID A user on all systems
all All users on all systems
The LP print service keeps two lists of users for each form: an ``allow-list'' of people allowed to use the form, and a ``deny-list'' of
people that may not use the form. With the -u allow option, the users listed are added to the allow-list and removed from the deny-list.
With the -u deny option, the users listed are added to the deny-list and removed from the allow-list. (Both forms of the -u option can be
run together with the -F or the - option.)
If the allow-list is not empty, only the users in the list are allowed access to the form, regardless of the content of the deny-list. If
the allow-list is empty but the deny-list is not, the users in the deny-list may not use the form, (but all others may use it). All users
can be denied access to a form by specifying -f deny:all. All users can be allowed access to a form by specifying -f allow:all. (This is
Setting an Alert to Mount a Form
The -f form-name option is used with the -A alert-type option to define an alert to mount the form when there are queued jobs which need
it. If this option is not used to arrange alerting for a form, no alert will be sent for that form.
The method by which the alert is sent depends on the value of the alert-type argument specified with the -A option. The alert-types are:
mail Send the alert message using the mail command to the administrator.
write Write the message, using the write command, to the terminal on which the administrator is logged in. If the administrator
is logged in on several terminals, one is arbitrarily chosen.
quiet Do not send messages for the current condition. An administrator can use this option to temporarily stop receiving further
messages about a known problem. Once the form form-name has been mounted and subsequently unmounted, messages will again be
sent when the number of print requests reaches the threshold specified by the -Q option.
showfault Attempt to execute a form alert handler on each system that has a print job for that form in the queue. The fault handler
is /etc/lp/alerts/form. It is invoked with three parameters: form_name, date, file_name. file_name is the name of a file
containing the form alert message.
none Do not send messages until the -A option is given again with a different alert-type (other than quiet).
shell-command Run the shell-command each time the alert needs to be sent. The shell command should expect the message in standard input.
If there are blank spaces embedded in the command, enclose the command in quotes. Note that the mail and write values for
this option are equivalent to the values mail login-ID and write login-ID respectively, where login-ID is the current name
for the administrator. This will be the login name of the person submitting this command unless he or she has used the su
command to change to another login-ID. If the su command has been used to change the user ID, then the user-name for the
new ID is used.
list Display the type of the alert for the form on standard output. No change is made to the alert.
The message sent appears as follows:
The form form-name needs to be mounted
on the printer(s):printer (integer1 requests).
integer2 print requests await this form.
Use the ribbon-color ribbon.
Use the print-wheel print wheel, if appropriate.
The printers listed are those that the administrator has specified as candidates for this form. The number integer1 listed next to each
printer is the number of requests eligible for the printer. The number integer2 shown after the list of printers is the total number of
requests awaiting the form. It will be less than the sum of the other numbers if some requests can be handled by more than one printer. The
ribbon-color and print-wheel are those specified in the form description. The last line in the message is always sent, even if none of the
printers listed use print wheels, because the administrator may choose to mount the form on a printer that does use a print wheel.
Where any color ribbon or any print wheel can be used, the statements above will read:
Use any ribbon.
Use any print-wheel.
If form-name is any, the alert-type defined in this command applies to any form for which an alert has not yet been defined. If form-name
is all, the alert-type defined in this command applies to all forms.
If the -W minutes option is not given, the default procedure is that only one message will be sent per need to mount the form. Not speci-
fying the -W option is equivalent to specifying -W once or -W 0. If minutes is a number greater than 0, an alert will be sent at intervals
specified by minutes.
If the -Q requests option is also given, the alert will be sent when a certain number (specified by the argument requests) of print
requests that need the form are waiting. If the -Q option is not given, or the value of requests is 1 or any (which are both the default),
a message is sent as soon as anyone submits a print request for the form when it is not mounted.
Listing the Current Alert
The -f option, followed by the -A option and the argument list is used to list the alert-type that has been defined for the specified form
form-name. No change is made to the alert. If form-name is recognized by the LP print service, one of the following lines is sent to the
standard output, depending on the type of alert for the form.
- When requests requests are queued: alert with shell-command every minutes minutes
- When requests requests are queued: write to user-name every minutes minutes
- When requests requests are queued: mail to user-name every minutes minutes
- No alert
The phrase every minutes minutes is replaced with once if minutes (-Wminutes) is 0.
Terminating an Active Alert
The -A quiet option is used to stop messages for the current condition. An administrator can use this option to temporarily stop receiving
further messages about a known problem. Once the form has been mounted and then unmounted, messages will again be sent when the number of
print requests reaches the threshold requests.
Removing an Alert Definition
No messages will be sent after the -A none option is used until the -A option is given again with a different alert-type. This can be used
to permanently stop further messages from being sent as any existing alert definition for the form will be removed.
Large File Behavior
See largefile(5) for the description of the behavior of lpforms when encountering files greater than or equal to 2 Gbyte ( 2**31 bytes).
The following exit values are returned:
0 Successful completion.
non-zero An error occurred.
/etc/lp/alerts/form Fault handler for lpform.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
|Availability |SUNWpsu |
lp(1), lpstat(1), lpadmin(1M), terminfo(4), attributes(5), largefile(5)
System Administration Guide: Basic Administration
SunOS 5.10 3 Apr 1997 lpforms(1M)