line printer devices


Print the output of a command to the default printer (see lpstat command)

$ echo "test" | lp

Print a file to the default printer
$ lp [path/to/filename]

Print a file to a named printer (see lpstat command)
$ lp -d [printer_name] [path/to/filename]

Print N copies of file to default printer (replace N with desired number of copies)
$ lp -n [N] [path/to/filename]

Print only certain pages to the default printer (print pages 1, 3-5, and 16)
$ lp -P 1,3-5,16 [path/to/filename]

Resume printing a job
$ lp -i [job_id] -H resume


lp [ -h hostname[:port] ] [ -E ] [ -U username ] [ -c ] [ -d destination[/instance] ] [ -m ] [ -n num-copies ] [ -o option[=value] ] [ -q priority ] [ -s ] [ -t title ] [ -H handling ] [ -P page-list ] [ -- ] [ file(s) ]
lp [ -h hostname[:port] ] [ -E ] [ -U username ] [ -c ] [ -i job-id ] [ -n num-copies ] [ -o option[=value] ] [ -q priority ] [ -t title ] [ -H handling ] [ -P page-list ]


lp submits files for printing or alters a pending job. Use a filename of "-" to force printing from the standard input.


CUPS provides many ways to set the default destination. The LPDEST and PRINTER environment variables are consulted first. If neither are set, the current default set using the lpoptions(1) command is used, followed by the default set using the lpadmin(8) command.


The following options are recognized by lp:


Marks the end of options; use this to print a file whose name begins with a dash (-).


Forces encryption when connecting to the server.

-U username

Specifies the username to use when connecting to the server.


This option is provided for backwards-compatibility only. On systems that support it, this option forces the print file to be copied to the spool directory before printing. In CUPS, print files are always sent to the scheduler via IPP which has the same effect.

-d destination

Prints files to the named printer.

-h hostname[:port]

Chooses an alternate server. Note: This option must occur before all others.

-i job-id

Specifies an existing job to modify.


Sends an email when the job is completed.

-n copies

Sets the number of copies to print.

-o "name=value [ ... name=value ]"

Sets one or more job options. See "COMMON JOB OPTIONS" below.

-q priority

Sets the job priority from 1 (lowest) to 100 (highest). The default priority is 50.


Do not report the resulting job IDs (silent mode.)

-t "name"

Sets the job name.

-H hh:mm
-H hold
-H immediate
-H restart
-H resume

Specifies when the job should be printed. A value of immediate will print the file immediately, a value of hold will hold the job indefinitely, and a UTC time value (HH:MM) will hold the job until the specified UTC (not local) time. Use a value of resume with the -i option to resume a held job. Use a value of restart with the -i option to restart a completed job.

-P page-list

Specifies which pages to print in the document. The list can contain a list of numbers and ranges (#-#) separated by commas, e.g., "1,3-5,16". The page numbers refer to the output pages and not the document's original pages - options like "number-up" can affect the numbering of the pages.


Aside from the printer-specific options reported by the lpoptions(1) command, the following generic options are available:

-o job-sheets=name

Prints a cover page (banner) with the document. The "name" can be "classified", "confidential", "secret", "standard", "topsecret", or "unclassified".

-o media=size

Sets the page size to size. Most printers support at least the size names "a4", "letter", and "legal".

-o number-up={2|4|6|9|16}

Prints 2, 4, 6, 9, or 16 document (input) pages on each output page.

-o orientation-requested=4

Prints the job in landscape (rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise).

-o orientation-requested=5

Prints the job in landscape (rotated 90 degrees clockwise).

-o orientation-requested=6

Prints the job in reverse portrait (rotated 180 degrees).

-o print-quality=3
-o print-quality=4
-o print-quality=5

Specifies the output quality - draft (3), normal (4), or best (5).

-o sides=one-sided

Prints on one side of the paper.

-o sides=two-sided-long-edge

Prints on both sides of the paper for portrait output.

-o sides=two-sided-short-edge

Prints on both sides of the paper for landscape output.


Unlike the System V printing system, CUPS allows printer names to contain any printable character except SPACE, TAB, "/", or "#". Also, printer and class names are not case-sensitive.

The -q option accepts a different range of values than the Solaris lp command, matching the IPP job priority values (1-100, 100 is highest priority) instead of the Solaris values (0-39, 0 is highest priority).


Print two copies of a document to the default printer:

    lp -n 2 filename

Print a double-sided legal document to a printer called "foo":

    lp -d foo -o media=legal -o sides=two-sided-long-edge filename

Print a presentation document 2-up to a printer called "bar":

    lp -d bar -o number-up=2 filename


Copyright © 2021-2022 by OpenPrinting.


cancel(1), lpadmin(8), lpoptions(1), lpq(1), lpr(1), lprm(1), lpstat(1), CUPS Online Help (http://localhost:631/help)

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