SUMMARY: files left in print spool dir until lpstat

From: Adam Nevins (
Date: Thu Feb 01 1996 - 14:27:16 CST


My original posting was:


Does anyone know why this happens?:

We have several Solaris machines ( 2.3 - 2.5 ) which print remotely ( BSD style)
to a SunOS4.1.1 machine. The problem is that after sending the request,
the files in /var/spool/lp/tmp/hostname are not cleaned up. Interestingly,
the files go away after doing an lpstat.

I've never noticed this before, but I assume that it's just never caused
a problem. This weekend, we had a tech writer printing out large Postscript
docs and when I came in Monday AM there was about 35MB worth of these files.
As you might have already guessed, the filesystem ( / ) "overflowed" sending
her home early.


Several people responded offering workarounds and asking to be informed of
any new ways of dealing with the problem. The workarounds were of the
cron-cleanup variety. The cleanup methods were:

        run lpstat ( it causes lpNet to the the cleanup )
        run lpshut;/usr/lib/lpsched ( similar to above )
        forcibly remove the old files

Not pretty but they get the job done.

The prize goes to Don Williams who wrote:

        Look in /etc/lp/Systems
        Lines of the form
        The minus indicated above says "Reserved - Must be '-'" in the
        comments. However, if you make it a number, it will store that
        number of files before deleting them from the spool area. We use
        a '1', which means you don't ever get more than two spooled for
        exch system befores it clears them. Be warned, using a '0' is
        reputed to seriously clogg your network.

Wow, either this guy is a psychic or he's got a source code license :-)
My test confirms that if you change the '-' to a n ( some integer ) and
restart lpsched, the files get cleaned up.

It seems to remove them when a new job is being spooled. If n files already
exist, they are removed before the new job is added.

Don, if you wouldn't mind telling us, I'm sure that we would all be interested
in knowing where you acquired this bit of top secret info. Also, are the
other "reservered" fields of any interest?

Thanks to: (Steve Gray)
        "Heas H. Heas" <>
        "Lau, Victoria H" <> (John Nelson) (Russell Weeks)


Adam Nevins Phone: 617-467-5265
Network Specialist Fax: 617-467-0293
LTX Corporation E-mail:
University Avenue WW4-10
Westwood, MA 02093-2306

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