SUMMARY: Re: HP LJ printers & LF -> CRLF

From: David Thorburn-Gundlach (
Date: Fri Oct 10 1997 - 07:26:05 CDT

Hi there!

Well, it's been a while, but I finally have something of a summary for
this problem. My original statement announced that we were using
JetAdmin on a print server to spool (from our Solaris clients running
SSPC) to network-attached HP LJ printers, and that, after those printers
(not owned by us) were "re"configured to work for the Novell environment
to which they belong, we started having LF -> CRLF translation
problems. The biggest question was "how do I apply a unix2dos filter if
I don't have an 'of:' parameter in an /etc/printcap file available?".

Well, in fact, the issue is somewhat different. The QMS printers (the
ones that work, and were thus not mentioned) are spooling thru the
JetAdmin host and doing their own prefiltering (to add PS input/output
selection commands), and they have had LF -> CRLF set in their PROMs.
The LJ printers (where, of course, we can't set the PROMs) are *not*
spooled thru JetAdmin, and so there was no opportunity for filtering.

SSPC (SunSoft Print Client), meanwhile, is nothing more than a suite of
print drivers and programs that "works", as compared to the standard
Solaris print suite. I hear that Sun is going back to BSD-style
printing (already in 2.6, maybe?); hooray. That doesn't help me,
though. I explored lp filters but discarded them because the users
would have to remember to apply them (and because there aren't similar
lpr filters). Meanwhile, we really wanted to get away from spooling
through a single machine anyway, since that gives us a single point of

The eventual answer was a simple (though, after many bouts of creeping
featurism, it is now nothing like simple!) shell script wrapper to parse
off the lp or lpr style arguments and apply the filter to each file
specified and then pass that on to the desired print program (along with
said arguments). Voila; it works like a charm. The script has since
then grown to allow us to do landscape printing, change the chars and
lines per inch, do n-up PS printing, add a more detailed banner page
*before* the job prints, filter out selected file types (eg, PS, HPGL,
binary) destined for text-only printers, and even prepend the QMS PS
input/output commands on jobs destined for such printers so that we can
get away from JetAdmin.

Although most of the answers pointed me right back to an /etc/printcap
file or to procedures for the users to apply (neither of which is
viable), thanks gratefully go to

  "Brian E.W. Wood" <> (Sanjay Srivastava)
  Tim Carlson <>
  Mark Heath <>
  Francis Liu <>

for their contributions, as well as to others whose letters I lost
(sorry!). The script is heavily customized and therefore probably of
little value to anyone else, but you're welcome to it if you'd like it.

I can finally put this to bed :-)


David Thorburn-Gundlach,
Raytheon  508/440-2016 or 508/440-2317

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