SUMMARY Re: Multi-page printing in Solaris 10 X86

From: Steve Franks <>
Date: Sun Jan 13 2008 - 16:55:01 EST

I was not able to determine if I can enable MP printing at the command 
line but :

* Paper handling (duplex, tray selection) are printer things.
* What goes on the paper (pictures, text) are user things.

and most folks use third party extras such as :

* mpage, enscript, and the "psutils"
* a2ps (strongly recommended)
* "I usually use
  enscript -2r
to get this effect.  That prints 2 pages/sheet and
in landscape mode."  
Available from 

Mpage also available from I have not been able to find psutils pre-compiled for Solaris.

With these tools I should be able to make my own filter.

Thanks to :

* Barry Callahan
* Bill Williams
* Ric Anderson
* Brad Morrison


Steve Franks wrote:
> Hi,
> I have Sol 10 X86 U3 on a laptop.  I want to print two (or 4 or 8) 
> pages per sheet (I am not interested in duplexing here as the printer 
> I have can't do it) to an HP LJ 4200.
> The print queue works just fine - but I can't work out the multi-page 
> side.
> Firstly, is this function a printer option or a spooler function? 
> Secondly, how do I make it happen (in both cases)?
> I have experimented with mpage et al & this seems to work but to my 
> mind, I should not need these things since Solaris adopted PPD / 
> foomatic printing.  I do not pretend to be an expert in these things 
> though.  If I wanted to print just text, would I be forced to make my 
> own filter with mpage to solve the problem?
> I have ratted thru the ppd file for the printer & can't actually see 
> any function / attribute that appears to match what I want to do.  I 
> do see Duplex in there though.  This leads me to wonder if the feature 
> is not actually spooler-side, rather than printer-side.
> Looking at netstandard-foomatic interface script I see this :
>  # The IPP/PAPI attributes are handled by the foomatic-rip filter so
>         # all we need to do here is ignore them so that they don't 
> invoke the
>         # "unrecognized option" message.
>         #
>         finishing=* | page-ranges=* | sides=* )
>                 ;;
>         number-up=* | orientation-requested=* | media=* )  
> <<<<<<<<============  I think number-up is what I want
> But this tells me to look at the rip engine.  OK :
> <... extract from foomatic-rip ...>
>  # we ignore the following IPP attributes in this filter:  
> <<<<<<<<<<======= OK, we *don't* do it here after all!!!!
>                 #   - all job-* attributes
>                 #   - 'copies' attributes in the filter as this is handled
>                 #     by the backend script
>                 #   - multiple-document-* is not supported
>                 #   - 'number-up' attribute as this is handled by mode 
> 'group=n'  <<<<<<<======= What about "group"?
>                 #     in the filters.
> lp -d hp4200 -o group=2 file
> makes no difference; the job prints perfectly - but as single page per 
> sheet.  
> Aside : when we are dealing with printer or manufacturer-specific 
> options, is there a simple way to dump out the list rather than 
> working thru all the relevant scripts?
> Note on IPP - I am using raw to TCP port 9100 on the printer as this 
> is what is recommended by all refs on HP printer setup on Solaris 
> although to be honest, I am not sure how to use IPP & how it works.
> No doubt this would be trivial if I could use Jet Direct Printer 
> Installer - but this is not available for Sol x86 :(
> Any feedback greatly appreciated - by me /and/ the world's forests!
> Steve







T. 03 8545 3000  F. 03 8545 3022  M. 0437 306 027




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