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 specified by its form-name. Users may specify a
form when submitting a print request (see lp(1)). The argu-
ment 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
The following options are supported:
Specify a form.
The first form of lpforms requires that one of the follow-
ing options (-, -l, -F, -x) must be used:
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.
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.
An alert will be sent when a certain number of print
requests that need the form are waiting.
An alert will be sent at intervals specified by
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
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 dis-
tinction among the key phrases.
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 possi-
ble, to each filter used in a request needing this
Number of pages
Each time the alignment pattern is printed, the LP
print service will attempt to truncate the content 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 possible, 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 char-
acter pitch can also be given as elite (12
characters-per-inch), pica (10 characters-per-inch),
or compressed (as many characters-per-inch as possi-
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 load-
able character sets instead of print wheels, the
interface programs provided with the LP print service
will automatically select or load the correct charac-
ter set. If mandatory is appended, a user is not
allowed to select a different character set for use
with the form; otherwise, the character set or print
wheel named is a suggestion and a default only.
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.
The LP print service will display the comment unal-
tered when a user asks about this form (see
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
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 exist-
ing 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 pat-
tern, 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
The login-ID-list argument may include any or all of the
A user on any system
A user on system system_name
All users on system system_name
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 the default.)
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
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
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.
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
none Do not send messages until the -A option is given
again with a different alert-type (other than quiet).
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
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 eligi-
ble 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 pro-
cedure is that only one message will be sent per need to
mount the form. Not specifying 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 speci-
fied 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 tem-
porarily stop receiving further messages about a known prob-
lem. Once the form has been mounted and then unmounted, mes-
sages 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.
An error occurred.
Fault handler for lpform.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attri-
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
| Availability | SUNWpsu |
lp(1), lpstat(1), lpadmin(1M), terminfo(4), attributes(5),
System Administration Guide: Basic Administration
Man(1) output converted with