|APSFILTER(1)||General Commands Manual||APSFILTER(1)|
apsfilter — magic
print filter with auto file type recognition
Apsfilter is a magic print filter which
allows you to print different document types “automagically”
without having to convert them manually into a document format which is
understood by your printer hardware.
Apsfilter uses third-party software to
convert every supported file type into PostScript (PS) first. If you have a
real PS printer, the data stream is then sent directly to the PS printer,
otherwise it is piped through the famous PS interpreter
gs(1) which supports a wide range of output devices.
Thus the question whether a particular printer is supported by
apsfilter is actually the question of it either
understanding PS directly, or being supported by gs(1) in
some way (possibly using some emulation of another printer's software
interface, like Epson's ESC/P2 or HP's PCL).
Another important thing to remember is that the required driver
support has to be present in the installed gs(1) binary.
gs -h lists (among others) which drivers are
currently compiled in. SETUP warns when a selected driver is missing and
guides in choosing another driver.
apsfilter script is designed to avoid
temporary files as much as possible. So it is very efficient in use and
doesn't fill up filesystems even when printing large printjobs in high
resolution and best print quality.
Apsfilter offers a wide range of
customization options through config files and lpr(1)
command line options, see below.
Advantages over other magic filters¶
Apsfilter and its SETUP is completely
written in a script language (see sh(1) ). So it is easy
to understand and modify even for users and admins who are quite new to the
Apsfilter is highly customizable and its
developement since 1994 has shown that it scales very well with the still
growing demand of additional features.
Apsfilter supports locally connected serial, parallel and USB printers.
Remote printing cababilities: Unix remote printing (lpd protocol), printing to an AppleTalk remote printer via pap(1) as well as Windows remote printing via SAMBAs smbclient(1) on Windows 95/98/NT/2000 printer as guest user or using a real password protected Windows account.
Apsfilter 's SETUP utility supports in
installing all supported printer types, no matter if local or remote
printer, into the printer capability database
Supported file types¶
ar, arc, arj, ASCII, BMP, CAB, cpio, DATA, DVI, FBM, FIG, FITS, GIF, Group 3 FAX, HTML, IFF ILBM, JPEG, Kodak Photo CD (PCD), LHA, MGR, MIFF, PAM, PGM, PBM, PNM, PPM, PDF, PNG, Postscript (PS), RAR, RLE, RPM, SGI, Sketch, Sunraster, TAR, Targa (TGA), TIFF ROFF, WMF, WorPerfect graphics, XCF, X Pixmap (XPM), X Window dump (XWD), ZIP, ZOO. Note that actual support depends on the installed filter programs.
Extract the tarball and execute
./configure in the
directory (maybe with some options; use
--help to see a listing).
After that, login as root and call
install; then you can set up printers with
SETUP adds the printer to the /etc/printcap database to make it
available to the lpd(8) print spooler, and configures
apsfilter for operation with that printer.
After successfull installation, SETUP remembers its previous configuration settings in a file called SETUP.cfg.
Command line options¶
Several command line options to
are available which allow the user to influence the printing quality, color
mode, paper size etc. The
includes a detailed listing.
- Draft quality.
- Low quality.
- Medium quality.
- High quality.
- Photo quality.
- Uni-/bi-directional sweeps.
- Plain paper.
- Coated (inkjet) paper.
- Glossy paper.
- Premium (photo) paper.
- Color printing.
- Gray printing.
- B/W printing.
- Automatic filetype recognition and data conversion.
- Force printing as ASCII document. For example to print Postscript source code without actually interpreting it.
- Pass-through mode, your print data won't be changed by any filter.
- Paper size.
- Text file filter to use, when printing ASCII documents.
- Paper feed tray number.
- highlight level for pretty-printing (N=0,1,2)
- Whether you want headers in your text prints.
- Whether you want borders in your text prints.
- Pages per sheet.
- Paper orientation.
- Output pages in "book" format, implies "2pps,duplex,shortbind"
- Whether to use duplex mode or not.
- Paper binding edge.
- Number of copies.
lpr -C high:color:glossy file.gif tex.dvi.gz file.html ...
prints some files of different types no matter whether compressed or not on the Unix default printer (see lpr(1) ).
-C option to the
lpr command sets additional ghostscript
driver-specific options. Here, ‘
resolution (e. g. 600 dpi for an HP Printer using gs's
“cdj850” printer driver),
output (e.g. 32 bits per pixel), and the paper type is set to
lpr -C duplex somefile
enables pseudo duplex printing by halting the print queue after printing a documents even pages and so giving the user a chance to flip paper and restart printing after executing a special user command on the command line.
The so called magic command makes sure that only the initiator of the print job is able to restart printing after reinserting the paper.
Beware, if you have nasty users, this can cause print jobs to hang, filling up the print queue and at least the /var file system.
- printer capability data base
- apsfilter script
- printer installation script, creates/updates /etc/printcap
- saved settings from last printer setup
- the apsfilter handbook in HTML format
- configuration directory
- global configuration file
- printer specific configuration directory
- printer specific configuration file
- user definable printer specific configuration file
- smbclient config file for printing on Windows remote printer
- pap config file for printing on AppleTalk printer
- config file for remote printer that needs special treatment
See apsfilter software center -
http://www.apsfilter.org/ - for new versions,
bugfixes and known bugs.
Please use the new tool apsfilter-bug(1) to
release bug- or problem reports. It automatically presents you a
form in an editor window which asks you some
standard questions. If you save and quit the editor session, then this
report is sent automatically via
If apsfilter fails to print something or prints it in a way you
wouldn't expect and you want to report an apsfilter error then please save
the debugging output of one print session using the new
aps2file(1) utility by typing
-Z options file > /dev/null 2> file.debug and including the
debugging output in the file
file.debug into the
edit session of the
apsfilter-bug utility, so that
it is included into the mail to the apsfilter mailinglist.
Please note that you need to run /bin/sh (Bourne Shell), bash or a
compatible shell, so that the above mentioned output redirection works.
Under C-shell (/bin/csh) or tcsh it would't work. If you don't know, then
simply make sure you use the Bournce shell by typing
bash, then you
should have no problems with redirection of
stderr (> /dev/null 2> file.debug).
See official apsfilter homepage
- Apsfilter Handbook including the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Please send questions to the official apsfilter help channel
firstname.lastname@example.org. The above section
BUGS and the file
HOWTO-BUGREPORTS tells you how to report bugs. If
you want to know how to troubleshoot your apsfilter installation, please
read the manpage aps2file(1) and
apsfilter-bug(1) as well as the
apsfilter manpage appeared first in
apsfilter V 5.4.0.
|May 19, 2001||Debian|