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UNIX/LINUX Command – lpq

Last updated May 11, 2021


lpq—Spool queue examination program


lpq [-l] [-P printer] [job # …] [user …]


lpq examines the spooling area used by lpd(8) for printing files on the line printer, and reports the status of the specified jobs or all jobs associated with a user. lpq invoked without any arguments reports on any jobs currently in the queue.


Options Description
-P Specify a particular printer; otherwise the default line printer is used (or the value of the PRINTER variable in the environment). All other arguments supplied are interpreted as usernames or job numbers to filter out only those jobs of interest.
-l Information about each of the files comprising the job entry is printed. Normally, only as much information as will fit on one line is displayed.

For each job submitted—in other words, each time lpr(1) is invoked—lpq reports the user’s name, current rank in the queue, the names of files comprising the job, the job identifier (a number that may be supplied to lprm(1) for removing a specific job), and the total size in bytes. Job ordering is dependent on the algorithm used to scan the spooling directory and is supposed to be FIFO (First in First Out). Filenames comprising a job may be unavailable (when lpr(1) is used as a sink in a pipeline) in which case the file is indicated as (standard input).

If lpq warns that there is no daemon present (due to some malfunction, for example), the lpc(8) command can be used to restart the printer daemon.

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