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Handle requests for a printer's resources

Note: You must be root to start spooler.


spooler -d device [options]

Runs on:



Calculate and print the device ID, and then exit.
-c config
The name of the configuration file that defines filters and properties for a printer.
-d device
The output device (default: /dev/null).
Disable file spooling and connect applications to filters using FIFOs.
-f maxjobs
Limit the number of simultaneous spool files to maxjobs. The default is no limit.
Make the printer a global network resource.
-n name
The name of the printer. If this option isn't specified, spooler gets the name from the PnP model or the configuration file. The Print dialog for a Photon application uses this name in the list of available printers.
-P PnPstr
The PnP string for a printer (default: query printer).
-s spooldir
The spool directory (default: /var/spool/printers/printer-name).
Verbose output; each addition v increases verbosity.


The spooler allows multiple users to share the resources of a single printer. If you have more than one printer, you can start an instance of spooler for each one.

The spooler is usually started by an enumerator, such as enum-par (see enum-devices), as follows:

spooler -d /dev/par1

or you can start spooler (e.g. for a network printer) in your /etc/rc.d/rc.local file — see Controlling How Neutrino Starts in the Neutrino User's Guide.

When you start spooler, it queries the printer to determine its type. If you provide a PnP string, spooler doesn't query the printer for it:

spooler -d /dev/par1 -P PnPstring

You can use other options to force spooler to use a configuration file and assign a name to the printer, but this isn't recommended:

spooler -c pcl -n My_PCL_Printer -d /dev/par1 &

You can find configuration files for commonly used printers in /etc/printers. These files specify the possible and default settings for the printers, as well as filters for converting output to a form that the printers understand.

Photon applications use spooler for printing. The filters that convert Photon draw-stream (.phs) output are named phs-to-*.

For a graphical interface to spooler, see prjobs.

See also:

enum-devices, phs-to-*, prjobs

Controlling How Neutrino Starts and Printing chapters of the Neutrino User's Guide