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I have a printer named "Home" set up in Mac OS X Lion:

Printer Preferences

However, when I use lpstat -a on the command line (to get the printer name to use with the lp command) I still get a non-user-friendly name:

lpstat -a

How can I change the name that lp and lpstat -a use for easier access to the printer from the terminal? I realize I can set the LPDEST or PRINTER environment variables but I'd also like to know how to rename the printer.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Try creating and editing either: $HOME/.printers or system-wide /etc/printers.conf and add a line like this:

list|aliases|here|like|lp    THE_LONG_PRINTER_NAME_FROM_YOUR_EXAMPLE

@see man page for printers for more info (like using _default alias for default printer)

And using alias is safer than renaming your printer because that might screw up macs printing...

It's also likely that macs use CUPS for printing and then the above example won't work. One workaround is to create a printer class with single printer on it. @see Cups adding a printer class

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I don't quite understand the format. In my home directory I made a .printers file with the contents robble Officejet_6500_E710n_z__59BEAA_ but echo "hello" | lp -d "robble" just says lp: The printer or class does not exist. – KPthunder Feb 14 '12 at 12:29
Updated the answer to include some info about cups. Creating a printer class for a printer might be workable hack. – Manwe Feb 14 '12 at 13:32
I was able to add a new name for the printer by using lpadmin -p "Officejet_6500_E710n_z__59BEAA_" -c "robble" followed by lpadmin -p "robble" -E. Thanks! – KPthunder Feb 21 '12 at 21:28

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