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Where are the newest manuals for lpr?

I would like to know where the flags such as "page-range" are documented. I did not find them in Ubuntu 9.10.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Your /usr/bin/lpr is either installed with the cups-bsd package or with the lprng package. You can check which package you're using with dpkg -S $(which lpr).

If you are using the CUPS package, some of the available options are listed in man lp on your system. You should also check http://localhost:631/help (yes, on your system) for CUPS built-in help. The page-ranges option specifically is mentioned by CUPS documentation (see Document Options, and Command-Line Options; these are also available in the online help page "Command-Line Printing and Options"):

The -o page-ranges=pages option selects a range of pages for printing:

lp -o page-ranges=1 filename
lp -o page-ranges=1-4 filename
lp -o page-ranges=1-4,7,9-12 filename
lpr -o page-ranges=1-4,7,9-12 filename

If you're using LPRng, see the LPRng project documentation page. The LPRng Reference Manual is still online, although the Printing Cookbook appears offline currently. I don't see any specific references to a page-ranges option, but it's very possible the option was introduced in a very old LP or LPR implementation.

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http://localhost:631/help gives me a blank page in Firefox. There are some available options available at man lp in my cups-bsd, but not page-range. Your given internet does have the given option. I cannot understand why Ubuntu is using Apple's manuals, since we have much better manuals provided by FSF. – Masi Dec 2 '09 at 23:47
Which is your Linux OS of choice? - I would like to have an OS distro which has explicit pieces of knowledge, not implicit like Ubuntu. – Masi Dec 2 '09 at 23:52
i use Debian, and Google to find any documentation i might be needing. you won't find any distro of any OS that is perfectly documented. for docs, you should be checking a) manpages, b) info, c) /usr/share/doc/<packagename>, d) the package homepage, e) Google. – quack quixote Dec 3 '09 at 2:54

man lpr

not working for you? Are the man pages on your machine stored by a seperate package that you haven't installed yet?

I should clarify that there isn't a lpr. Rather there are many versions provided by many vendors (and notably by GNU), and not all versions support the same set of options. Have you tried the offending command and gotten it to work?

The Apple version is doubtless derived from one of the BSD versions, and probably supports a smaller set of options that the GNU version.

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The command gives me the manual with the following notice at the bottom: "Copyright 2007 Apple Inc.". The manuals also do not apparently contain all information about lpr, since Sathya suggests that there is the option "-page-range" which is not documented in the manual. - I should perhaps use Arch Linux or Gentoo to get descent manuals. – Masi Dec 2 '09 at 21:36
man lpr on Ubuntu 9.04 doesn't include a listing of possible options, just details of how to specify those options. – quack quixote Dec 2 '09 at 23:17
Sometimes info lpr provides more detail, sometimes just refers to the man page. – DaveParillo Dec 3 '09 at 1:01
@Masi: The man page is copyrighted by Apple because CUPS now is (since a few years ago) copyrighted by Apple. And CUPS ships with a complete set of man pages. These are the same on all Linux systems using CUPS (Debian-based systems in general often-times do extend poor and add missing man pages... I don't know if they did this for CUPS though.) – Kurt Pfeifle Jul 5 '10 at 22:53
No, the Apple version isn't doubtless derived from one of the BSD versions! Apple (meanwhile) owns CUPS (but still keeps its GPL license). CUPS ( isn't derived from ANY BSD version. CUPS is the implementation of a completely different printing system as compared to BSD printing. BSD printing is based on LPR/LPD. CUPS is based on IPP. – Kurt Pfeifle Jul 5 '10 at 22:58

Page range printing IS documented on every system that has a recent CUPS installed. Look here:


(older systems also have it, the URL may be different however). That documentation normally should fit perfectly to your system.

If you indeed are looking for "the latest" documentation that is available for a released version of CUPS, look here:

If you look for "bleeding edge" documentation about (yet) unreleased versions of CUPS, look here:

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