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SCO Unix/System V Printing FAQ

This article is from a FAQ concerning SCO operating systems. While some of the information may be applicable to any OS, or any Unix or Linux OS, it may be specific to SCO Xenix, Open There is lots of Linux, Mac OS X and general Unix info elsewhere on this site: Search this site is the best way to find anything.

How do I use a printer from SCO Unix/System V that's attached to an NT server?

You can use Visionfs (other articles here explain how) or configure the NT machine to act as an LPD server. NT needs the TCP/IP Printing Service installed, and the service needs to be running (you probably want to set it for Automatic in Services).

You may also need to add a dword registry key to


Run regedit (just click Start->Run and type "regedit"), and then click down through to parameters. Then add a new dword value called "SimulatePassThrough", and finally modify it so its value is "1". That's it; you don't need to reboot- the change is immediate. This lets the Unix side format the data without NT deciding it knows better what to do with it.

On the SCO side, you need to "mkdev rlp" if it's a 3.2v4.2 or previous release (skip to the OSR5 section if you are running a more modern release). You have to be careful not to do this twice, because the mkdev script on 4.2 is unintelligent, and will ruin your printing entirely if it is run again. You can check to see if the directory /usr/spool/lpd exists. If it does, remote printing probably was configured. Don't run it twice. If you have done that (or suspect that you have because things are very broken in the printing department), see https://aplawrence.com/cgi-bin/ta.pl?arg=107455

Even if you haven't run it twice, you could have problems, such as nobody but root being able to print. See https://aplawrence.com/cgi-bin/ta.pl?arg=640258 for that, or simply:

                 cd /usr/bin
                 chmod 6711 lp lpstat cancel
                 chown root lp lpstat cancel
                 chgrp daemon lp lpstat cancel

When remote printing is configured, you get asked to define a printer. To add new printers after that, use /etc/rlpconf.

These scripts add entries to /etc/printcap. You'll probably need to either modify /etc/printcap to add "mx#0" (see https://aplawrence.com/cgi-bin/ta.pl?arg=640234 ) or fix the /etc/rlpconf script so that it creates the entries correctly to start with.

Once you have a remote printer defined, you have a directory /usr/spool/lpd, and a directory for each printer within that. In those directories you will find "status" files which may help you understand any problems that come up. For example, if you have a printer "Jane" that is printing to the remote printer "BigDog" on "Server", the status file might say "Waiting for Server to come up." If it did, you'd know that either Server is down, doesn't have a printer named BigDog, isn't running lpd, or that you are unable to communicate with it due to other problems.

The OSR5 side of this is much easier. You can use "scoadmin", or the old 'mkdev lp' syntax to get to the new Printer Manager and add a Remote Printer (note that for HP Network printers, it's 'mkdev hpnp'). Be sure that your spooler name matches the remote name.

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