LPQ(1) BSD General Commands Manual LPQ(1)


lpq − spool queue examination program


lpq [−l] [−Pprinter] [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.


      −P’        Specify a particular printer, otherwise the default lineprinter is used (or the value of the PRINTER variable in theenvironment). All other arguments supplied are interpreted asuser names or job numbers to filter out only those jobs ofinterest.

−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 (i.e. invocation of lpr(1)) lpq reports the user’s name, current rank in the queue, the names of files comprising the job, the job identifier (a number which 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). File names 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 (i.e. due to some malfunction), the lpc(8) command can be used to restart the printer daemon.


If the following environment variable exists, it is used by lpq:


Specifies an alternate default printer.


      /etc/printcap’                         To determine printercharacteristics.

/var/spool/*’ The spooling directory, as determined from printcap.
/var/spool/*/cf*’ Control files specifying jobs.
/var/spool/*/lock’ The lock file to obtain the currently active job.
For manipulating the screen for repeated display.


lpr(1), lprm(1), lpc(8), lpd(8)


Lpq appeared in 3BSD.


Due to the dynamic nature of the information in the spooling directory lpq may report unreliably. Output formatting is sensitive to the line length of the terminal; this can results in widely spaced columns.


Unable to open various files. The lock file being malformed. Garbage files when there is no daemon active, but files in the spooling directory.

4.2 Berkeley Distribution May 9, 1991 4.2 Berkeley Distribution