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Solaris, Newsprint and FrameMaker

12.22. Solaris, Newsprint and FrameMaker

The following is a guide to using LPRng and Sun Microsystems Newsprint by Christopher Hylands, Ptolemy Project Manager of the University of California.

The Sun Newsprint printer is actually an OEM version of the Tektronix PhaserII; Sun Microsystems appears to have dropped support for Newsprint, and the recommended migration path is to buy a PostScript printer. If you want more information on using the Newsprint system, notes are available via http://ptolemy.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cxh/lprng.html.

Looking through the mailing list logs, it looks like everyone was having a hard time getting lprng to work with Sun's brain-dead newsprinters. I tried using GhostScript, but the fonts were, IMHO, ugly, so I spent a little time getting the newsprint fonts to work.

The key thing was to grab the file /usr/newsprint/lpd/if from a SunOS4.1.3 newsprint installation. If you cannot get this code, then the installation will be extremely difficult.

To install lprng on a Solaris2.x machine, you need to first stop the existing print services and install the startup scripts for LPRng. Note that if there is a local printer, you may have to also fix the permissions of the device. Typical commands are:

    chown daemon /devices/sbus@1,f8000000/SUNW,lpvi@1,300000:lpvi0

We use the following simple :if script.

    # extremely simple filter script

The Sparcprinters use licensed fonts from NeWSprint. To use the licensed fonts, you must have the lprng spool directory for the sparcprinter in the same location as spool directory of the brain dead Solaris lp system. If your printer is named xsp524, then this directory would be /etc/lp/printers/xsp524.

The printcap entry looks like:

    xsp524|Sun SPARCprinter NeWSprint printer:

The /usr/local/libexec/newsprint/if was copied from /usr/newsprint/lpd/if in a SunOS4.x installation of the newsprint software. Unfortunately, the newsprint engine is so brain dead that it needs many environment variables set, so it is fairly difficult to come up with a clean script to start the engine. I made the following changes to the file.

  1. First, set the path in the script. You may also need to change defaults to suit your preferences:

        PATH=$PATH:$NPHOME/pl.$ARCH/bin:$NPHOME/np/bin; export PATH

  2. You will also need a /etc/lp/printers/printername/.params file. If you are using the same spooler directory as the directory that the Solaris lp system uses, then the .param file should appear there. If you are using a different spooler directory, then you will need to copy the .param file from elsewhere and edit it accordingly.

  3. If you are going to move a license to a new printer, you should probably save the .param file in the old printer spooler directory. Run /opt/NeWSprint/bin/fp_install and remove the license from the old printer and assign it to the new printer. You could run /opt/NeWSprint/bin/rm_np_printer and remove the printer, but that will get rid of the .param file

  4. FrameMaker under Solaris2.x uses the lp command. The fix is to edit $FMHOME/fminit/FMlpr and comment out the lp line and add an lpr line

            lpr -P"$PRINTER" "$FILE"
            #lp -c -d"$PRINTER" "$FILE"

    Christopher Hylands, Ptolemy Project Manager  University of California
    cxh@eecs.berkeley.edu                 US Mail: 558 Cory Hall #1770
    ph: (510)643-9841 fax:(510)642-2739       Berkeley, CA 94720-1770
    home: (510)526-4010 (if busy -4068)       (Office: 493 Cory)