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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

Buy it now, or read it online on Safari Bookshelf.


lpq [options] [+interval]

Check the print spool queue for status of print jobs. For each job, display username, rank in the queue, filenames, job number, and total file size (in bytes). We document the CUPS printing system here; other versions will vary slightly.



Report on all printers listed in the server's printcap database.


Use encryption when connecting to a print server.


Verbose mode. Print information about each file composing a job. Use -l multiple times to increase the information provided.

-P printer

Specify which printer to query. Without this option, lpq uses the default printer, normally set through lpadmin.


Check the queue every interval seconds until it is empty. For example, +10 reloads the queue every ten seconds.

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