For any printing, you will need to know the name of the printer you want to print to. Printers have labels with their names on them. Be especially careful if you're printing sensitive documents to know which printer you're sending them to.

Printing from Unix

First, many applications will have a print option from their File menus.

To print from the command line, use the command lpr -P$name (where $name is the name of the printer you want to use). You can also type the command with a space before the printername, as in lpr -P $name. Let us know if you want your desktop computer to print to a particular printer by default.

You can use the command lpq -P$name to find out how many print jobs are currently in the printer's queue.

Additional printing parameters can be used to specify single-sided or duplex mode, or other print formatting. Particularly useful ones:
lpr -P$ -o sides=two-sided-long-edge filename
lpr -P$name -o sides=two-sided-short-edge filename
lpr -P$name -o sides=one-sided filename (if a printer is set to print duplex by default)
lpr -P$name -o landscape filename

Complete documentation on command line printing specific to the BCG CUPS print system can be found here.

Printing from Windows

All Windows applications will have print options from their File menus. To set your default printer:

  1. Click on the start menu and select "Devices and Printers".
  2. When the list of printers comes up right-click on the desired printer and choose "Set as Default" from the pop-up menu.

Printing from OSX

All Mac applications will have print options from their File menus. The Unix commands given above will also work from either the Terminal app or from X11 xterms.

How to print to biostat printers from your mac laptop at the MSC:

1) You must run the WiscVPN client on your Mac laptop in order to connect to biostat printers at the MSC.

To connect to the campus VPN (WiscVPn) from a mac see WiscVPN (Mac) - Connecting through Native VPN.

To connect to the campus VPN (WiscVPN) from a Windows pc see Downloading and Installing the WiscVPN AnyConnect Client.

2) To create the printer on your laptop.

  1. Click on the apple menu and select "System Preferences".
  2. Then click on the "Printers and Scanners" system preference.
  3. In the printers & scanners window click on the "+" to add a new printer.
  4. In the "Add" printer window click the "IP" option at the top. In the "Address: " field type in the host name or IP address of the printer. For example "". In the "Protocol" field click on the up and down arrows and select "HP Jetdirect - Socket". Note once you type in the address of the printer it should automatically detect the model of the printer (HP LaserJet 905).
  5. Click one "Add" button to create the printer. A settings window may appear for the printer to select the default options. If you are not sure about these settings check with your support person.