Troubleshooting Reflection LPD Printing

  • 7021628
  • 30-Mar-2000
  • 01-Apr-2018


Reflection LPD version 12.0 through 14.0 SP7


This technical note provides troubleshooting techniques for resolving LPD (line printer daemon) printing problems. Most problems result in either no output or incorrect output (garbled or unexpected text). This document addresses both types of problems by looking at PC, printer, and host configuration issues.

Note: Beginning in Reflection version 14.1, Reflection LPD is no longer available. It will be removed when you upgrade to 14.1.


What is LPD?

Reflection LPD allows you to make your locally attached printer available to others on the network. LPD servers can reside on a variety of host computers, printer cartridges, hardware devices, or on a PC configured with Reflection LPD.

In contrast, Reflection LPR is a client that enables you to print a local PC file to an LPD server associated with a printer.

For information about configuring and using Reflection LPD or Reflection LPR, see your product documentation or online help.

Note: Reflection LPR/LPD was originally a component of Reflection NetApps. For information about the current status of Reflection LPR and Reflection LPD, see the Terminal Emulation Lifecycle Summary page at

Troubleshooting LPD

LPD Troubleshooting is broken down into the following three sections:

  • Troubleshooting Reflection LPD on the Workstation
  • Troubleshooting the Printer
  • Troubleshooting Host Side Configuration

Troubleshooting steps may be performed in any order. Use this information to help guide you to the most likely causes of your LPD printing problem.

Troubleshooting Reflection LPD on the Workstation

Follow the suggestions below to verify your PC and Reflection LPD print settings.

Are you using a firewall on your workstation?

For information about Reflection products and the Microsoft Windows XP SP2+ firewall, see KB 7021929.

Does your Reflection LPD queue name match the LPR queue name?

Compare the host name or IP address of the Reflection LPD machine to the remote LPR queue configuration.

Compare the queue names used in the LPD and LPR configurations. Remember that UNIX host computers are normally case sensitive.

Does a local print job to the same driver work properly?

If you print from an application on your PC to the same driver being used by Reflection LPD, does the output print correctly? If not, you may need an updated printer driver. Check with your printer manufacturer for the latest drivers. For text files, try installing and printing to the Generic/Text Only driver provided by Microsoft.

Can you print from Reflection LPR to Reflection LPD on the same PC?

Set up a Reflection LPR queue on the same PC that is running Reflection LPD. Print from LPR to LPD. Make sure your LPR queue is pointing to the printer driver that is configured for Reflection LPD. Also make sure your LPD queue is configured to print to a driver attached to a local port (not back to the LPR queue).

Does the output print correctly? If not, there may be a problem with the LPD configuration or the printer driver. If the test output does print correctly, the problem may be on the remote system running the LP or LPR client.

If you hold the LPD queue, are spool files received from the host computer?

To check the spool files, follow these steps. If no files are received in the held LPD queue, see the section above titled "Is your Reflection LPD queue set up properly?"

  1. With Reflection LPD started, click Show Status.
  2. Select the LPD queue and click Hold.
  3. Print from your host computer LP or LPR queue.

Reflection LPD receives two spool files from the host computer: typically, one with a .DFA extension (the data file) and one with a CFA extension (the control file). Are the spool files being created on your PC?

To locate the files, use the Windows Search or Find utility and search for files *.cfa and *.dfa.

If spool files are present, continue with step 3.

If no spool files appear, check your network connection by pinging the PC running Reflection LPD from the host computer. Also check your host LPR configuration (see the section "On the Host Computer" below).

  1. From a Command Prompt (DOS), copy the data spool file directly to the printer port being used by Reflection LPD. For instance, to print a file called Blue.dfA, you would use the command:
copy Blue.dfA lpt1

Does the output match the Reflection LPD output? If not, check your Windows print driver configuration.

Are any Reflection LPD error messages being logged?

Reflection LPD error messages are logged in the LPD Activity Log. The messages may provide clues about the cause of the problem.

Are printer commands being added to the print output?

Some PJL (Print Job Language) and PCL (Printer Command Language) commands may not be compatible with the LPR protocol. For example, the LPR protocol is not compatible with bi-directional communications. Depending on the print driver, you may be able to disable conflicting PJL or PCL settings from the printer properties dialog box.

If your host application is sending printer commands, you will need to enable Bypass Windows Printing for the LPD queue. (To access this setting, double-click your LPD queue.) If this setting is not enabled, the printer will interpret the printer commands as data, and will print them instead of processing them. If you are still unable to print, install and test using a different print driver to see if this resolves the problem.

The following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles discuss this driver topic. For Windows 95, see article 162669 at:;en-us;162669

For Windows NT, see article 174544 at:;en-us;174544

Other articles at this site may also be helpful.

Troubleshooting the Printer

Follow the suggestion below to verify your printer settings.

Is your printer configured for the proper code page?

If you are using international character sets on the host, make sure you have the correct code page selected on the printer. This setting typically can be changed from the settings panel on the printer.

Troubleshooting Host Side Configuration

Follow the suggestions below to verify your host computer print queue settings.

Is the host queue set up properly and in an active state?

Use lpc status (BSD UNIX) or lpstat (System V UNIX) to verify that the host LPR or LP queue is active.

Does the host computer recognize the PC?

Add the PC host name to the hosts file on the host computer.

Does the host computer LPR data file match the Reflection LPD output?

To verify this, follow the steps below.

  1. On the host computer, hold the LPR queue with lpc stop (BSD UNIX) or disable (SystemV UNIX).
  2. Print from your host LPR queue.
  3. Go to the host spool directory and look for the spooled data file. Spool directories are normally located in /var/spool/<printer> or /usr/spool/<printer>. The data file will typically have a .dAn extension, where n is a single-digit number.
  4. Transfer this data file to your PC using FTP (file transfer protocol) or the WRQ/Reflection file transfer program (in Reflection for UNIX, Digital, or HP).
  5. From a DOS prompt, copy the file to the same printer port used by Reflection LPD. For instance, to print a file called Blue.dfA, you would use the command:
copy Blue.dfA lpt1

Compare the output to your Reflection LPD output. If the output matches the Reflection LPD output, the problem is with the host computer configuration. For information on configuring remote print queues on various UNIX host computers, see your host computer man pages.

If the output is different than the Reflection LPD output, the problem may be with the Reflection LPD configuration or the Windows printer driver.

Has the LPR queue been configured on the host?

Use the appropriate UNIX system utility to configure the LPR service (smit, sam, rlpconf, or editing the /etc/printcap file). When configuring HP 9000 HPUX systems with SAM to add a remote Reflection LPD printer, it is recommended that you enable the "Remote Printer is on a BSD System" option.

Make sure the Reflection system name is listed in the appropriate UNIX files (/etc/hosts.lpd, /etc/hosts, DNS service, etc.).

Verify that the remote printer/print queue name matches the printer/print queue name configured in Reflection LPD. The name is case sensitive. Also, verity that the associated IP address and host name is correct.

For more information, consult your UNIX online manual (man) pages.

Technical Support

If you are unable to resolve your LPR or LPD printing problem using the recommendations in this technical note, please contact Attachmate Technical Support with the results of your troubleshooting efforts. For information about contacting Technical Support, see

When contacting Attachmate Technical Support, please be prepared to provide the following information:

  • A description of the problem.
  • A description of the troubleshooting performed and its results.
  • The version and patch level (if applicable) of Reflection LPD.
  • The operating system of the workstation running Reflection LPD.
  • The vendor and operating system version of the remote host running LPR or LP client.
  • The Reflection LPD queue configuration details.
  • If applicable, a hardcopy or scanned graphic file demonstrating the printing problem, which can be faxed or emailed to technical support.
  • You may be asked to upload or email a copy of the print file. To capture the printout to a file, configure your application to print to file, typically from Print on the File menu.
  • The make and model of your printer.
  • The name and version of the print driver you are using.
  • Information regarding how the printer is accessed (physically connected to the workstation, accessed via NetWare network, etc).
  • A copy of the Reflection LPD Activity Logs. For detailed directions see the section "Are any Reflection LPD error messages being logged?" above.

Additional Information

Legacy KB ID

This document was originally published as Attachmate Technical Note 1430.