foomatic-rip Man page

FOOMATIC-RIP(1) General Commands Manual FOOMATIC-RIP(1)


foomatic-rip – Universal print filter/RIP wrapper


General Options:
foomatic-rip [-v] [-q]

Spooler-less printing filter:
foomatic-rip [-P | –ppd ] [-J ] [-o

CUPS filter:
foomatic-rip []


foomatic-rip is a universal print filter which can be used as CUPS fil‐
ter or stand-alone for spooler-less, direct printing. It has the fol‐
lowing features:

It translates PostScript and PDF from standard input or a file to the
printer’s native language on standard output.

The translation is done with an external renderer, usually Ghostscript
(gs). If no translation is needed (PostScript printer) the ren‐
derer’s command line reduces to cat. The way how this translation is
done is described in a PPD file.

Printer capabilities, how to handle user options, and how to build the
renderer command line is always described by PPD files, these PPD files
usually come from Foomatic or can be the ones supplied by the manufac‐
turers of PostScript printers. The PPD files are the same for both CUPS
and direct printing.

foomatic-rip works with CUPS and for direct printing (without spooler),
where the latter is mainly for testing and debugging. The mode is
selected by the command line options and environment variables which
are supplied to foomatic-rip.

foomatic-rip does not only apply option settings supplied by the user
through the command line of the printing command, but also searches the
entire job for embedded option settings (only PostScript jobs). Here
not only settings which affect the whole job are taken into account,
but also settings in the page headers, which are only valid for the
page where they were found, so applications which produce PostScript
code with page-specific printer option settings are fully supported.

-v verbose mode for debugging. WARNING: This will create a file
in /tmp that contains the debugging information. This opens
a security loophole and should not be used in production.

-q quiet mode – minimal information output

-P is the configured printer which should be used for
this job.

–ppd The PPD file should be applied for processing this


The file(s) to be printed.

foomatic-rip will print from standard input unless at least one file to
be printed is specified on the command line. If your printer PPD file
is stored as /etc/direct/.ppd or
~/.foomatic/direct/.ppd you can use it by simply specifying
“-P “.

Put a line

*FoomaticRIPPostPipe: “|

into the PPD file, right after *PPD-Adobe: “4.3”, where is a
command into which you want to re-direct the output data. Due to the
restrictions of PPD files <, >, and ” are not allowed in the ,
replace them as follows:

Character Replacement
< < > >
” "
‘ '
& &

This way you can print directly to your printer, use

*FoomaticRIPPostPipe: “| cat > /dev/lp0”


*FoomaticRIPPostPipe: “| cat > /dev/usb/lp0”

for local parallel or USB printers. To make normal users able to print
this way add them to the group lp and make sure that the appropriate
printer device file /dev/… is group-writable for the lp group.

for a TCP/Socket/JetDirect printer with the host name printer listening
on port 9100 you need this:

*FoomaticRIPPostPipe: “| /usr/bin/nc -w 1 printer 9100”

Note the “-w 1” in the “nc” command line, it makes “nc” exiting
immediately after the data is transferred to the printer.

*FoomaticRIPPostPipe: “| rlpr -Plp@printserver”

directs your jobs to the LPD printer queue lp on the machine named

See also

See the documentation on the OpenPrinting Web site:

The file /etc/foomatic/filter.conf is read whenever foomatic-rip is
executed. It allows to configure the behavior of foomatic-rip as
follows (lines beginning with # are comments and therefore get

debug: 0|1
Turns on (1) or off (0) the debug mode. This is equivalent to
supplying the –debug command line option. Default setting is

ps_accounting: 0|1
Turns on (1) or off (0) inserting PostScript code for page
accounting into PostScript jobs. The inserted PostScript code
makes Ghostscript generating accounting output on stderr and
CUPS can this way log each page which got printed. The code
will only be inserted if CUPS is the spooler. Default setting
is 1.

echo: [/]
Sets the path to an echo executable which supports -n.

gspath: [/]
Sets the path to the Ghostscript (gs) executable. To be
used if Ghostscript is at a non-standard location or if an
alternative Ghostscript should be used.

execpath: [:]…
Sets the $PATH variable to be used by foomatic-rip.

cupsfilterpath: [:]…
Sets the directories (colon-separated) in which foomatic-rip
searches for CUPS filters.

preferred_shell: [/]
Sets the preferred shell to use when executing
FoomaticRIPCommandLine and friends. Several PPD files use
shell constructs that require a more modern shell like bash,
zsh, or ksh.


The PPD files of the currently defined printers


Configuration file for foomatic-rip

foomatic-rip returns 0 unless something unexpected happens.


Till Kamppeter with parts of Manfred
Wassmanns’s man pages for the Foomatic
2.0.x filters.


None so far.

Please send bug reports to the OpenPrinting bug tracker:

Use “OpenPrinting” as the product and “cups-filters” as the component.

cups-filters 2013-11-06 FOOMATIC-RIP(1)