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Commands Reference, Volume 4

piobe Command


Print job manager for the printer backend.


/usr/lpd/piobe-a PreviewLevel ] [  -A DiagnosticLevel ] [  -d InputDataStream ] [  -f FilterName ] [ FormatterFlags ] [ File ... ]


The piobe command is a spooler backend program called by the qdaemon program to process a print job. The piobe command serves as the print job manager.

Based on the argument of the -d flag (or its default value in the database), which specifies the data stream type of the print files, the piobe command retrieves a pipeline from the database and passes it to a shell. The pipeline contains a string of filters to convert the print files as necessary and send them to a printer. If requested, the piobe command also retrieves and runs pipelines from the database to generate header and trailer pages.

The FormatterFlags argument (flags other than the flags listed in this article) is assumed to be referenced by the filter commands in the pipelines. If a flag is specified but not referenced by the pipelines, an error message is issued and the print job ended.

Note: The piobe command should not be typed directly on the command line. This command is invoked by the qdaemon process and is dependent on the various services provided by the qdaemon process.


-a PreviewOption Provides a way to preview parameter values that would be used for a print job without actually printing any files. Values that can be specified for the PreviewOption variable are:
Specifies normal print processing
Returns a list of flag values and the pipeline of filters that would be used to convert the input data type to the data type expected by the printer, but does not actually invoke the pipeline of filters or send the file to the printer.

The list of flag values returned are the default command line flag values from the configuration database. These values are overridden by any flag arguments specified on the command line. Please note that:

  • Only flags that are valid for the InputDataType variable specified (or defaulted) for the -d flag are shown.
  • Flag values related only to the spooling of your print job, instead of the actual printing, are not shown. The default values for the spooling flags are included with the descriptions of the flags for the qprt command.
  • The flag values may not have been checked to verify that they are valid.

The pipeline of filters shows the filter commands (and the flag values passed to the filter commands) that would process the data from your print file before it is sent to the printer. You can review the description for each of the filter commands to determine the type of filtering that would be performed.

-A Value Specifies the level of diagnostic output. Diagnostic output is useful for diagnosing errors encountered by a pipeline of filters that is processing a print file, a header page, or a trailer page. Diagnostic output is mailed to the user who submitted the print job. The Value variable can be one of the following:
Discards any standard error output that is produced by the header, trailer, or print file pipelines.
If any standard error output is produced, returns the standard error output and the pipeline that produced it and ends the print job.
Returns the flag values, standard error output (if any), and completes pipelines, regardless of whether an error is detected. If an error is detected, the print job is ended.
Similar to a value of 2, except that the file is not printed.

A value of 1 is recommended. A value of 0 is used if a filter in a pipeline produces output to standard error, even if no error is encountered, such as for status information. A value of 2 or 3 is used for diagnosing a problem even if the problem does not cause any output to standard error.

-d InputDataType Specifies the type of data that is in the file to be printed. This flag is a one-character identifier. Based on the data type for the print file and the data type expected by the printer, the print files are passed through filters (if necessary) before being sent to the printer. Examples of data type identifiers are:
IBM extended ASCII
Pass-through (sent to the printer unmodified)
Diablo 630

If the printer you select does not support the InputDataType variable and filters are not available to convert the data type of your print file to a data type supported by the printer, the print job will be ended with an error message.

-f FilterType Specifies a type of filter through which your print file is passed before being sent to the printer. This flag is a one-character identifier. The identifiers are similar to the filter flags available with the lpr command. The available filter identifier is p which invokes the pr filter.


/var/spool/lpd/pio/@local/ddi/* Contains the digested database files.

Related Information

The lpr command, pr command, qdaemon command, qprt command.

The qconfig file.

Printer Backend Overview for Programming in the AIX 5L Version 5.2 Guide to Printers and Printing.

Understanding the Interaction between qdaemon and the Backend in the AIX 5L Version 5.2 Guide to Printers and Printing.

Understanding Backend Routines in libqb in the AIX 5L Version 5.2 Guide to Printers and Printing.

Printer Addition Management Subsystem: Programming Overview in AIX 5L Version 5.2 Kernel Extensions and Device Support Programming Concepts.

Configuring a Printer without Adding a Queue in the AIX 5L Version 5.2 Guide to Printers and Printing.

Adding a Printer Using the Printer Colon File in the AIX 5L Version 5.2 Guide to Printers and Printing.

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