High-Performance Computing at the NIH

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Printing From the Helix Systems

Users can print to a local networked printer from Helix, provided the printer has an individual hostname or IP address.

Printing to a Networked Printer

To print to a printer that is connected directly to the network, send mail to staff@helix.nih.gov to request activation of the printer. You will need to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email address
  • IP address or hostname of printer
  • Unique name of your choosing (lower-case letters are preferred, e.g. nia_lkp)

Print Commands

Once your printer is set up you can use the following commands on Helix to print to it:

[helix]$ lpr -Pprintername
[helix]$ enscript -Pprintername

On Helix, the lpr command will not let you print text files to a postscript printer. The enscript command converts text files to postscript first, then prints the file to a postscript printer.

You can also permanently set the environment variable PRINTER in your .cshrc file located in your home directory. To edit the .cshrc file, type

[helix]$ pico ~/.cshrc

Move the cursor down to the "setenv PRINTER 'your printer is an'" line, delete the 'your printer is an' portion and replace it with your printer's name. Exit the file, log off and back in to reset the settings. You can now use the lpr or enscript command without the -P option.

Printing to a Local Non-Networked Printer

There are a few ways to print to a local non-networked printer. You can do one of the following:

  • cut and paste from a Helix window into a printable file format on your own machine.
  • use the pcprint command on Helix if your communication package supports transparent printing
  • download the file from Helix to your workstation and then print.