I know I can change the characters per inch used by lp with lp -o cpi=12 (or any number you like). But is it possible to change the default value of this option globally? The default, when -o cpi=<N> is not passed, is 10. But I'd like to change this default number to something else so that I do not have to type -o cpi=<mynumber> always and in all scripts I wrote in the past. How can I do this?


Use the lpoptions command.

That writes settings to ~/.cups/lpoptions or, if run as root, in the system-wide /etc/cups/lpoptions file.

These settings are used when submitting jobs via lp or lpr, hence changes take effect immediately without the need to restart services.

  • Thanks. Do I need to restart any services after changing something? – Foo Bar Dec 1 '14 at 14:33
  • I've edited my answer to provide that info – wurtel Dec 1 '14 at 14:38
  • I used lpoptions -o cpi=12 as root (file was altered according, I checked) followed by lp. But this did not work (it used default cpi, so 10), however when I do lp -o cpi=12 it corretly uses 12. – Foo Bar Dec 1 '14 at 14:44
  • I just did lpoptions, which lists the correct settings (changed cpi), but when I do lpoptions -p <myprinter> then I do not get any cpi settings (it just says none). Do I have to use lpoptions printer-specific? I'd like to set it globally for all installed printers. – Foo Bar Dec 1 '14 at 14:52
  • Should the changes made with lpoptions also appear in printers.conf? (They don't for me) – Foo Bar Dec 1 '14 at 14:59

Use the lpadmin command (as root):

lpadmin -p printer -o cpi-default=12

This works immediately, a restart of cups is not required.

(The command adds a line to /etc/cups/printers.conf - might take a while before the new line appears there. If you don't want to wait, you can restart cups which updates printers.conf immediately).

  • But my question is actually: How do I change it independent of the printer? So that it works for all printers at once? – Foo Bar Dec 4 '14 at 12:28

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