vtprintcap - database of terminal printer control codes
vtprintcap is a simple flat file database containing a list of the
names of various terminals and the codes those terminals use to start
and stop an attached printer (media hard copy). This database is used
by vtprint(1) and related programs.
Each entry is composed of three lines. The first line is a comma-
delimited list of names which may be used to reference this entry. The
second line the sequence of characters used by the terminal to turn on
an attached hard copy device and redirect output to that device. The
third line contains the sequence of characters used to turn the device
off and restore normal output to the screen.
An entry must have all three lines to be considered valid. Currently
no comment lines are permitted to exist between these lines: such lines
would be interpreted as the printer control codes themselves!
The rules for selecting a terminal name are simple: you must follow the
same rules as for /etc/termcap(5) names. Terminal names should be
entered in /etc/vtprintcap with exactly the same names as are in
The control code strings in the second and third lines of an entry are
governed as follows: ANSI C style escapes for character constants (e.g.
\n for newline) are permitted, constant strings are permitted, and
quotes may be used to as delimiters in the string. (This is useful if
you wish you use a digit immediately following a numeric escape. For
example, ESC-5 should be represented as \033"5" to avoid confusion in
with \335. In general, the rules outlined for ANSI constant escaping
Additionally, /etc/vtprintcap may contain comment lines, which are
indicated by placing a hash mark (#) in the first column of the line.
Remember however that entries must not be broken up by comment lines!
Here is a sample entry common to DEC vt100 and vt102 terminals:
# Sample vtprintcap entry for vt100 & vt102 terminals
This entry would be used whenever the user’s TERM environment variable
was set to "vt102" or "vt100", using ESC [5i and ESC [4i as the printer
control codes to turn a printer on and off, respectively.
vtprintcap is part of the vtprint package, which can be obtained by
anonymous ftp at ftp.sdsu.edu in the /pub/vtprint directory. Please
read the INDEX and README files before downloading.
If you do not have ftp availability, then you can request a uuencoded
copy of vtprint be sent to you via e-mail from the author. The author
is also willing to make other arrangements as needed, within certain
vtprintcap handling code currently could get confused if a printer
control code is exactly the same as the name of a terminal, or
contained the name of a terminal delimited by commas. As this is very
unlikely to every occur, it shouldn’t be a problem.