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Configuring ATPS for Printing

Articles and Tips: tip

01 Jun 2001

If you want to configure ATPS (AppleTalk Print Services), the following information can help.

The ATPS.CFG File. Here's a sample ATPS.CFG file configuring ATPS Macintosh printing using ATPS.NLM. (The # symbol is used to remark out a line in the atps.cfg file.)

#For printers connected over Appletalk (LocalTalk, EtherTalk, tokentalk) -p "LaserWriter II NTX" -z "MacZone" -o "LaserQueue"

#For printers connected over parallel, serial, rprinter, or nprinter -o DOSQUEUE -wb -L -f hplaser

To Troubleshoot using ATPS. At the server console prompt, type:

LOAD ATPS -V <Enter>

Then switch to the screen that displays ATPS at the top left corner.

When everything is working correctly, you will see:

Using directory SYS:SYSTEM\ATPS 
Initializing existing queue LaserQueue 
Getting an initial spooler font list from printer <LaserWriter IINTX> 
Attaching printer <LaserWriter II NTX> to queue LaserQueue NBP
Registering spooler <LaserQueue:LaserWriter@*>

You may see error messages, such as:

ATPS: can't find printer <LaserJet 4MV:LaserWriter@zonename>, retrying

This error suggests a communication problem. Use ATCON.NLM (see the "Troubleshooting Using ATCON" section of the Installing NetWare for Macintosh guide).

Options for Loading ATPS. You can load ATPS.NLM with the following two options:

  • LOAD ATPS -D VOL1:QUEUES <Enter>. This option allows you to specify a volume other than the default SYS:SYSTEM in which to locate the print queues.

  • LOAD ATPS -V <Enter>. This option brings up the verbose screen, which is useful for troubleshooting, but it creates very large system error logs. When you're finished troubleshooting, unload the ATPS.NLM and reload it without this option.

Options for ATPS.CFG. Below is a table of the other parameter options that you can use for ATPS.CFG.

Parameter Name
What is Means



This will turn OFF notification of print jobs that printed successfully.


Printer Name

This name can be up to 31 characters in length. If you do not specify a queue name, ATPS.NLM will create a default queue name with NW Printername.


Zone Name

This is the AppleTalk zone in which the printer resides. If you do not specify this, ATPS assumes the default zone, or the zone used in the Load AppleTalk line of the AUTOEXEC.NCF file.


Error banner

This will turn off error banner pages generated by PostScript errors.


Without backend

This means that ATPS.NLM will give the job to another print server, such as PSERVER.NLM.


LaserWriter prep

This means that each time a Macintosh prints to the queue, the LaserWriter prep will be downloaded to the printer to set it up for Macintosh PostScript.


Font file

The font file name here is Hplaser. There are several font files, but they are almost all exactly the same.



This hides the AppleTalk printer. This changes the AppleTalk printer's NBP type to Lasershared.

-n# e.g. -n20

Concurrent print jobs allowed

Here 20 is the number of concurrent print jobs allowed in the queue. This number must be between 1 and 50.


Type of printer

The default is LaserWriter. The default works for almost all PostScript printers. (See Printer Types in the documentation for a list of these.)


Non-default printer type

This is used if the type of printer is not the default type, LaserWriter, but it is still a PostScript printer. This is used with non-AppleTalk printers.


Sends fonts in 512k blocks

This parameter sends fonts in 512KB blocks, which is faster than the default.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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