A Guide To Linux Printing - page 6
Once your file has been processed by the filter it is ready to be printed. Parallel ports on a PC are typically called LPT1, and LPT2. "Parallel Printer Support" must be compiled into the Linux kernel to use the printer ports. Printer ports like other character devices in Linux correspond to files in the /dev directory. On a typical Linux system the file /dev/lp1 corresponds to LPT1. Data written to /dev/lp1 is sent to your printer. Often people will try copying a text file to /dev/lp1 to ensure that Linux talks with the printer correctly. For example the command "cat /etc/hosts >/dev/lp1" should result in your printer printing the hosts file. Do not worry if the output is not formatted correctly, filters are often used to correct this. If your printer did not receive any data a problem exists. Sometimes the kernel will log an error message in the systems log (usually /var/log/messages) that might hint at the problem.