This chapter includes applications that create, manipulate or view PostScript files and view Portable Document Format PDF files.


Introduction to a2ps

a2ps is a filter utilitized mainly in the background and primarily by printing scripts to convert almost every input format into PostScript output. The application's name expands appropriately to "all to PostScript".

Package information

Additional downloads

a2ps dependencies

Installation of a2ps

Install a2ps by running the following commands:

cd contrib &&
cp &&
sed -e "s:emacs::" > &&
cd .. &&
cp configure{,.orig} &&
sed -e 's|/usr/local/share/ghostscript|/usr/share/ghostscript|g' \
    configure.orig > configure &&
./configure --prefix=/usr \
    --sysconfdir=/etc/a2ps --localstatedir=/var \
    --with-medium=letter &&
make &&
make install

Command explanations

cd contrib &&
cp &&
sed -e "s:emacs::" > &&
cd .. &&

These commands eliminate the compiling and installing of the Emacs script files. If you have substituted Emacs for Vi as your primary editor, you would want to skip these instructions.

cp configure{,.orig} &&
sed -e 's|/usr/local/share/ghostscript|/usr/share/ghostscript|g' \
    configure.orig > configure

This command modifies the configure script to search for Ghostscript fonts at the location where they were installed by the BLFS instructions.

--sysconfdir=/etc/a2ps: Configuration data goes to /etc/a2ps instead of /usr/etc.

--with-medium=letter: This switch changes the default paper format of A4 to letter. Installations that utilize A4 would eliminate this switch.

Configuring a2ps

Config files

/etc/a2ps/a2ps.cfg, /etc/a2ps/a2ps-site.cfg

Configuration Information

Information about configuring a2ps can be found in the comments contained in the above files, and also by running info a2ps.


The a2ps package contains a2ps and filter data.



a2ps is a filter, utilized primarily by printing scripts, that converts standard input or supported files to PostScript.