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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  ESCPUTIL (1)


escputil - maintain Epson Stylus inkjet printers


Other Information


escputil [ -P printer | -r device ] [ -m model ] [ -u ] [ -c | -n | -a | -i | -d | -o | -s | -l | -M | -h ] [ -q ]


escputil is a command line utility to perform various maintenance tasks on Epson Stylus inkjet printers. These tasks include head alignment, head cleaning, nozzle check, printer identification, and retrieval of ink level from the printer.


escputil accepts the following options:
-P, --printer-name=printer
  Specify the name of the printer to operate on. The default is the default system printer.
-r, --raw-device=device
  Specify the name of the device to write to directly rather than going through a printer queue. You must use this (rather than specifying a printer) when retrieving ink levels or identifying the printer, or if you wish to perform head alignment without specifying the printer model.
-m, --model=model
  Specify the precise printer model for head alignment.
-u, --new The printer is a new printer (Stylus Color 740 or newer).
-c, --clean-head
  Clean the print head. This can also be performed from the printer front panel.
-n, --nozzle-check
  Print a nozzle test pattern. Dirty or clogged nozzles will show as gaps in the pattern. If you see any gaps, you should run a head cleaning pass or two.
-a, --align-head
  Align the print head. CAUTION: Misuse of this option may result in poor print quality and/or damage to the printer. You must either specify the printer model with the -m option, or use the raw printer device to allow escputil to detect the printer model.
-i, --ink-level
  Obtain the ink level from the printer. This requires read/write access to the raw printer device.
-d, --identify
  Query the printer for make and model information. This requires read/write access to the raw printer device.
-o, --align-color
  Align the color print head (used by Stylus Color 480 and 580 only). CAUTION: Misuse of this option may result in poor print quality and/or damage to the printer.
-s, --status
  Retrieve printer status.
-l, --license
  Display the license/warranty terms of this program.
-M, --list-models
  List the supported printer models.
-h, --help
  Display a list of all command line options.
-q, --quiet
  Suppress the banner.


USB-connected printers sometimes fail to identify or return ink levels. You may have to repeat the command. This is probably a timing issue in escputil, not a flaw in the printer.

Anything requiring bidirectional communication with the printer (identify, ink levels, or head alignment without specifying the printer model) requires read/write access to the printer port (for example /dev/lp0). This may require these operations to be performed as root. In addition, kernel support is required for bidirectional communication. For Linux version 2.2, CONFIG_PRINTER_READBACK should be enabled; this is called CONFIG_PARPORT_1284 on 2.4 and later kernels.

If the printer is performing self-test or head cleaning on power up, the identify and ink level commands will time out, although the printer successfully receives the command. The command will need to be reissued when the printer is quiescent.


Robert Krawitz.


Copyright © 2000 Robert Krawitz (

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.


The homepage of the Gutenprint project from which this utility was contributed is located at


lp(4), tunelp(8).
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Version 5.2.10 ESCPUTIL (1) 18 May 2014

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