Unable to open pltque file

Last Published: April 25, 2020

Error Message

At the Arc prompt, the PLOT <graphics_file> command returns:

Unable to open pltque file.


The pltque file does not exist at all, or if it does, it is not in a location ArcInfo can access, or the file contents are not in the correct format.

Solution or Workaround

  1. Check the $HOME and $ARCHOME/sysgen directories for the pltque file. At the Arc prompt type:

    ls $HOME/pltque
    ls $ARCHOME/sysgen/pltque

    If it does not exist, create it with a text editor. See step three.

    A pltque file in the $HOME directory will be used before the one in $ARCHOME/sysgen.

  2. On systems running multiple installations of ArcInfo, it is possible the pltque file is in a different $ARCHOME location from the one you are using. Check the various $ARCHOME locations your system may have. If you find a pltque file, copy it to the location that corresponds with the installation you are using.

    See your system administrator for assistance with this.

  3. Verify the pltque file has four lines for each output device as follows:

    Line 1: (Destination) The name of the device as it appears in the PLOT dialog box.

    Line 2: (Mode) How and where your map is translated to a native printer language (direct, filtered, or serveware).

    Line 3: (Queue) The name of the spooling queue that directs your map to the correct device. This queue is used by the operating system commands lp or lpr. Use lpstat -a to view queues recognized by your system.

    Line 4: (AML) Reference to an AML that provides a PLOT interface menu for each printer driver translator. It allows you to select printer-specific parameters and to send the file to the printer. Default amls are located in the $ARCHOME/atool/support/plotsupport directory.

    Here is a sample pltque file:

    cal5800 (CalComp 58000 plotter)

    For more details, see the ArcDoc topic "Creating the plot queue file" found under Contents > System Administration > System Setup > Setting up and customizing the plot system > (your UNIX platform).

Article ID:000002420

  • Legacy Products
  • ArcMap 8 x

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