summary: printcap in NIS

From: Drew Daniel Perkins (
Date: Mon Feb 04 1991 - 19:28:51 CST

> Does anyone know the proper way to get /etc/printcap into NIS? I
> tried a few things unsuccessfully. Is this possible? I'm running
> Sun3's and 4's under 4.0.3, 4.1 and 4.1.1.

Well, I've received 32 responses all saying approximately the same
thing: you can't do what I wanted.

Important points people made:
1. There is nothing stopping you from putting printcap in NIS (I
    misphrased the question). It's just that none of the programs
    will look for it there (except as noted in point 2).
2. The Sun 386i Roadrunner operating systems did support this
    feature, but it never seemed to make it into releases for the
    other architectures (sun-3 or sun-4).
3. You can solve this problem if you are willing to take the
    Berekeley code and hack NIS support into it.
4. You can use rdist or an equivalent to update printcaps, but this
    will not have the effect that I wanted which was to be able to
    just plunk a new machine down and have it start working.
5. Why hasn't Sun incorporated this feature yet?

I seem to have accidentally discovered an undocumented feature.
Everyone told me that you had to have different printcaps depending on
whether the printer is local or remote. When I set up our printers, I
didn't quite read the documentation and I just naturally assumed that
I should use "rm=lprhost:lp=lprdev" (where lprhost is the name of the
system the printer is attached to and lprdev is the name of the device
on lprhost that the printer is attached to, e.g. "/dev/ttya"). I
figured that lpd would clearly know which machine it was and would
just use the right one. Well, if you haven't yet figured it out, this
does work in our environment and has been working for a number of
months without incident.


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