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The wildcard printcap name * is used to select a default or printcap entry when a match is not found in the printcap database.
# %P and %Q set to printer name *:lp=%P@server # %P set to 'printer', %Q set to printer name printer|*:lp=%P@server
When searching for printcap information, the LPRng software will first search for an exact match for a printcap entry against the printcap names and aliases. If non is found, it then searches for a wildcard entry and uses the first one found with a wildcard name or alias.
If the wildcard * is the printcap name, then the printer name (%P value) and queue (%Q value) are set to the name being searched for. If the wildcard is an alias, then then printer name is set to the printcap main entry name and the queue to the name being searched for.