Can CUPS function on QNX 2

We are having issues finding printers to work on our QNX2 data acquisition pc’s. Can CUPS be used to be able to use modern printers?

It’s doubtful that you can port CUPS to QNX 2. I assume that CUPS is written for a modern ANSI compiler. If you don’t already have the CI (Computer Innovations) compiler on your development system, I doubt that there is any way to get it. The QNX C compiler was K&R and not ANSI.

All QNX 2 supported directly was a parallel printer device $lpt and also serial ports that could be connected to a printer.

If you want to print to a more modern printer, you will have to find one that supports a parallel port or serial connections. You might be able to get around this if QNX 2 is running in a VM. Some VM’s will simulate a serial port using a USB serial device. They might also have a virtual parallel port driver that writes to the native printer.

As far as supporting multiple printers, things have changed a lot since the 1980’s. Basically you can write software to support one or both of PCL or PostScript and you’ve covered almost everything. You can imbed this support into a program using a library, or you can use a filter. How difficult this would be depends on how fancy you want the output. If it’s just text, it’s rather easy. If you want to print pictures, quite a bit more complicated.

If you have a system that outputs to an existing standard like EPSON dot matrix, there still is the possiblity of creating a filter. I did this for a guy running a QNX 4 system. It only wrote to an EPSON. I intercepted the output and converted it to PCL. This was done under a VM on a Windows NT server.

Intercepting on QNX 4 was simple because of the way the original application was written. It should be possible to intercept output on QNX 2 by writing a non-hardware device driver. The knowledge on how to do this is still around but it’s rather obscure.

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