CUPS (Common Unix Printing) system is one of the open source printer server. CUPS provides a portable printing layer for UNIX-based operating systems. It has been developed by Easy Software Products to promote a standard printing solution for all UNIX vendors and users. CUPS provides the System V and Berkeley command-line interfaces.
CUPS uses the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) as the basis for managing print jobs and queues. The Line Printer Daemon (LPD) Server Message Block (SMB), and AppSocket (JetDirect) protocols are also supported with reduced functionality. CUPS adds network printer browsing and PostScript Printer Description (PPD) based printing options to support real-world printing under UNIX.
1] Why CUPS Printer Server ? –
CUPS is designed to eliminate the printing problem. One common printing system can be used by all UNIX variants to support the printing needs of users. Printer vendors can use its modular filter interface to develop a single driver program that supports a wide range of file formats with little or no effort. Since CUPS provides both the System V and Berkeley printing commands, users (and applications) can reap the benefits of this new technology with no changes. CUPS is based upon an emerging Internet standard called the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP), which a standard protocol for printing as well as managing print jobs and printer options like media size, resolution etc. Like all IP-based protocols, IPP can be used locally or over the Internet to printers hundreds or thousands of miles away. Unlike other protocols, however, IPP also supports access control, authentication, and encryption, making it a much more capable and secure printing solution than older ones.
Backends – Backends perform the most important task of all they send the filtered print data to the printer. CUPS provides backends for printing over parallel, serial, and USB ports, and over the network via the IPP, JetDirect (AppSocket), and Line Printer Daemon (LPD) protocols. Additional backends are available in network service packages such as the SMB backend included with the popular SAMBA software. backends are also used to determine the available devices. On startup each backend is asked for a list of devices it supports.
— printer installation, configuration, quota managment, page log and accounting etc.. will be updated soon