CUPS is a modular and open-source printing system that uses the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) as the basis for managing printers, print requests, and print queues. CUPS supports network printer browsing and PostScript Printer Description-based printing options. CUPS also provides a common printing interface across a local network.
IPP is the standard protocol for printing on a network. Similar to other IP-based protocols, IPP can be used locally or over the Internet to communicate with remote printers. Unlike other protocols, IPP also supports access control, authentication, and encryption, making it a much more capable and secure printing solution than other protocols. IPP is layered on top of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). HTTP is the basis for web servers that are on the Internet. When IPP is in use, you can verify printer or server status information and manage printers and print jobs through a browser. CUPS is a complete IPP/1.1 based printing system that provides basic, digest, and local certificate authentication and user, domain, or IP-based access control.
CUPS includes support for dynamic printer detection and grouping. CUPS replaces the lpr command with its own command and the LPD printer drivers with its own print drivers. CUPS is similar to the LP print service in that it uses PostScript format as its underlying language for page descriptions. Because CUPS provides both the System V and Berkeley print commands, users and applications can print to CUPS queues with little or no changes to the options that were previously used.
Lastly, CUPS includes application-level interfaces that are used by many open-source applications and toolkits. On the back end, CUPS includes the necessary interfaces for processing the annotated raster image format (RIP). Support for this format and these interfaces is integrated into other critical open-source print driver technologies.
CUPS is the default and the only print service in the Oracle Solaris release, replacing the LP print service. Printing in the Oracle Solaris operating system (OS) by using CUPS is managed by using the following:
CUPS command-line utilities – These commands include new CUPS print commands, as well as some print commands that were previously used by the LP print service.
CUPS web browser interface – Go to http://localhost:631.
CUPS Print Manager GUI – You can access the GUI from the Oracle Solaris Desktop, which includes GNOME 2.30, or by typing the system-config-printer command in a terminal window.