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 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.