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	<TD><H1 ALIGN="RIGHT">An Overview of the<BR>
	Common UNIX Printing System,<BR>
	Version 1.1</H1>

	<P ALIGN="RIGHT">July 10, 2000<BR>
	Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products<BR>
	Copyright 1998-2002, All Rights Reserved.</P>

<P>This whitepaper describes the Common UNIX Printing
System<SUP>TM</SUP> ("CUPS<SUP>TM</SUP>"), a portable and extensible
printing system for UNIX<SUP>&reg;</SUP>. CUPS is being developed by
<A HREF="http://www.easysw.com">Easy Software Products</A>, a software
firm located in Hollywood, Maryland that has been selling commercial
software for UNIX since 1993 through more than 40 distributors serving
over 80 countries worldwide.

<P>Additional information on CUPS is available on the World Wide Web at
"<A HREF="http://www.cups.org">http://www.cups.org</A>".


<P>Printing within UNIX has historically been done using one of two
printing systems - the Berkeley Line Printer Daemon ("LPD") [RFC1179]
and the AT&amp;T Line Printer system. These printing systems were
designed in the 70's for printing text to line printers; vendors have
since added varying levels of support for other types of printers.

<P>Replacements for these printing systems have emerged [LPRng,
Palladin, PLP], however none of the replacements change the fundamental
capabilities of these systems.

<P>Over the last few years several attempts at developing a standard
printing interface have been made, including the draft POSIX Printing
standard developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers, Inc. ("IEEE") [IEEE-1387.4] and Internet Printing Protocol
("IPP") developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force ("IETF")
through the Printer Working Group ("PWG") [IETF-IPP]. The POSIX
printing standard defines a common set of command-line tools as well as
a C interface for printer administration and print jobs, but has been
shelved by the IEEE.

<P>The Internet Printing Protocol defines extensions to the HyperText
Transport Protocol 1.1 [RFC2616] to provide support for remote printing
services. IPP/1.0 was accepted by the IETF as an experimental Request
For Comments [RFC] document in October of 1999. Since then the Printer
Working Group has developed an updated set of specifications for
IPP/1.1 which have been accepted by the IETF and are awaiting
publication as proposed standards. Unlike POSIX Printing, IPP enjoys
widespread industry support and is poised to become the standard
network printing solution for all operating systems.

<P>CUPS uses IPP/1.1 to provide a complete, modern printing system for
UNIX that can be extended to support new printers, devices, and
protocols while providing compatibility with existing UNIX
applications. CUPS is free software provided under the terms of the
GNU General Public License and GNU Library General Public License.


<P>The first production release of CUPS (based on IPP/1.0) was released
in October of 1999. Since then, we have released several patch updates
to the original CUPS 1.0 release that addressed security, portability,
and bugs found, but no new functionality was added to improve the
stability of the CUPS code.

<P>CUPS 1.1 is based on IPP/1.1 and adds many of the functional
enhancements that have been requested by our users. As with 1.0, CUPS
1.1 will be followed by patch releases that address any problems found
with the software but add no new features.

<H2>Design Overview</H2>

<P>Like most printing systems, CUPS is designed around a central print
scheduling process that dispatches print jobs, processes administrative
commands, provides printer status information to local and remote
programs, and informs users as needed. Figure 1 shows the basic
organization of CUPS.

<CENTER><IMG SRC="images/cups-block-diagram.gif" WIDTH="470" HEIGHT="170"></CENTER>
<P ALIGN="CENTER">Figure 1 - CUPS Block Diagram</P>


<P>The scheduler is a HTTP/1.1 server application that handles HTTP
requests. Besides handling printer requests via IPP POST requests, the
scheduler also acts as a full-featured web server for documentation,
status monitoring, and administration.

<P>The scheduler also manages a list of available printers on the LAN
and dispatches print jobs as needed using the appropriate filters and

<H3>Configuration Files</H3>

The configuration files consist of:


	<LI>The HTTP server configuration file.

	<LI>Printer and class definition files.

	<LI>MIME type and conversion rule files.

	<LI>PostScript Printer Description ("PPD") files.


<P>The HTTP server configuration file is purposely similar to the
Apache server configuration file and defines all of the access control
properties for the server.

<P>The printer and class definition files list the available printer
queues and classes. Printer classes are collections of printers. Jobs
sent to a class are forwarded to the first available printer in the
class, round-robin fashion.

<P>The MIME type files list the supported MIME types (text/plain,
application/postscript, etc.) and "magic" rules for automatically
detecting the format of a file.  These are used by the HTTP server to
determine the <I>Content-Type</I> field for <I>GET</I> and <I>HEAD</I>
requests and by the IPP request handler to determine the file type
when a <I>Print-Job</I> or <I>Send-File</I> request is received with a
<I>document-format</I> of <I>application/octet-stream</I>.

<P>The MIME conversion rule files list the available filters. The
filters are used when a job is dispatched so that an application can
send a convenient file format to the printing system which then
converts the document into a printable format as needed. Each filter
has a relative cost associated with it, and the filtering algorithm
chooses the set of filters that will convert the file to the needed
format with the lowest total "cost".

<P>The PPD files describe the capabilities of all printers, not just
PostScript printers. There is one PPD file for each printer. PPD files
for non-PostScript printers define additional filters through
<I>cupsFilter</I> attributes to support printer drivers.


<P>The CUPS API contains CUPS-specific convenience functions for queuing
print jobs, getting printer information, accessing resources via HTTP
and IPP, and manipulating PPD files. Unlike the rest of CUPS, the CUPS
API is provided under the terms of the GNU LGPL so it may be used by
non-GPL applications.

<H3>Berkeley and System V Commands</H3>

<P>CUPS provides the System V and Berkeley command-line interfaces for
submitting jobs and checking the printer status. The
<CODE>lpstat</CODE> and <CODE>lpc status</CODE> commands also show
network printers ("printer@server") when printer browsing is enabled.

<P>The System V administation commands are supplied for managing
printers and classes. The Berkeley printer administration tool
(<CODE>lpc</CODE>) is only supported in a "read-only" mode to check the
current status of the printer queues and scheduler.


<P>A filter program reads from the standard input or from a file if a
filename is supplied. All filters must support a common set of options
including printer name, job ID, username, job title, number of copies,
and job options. All output is sent to the standard output.

<P>Filters are provided for many file formats and include image file
and PostScript raster filters that support non-PostScript printers. Multiple
filters are run in parallel to produce the required output format.

<P>The PostScript raster filter is based on the GNU Ghostscript 5.50
core. Instead of using the Ghostscript printer drivers and front-end,
the CUPS filter uses a generic raster printer driver and CUPS-compliant
front-end to support any kind of raster printer. This allows the same
printer driver filter to be used for printing raster data from any

<H3>CUPS Imaging</H3>

<P>The CUPS Imaging library provides functions for managing large
images, doing colorspace conversion and color management, scaling
images for printing, and managing raster page streams. It is used by
the CUPS image file filters, the PostScript RIP, and all raster
printers drivers.


<P>A backend program is a special filter that sends print data to a
device or network connection. Backends for parallel, serial, USB, LPD, IPP,
and AppSocket (JetDirect) connections are provided in CUPS 1.1.

<P>SAMBA version 2.0.6 and higher includes a SMB backend
(<CODE>smbspool(1)</CODE>) that can be used with CUPS 1.0 or 1.1 for
printing to Windows.

<H2>Network Printing</H2>

<P>Traditionally, network printing has been one of the hardest things to
get working under UNIX. One reason is because each vendor added their
own extensions to the LPD protocol (the previous standard for network
printing), making cross-platform printing difficult if not impossible.

<P>Another reason is that you have to administer every network printer
on every client machine. In some cases you can "clone" the printer
configuration from a "master" client to each of the others, but even
that can be time-consuming and error-prone. Something better is needed.

<P>CUPS provides "printer browsing", which allows clients to
automatically see and use printers from any server on a LAN. This means
that you only need to configure the server and the clients will
automatically see the printers and classes on it.

<P>In addition, CUPS can automatically merge multiple identical network
printers into "implicit classes". This allows clients to send jobs to
the implicit class and have them print on the first available printer
or server. In addition, failsafe and load-balancing functions are
enabled simply by defining the same printer on multiple servers!

<H2>New Features in CUPS 1.1</H2>

<P>CUPS 1.1 includes many new features and capabilities:


	<LI><A HREF="#BACKENDS">Backends</A>

	<LI><A HREF="#BANNERS">Banner Page Support</A>

	<LI><A HREF="#DIGEST">Digest Authentication</A>

	<LI><A HREF="#DIRSVC">Directory Services</A>

	<LI><A HREF="#FHS2">Directory Structure Changes</A>

	<LI><A HREF="#DOCOS">Documentation</A>

	<LI><A HREF="#DRIVERS">Drivers</A>

	<LI><A HREF="#FILTERS">Filters</A>

	<LI><A HREF="#IPP">IPP Support</A>

	<LI><A HREF="#PERSISTENCE">Job Persistence</A>

	<LI><A HREF="#LPD">LPD Client Support</A>

	<LI><A HREF="#USEROPTS">User-Defined Printers and Options</A>

	<LI><A HREF="#WEB">Web Administration Interface</A>


<H3><A NAME="BACKENDS">1. Backends</A></H3>

<P>CUPS 1.1 implements a new backend interface for retrieving a list of
available devices for CUPS clients. This allows administration
interfaces to query the CUPS scheduler for a list of available devices,
automatically configure printers if the device identification
information is available, and present the user with a list of available
devices rather than relying on the user to know what devices are
configured on the system.

<P>The new release also includes a backend for USB printers under
*BSD and Linux. Support for USB under Solaris 8 will be provided in
a subsequent patch release.

<H3><A NAME="BANNERS">2. Banner Page Support</A></H3>

<P>CUPS 1.1 includes support for banner pages at the beginning and end
of a job. Banner pages may be of any file format and support variable
substitution for job titles, usernames, etc. Default banner pages are
associated with each printer and can be overridden with command-line
options by the user.

<H3><A NAME="DIGEST">3. Digest Authentication</A></H3>

<P>Digest authentication provides a more secure method of authenticating
access to the printing system. Unlike Basic authentication, Digest
authentication does not send passwords "in the clear" so it is more
difficult to gain unauthorized access to your system.

<P>CUPS 1.1 implements Digest authentication using a special MD5
password file instead of the UNIX password file. This file is managed
using the new <CODE>lppasswd</CODE> command.

<H3><A NAME="DIRSVC">4. Directory Services</A></H3>

<P>CUPS 1.1 adds new directory service ("printer browsing") features to
make using CUPS on large LANs and WANs easier. You can now poll a
remote server for printer information and relay it to the LAN as well
as restrict what printer information is processed (e.g. to "hide"
servers, domains, or networks that you don't want to see.)

<H3><A NAME="FHS2">5. Directory Structure Changes</A></H3>

<P>CUPS 1.1 now uses a directory structure that complies with the
Filesystem Hierarchy Standard ("FHS"), version 2.0. This should make
integration into existing Linux and *BSD distributions a lot easier.

<H3><A NAME="DOCOS">6. Documentation</A></H3>

<P>The CUPS 1.1 documentation has gone through many revisions,
including a completely rewritten administrators manual, a new
programmers manual, and an IPP implementation reference manual.

<H3><A NAME="DRIVERS">7. Drivers</A></H3>

<P>CUPS 1.1 includes drivers for EPSON dot-matrix and inkjet printers.
As with the HP PCL drivers, the EPSON drivers don't necessarily provide
the best possible output for each printer but should provide adequate
printing quality for general day-to-day printing.

<H3><A NAME="FILTERS">8. Filters</A></H3>

<P>CUPS 1.1 includes new image, PostScript, PDF, and text filters. The image
filters have been upgraded to support Windows BMP and Alias PIX files.

<P>The PostScript filter is now based off GNU Ghostscript 5.50. The new
filter provides much better performance with higher-resolution printers
and supports most Level 3 PostScript language features.

<P>The new PDF filter is based off the excellent Xpdf software from
Derek Noonburg and supports automatic page scaling. The new filter is a
faster, smaller, more reliable replacement for the GNU Ghostscript PDF
filtering that was used in CUPS 1.0.

<P>The new text filter now supports bidirectional text and can embed
fonts as needed.

<H3><A NAME="IPP">9. IPP Support</A></H3>

<P>Probably the least visible portion of CUPS is the IPP support. CUPS
1.1 implements all of the required IPP/1.1 operations and attributes
and most of the optional ones. The optional Create-Job and Send-File
operations are now implemented, allowing for better System V printing
system compatibility (one job ID per <CODE>lp</CODE> command) and
support for banner pages.

<H3><A NAME="PERSISTENCE">10. Job Persistence</A></H3>

<P>CUPS 1.1 supports job persistence. This means that jobs are preserved
even after a reboot, a feature that was sorely missing from CUPS 1.0.

<P>In addition, CUPS 1.1 allows you to keep job information after the
job has printed. The basic post-job persistence mode provides a job
history (number of pages printed, time job was printed, etc.) but does
not preserve the actual job files. This can be changed to discard all
information after a job is printed or keep the job files after printing
so you can reprint a job at some later time.

<H3><A NAME="LPD">11. LPD Client Support</A></H3>

<P>By popular request, CUPS 1.1 supports LPD-based clients using a new
mini-daemon that handles LPD requests and passes them on to the main

<H3><A NAME="USEROPTS">12. User-Defined Printers and Options</A></H3>

<P>CUPS 1.1 includes support for user-defined printers and options via
a new <CODE>lpoptions</CODE> command. User-defined printers are special
instances of the available printers (e.g. "printer/instance" or
"printer@server/instance") that can have their own default options such
as media size, resolution, and so forth. The <CODE>lpoptions</CODE>
command can also be used to set a different default printer queue.

<H3><A NAME="WEB">13. Web Administration Interface</A></H3>

<P>CUPS 1.0 provided a simple class, job, and printer monitoring
interface for web browsers. CUPS 1.1 replaces this interface with an
enhanced administration interface that allows you to add, modify,
delete, configure, and control classes, jobs, and printers.

<H2>Software Using CUPS</H2>

<P>A lot has happened since CUPS 1.0 came out, and many software packages
are supporting CUPS. We have contributed code to the SAMBA team to support
CUPS, and parts of that are already available in SAMBA 2.0.6 and 2.0.7.
With any luck the final pieces that provide a complete integration with
SAMBA will be available in the next release of SAMBA.

<P>Two graphical interfaces have appeared on the scene that use CUPS as
well. The KUPS project provides a KDE-based interface for CUPS and can be
found at:

<A HREF="http://kups.sourceforge.net">http://kups.sourceforge.net</A>

<P>The X Printing Panel ("XPP") project provides a graphical printing
panel for CUPS and can be found at:

<A HREF="http://www.phy.uni-bayreuth.de/till/xpp">http://www.phy.uni-bayreuth.de/till/xpp/</A>

<P>Numerous other filters, drivers, tutorials, etc. have been made available
on the CUPS Links web page, available at:

<A HREF="http://www.cups.org/links.php">http://www.cups.org/links.php</A>

<P>Finally, our own ESP Print Pro software uses CUPS to provide drivers
for thousands of printers and can be found at:

<A HREF="http://www.easysw.com/printpro">http://www.easysw.com/printpro</A>

<H2>Operating Systems Using CUPS</H2>

<P>One of our goals has always been to get as many UNIX/Linux
distributions using CUPS as possible. Debian is currently providing
CUPS as part of its stable distribution, and many other distributions
are considering it in their next releases.


<P>The Common UNIX Printing System provides a modern printing interface
for UNIX applications that is both flexible and user-friendly. The
software provides System V and Berkeley compatible command-line
interfaces to ensure compatibility with existing applications. CUPS 1.1
adds many new features that make it an even better choice for printing
under UNIX.

<H2>Who to Contact</H2>

<P>For more information on CUPS please contact us at:

Attn: CUPS Information
Easy Software Products
44141 Airport View Drive Suite 204
Hollywood, Maryland 20636-3111 USA


<A HREF="mailto:cups-info@cups.org">cups-info@cups.org</A>




	<DD>System Administration - Part 4: Printing Interfaces (draft)</DD>

	<DT><A HREF="http://www.pwg.org/ipp/index.html">IETF-IPP</A></DT>

	<DD>Internet Printing Protocol/1.1</DD>

	<DT><A HREF="http://www.astart.com/lprng.html">LPRng</A></DT>

	<DD>An enhanced, extended, and portable implementation of the
	Berkeley LPR print spooler functionality</DD>


	<DD>A printing system developed at the Massachussetts Institute
	of Technology</DD>

	<DT><A HREF="http://www-usa.iona.com//hyplan/jmason/plp.html">PLP</A></DT>

	<DD>The Portable Line Printer spooler system</DD>

	<DT><A HREF="http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1179.txt">RFC1179</A></DT>

	<DD>Line Printer Daemon Protocol</DD>

	<DT><A HREF="http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2046.txt">RFC2046</A></DT>

	<DD>Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part Two: Media Types</DD>

	<DT><A HREF="http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2616.txt">RFC2616</A></DT>

	<DD>Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1</DD>



<P>The Common UNIX Printing System, CUPS, and the CUPS logo are the
trademark property of Easy Software Products. All other trademarks are
the property of their respective owners.