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Printing With Linux

Modern Linux systems employ two software suites to perform and manage printing. The first, CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) provides print drivers and print-job man- agement, and the second, Ghostscript, a PostScript interpreter, acts as a RIP.

CUPS manages printers by creating and maintaining print queues. As we discussed in our history lesson above, Unix printing was originally designed to manage a centralized printer shared by multiple users. Since printers are slow by nature, compared to the com- puters that are feeding them, printing systems need a way to schedule multiple print jobs and keep things organized. CUPS also has the ability to recognize different types of data (within reason) and can convert files to a printable form.

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