The Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) is a network printing system. Whether or not you are printing to a local or a remote printer using CUPS, you will be using a network printing protocol (typically IPP, around which CUPS is based) to connect to cupsd, the CUPS daemon. By continued
default, CUPS offers a network service on port 631. IPP is essentially an extension of HTTP. Hence the CUPS configuration files look rather like Apache's configuration files.
CUPS offers an administrative interface over HTTP that can be accessed through a URL, such as http://localhost:631/. (The SUSE documentation and default settings do not particularly encourage the use of the web administration interface in CUPS, and for simple setups you will not need it.)
A CUPS server that is attached to a printer can advertise its presence on the network by putting out broadcasts; the clients that will print through it learn about the existence of the server from these broadcasts, and if the server allows them to do so, they can print through it without further configuration.
A CUPS server can also print to remote printers using a variety of protocols, including Windows printer shares and direct printing to a network printer.
The CUPS project web pages are at www.cups.org.
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