Printing is a necessary evil. No one wants to deal with it, but every user wants to print. For better or worse, printing on UNIX and Linux systems typically requires at least some configuration and occasionally some coddling by a system administrator.

Ages ago, there were three common printing systems: BSD, System V, and CUPS (the Common UNIX Printing System). Today, Linux and FreeBSD both use CUPS, an up-to-date, sophisticated, network- and security-aware printing system. CUPS includes a modern, browser-based GUI as well as shell-level commands that allow the printing system to be controlled by scripts.

Before we ...

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