This chapter contains spooling printer management systems and ghostscript applications to render PostScript for display on terminals or paper.


Introduction to CUPS

The Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) is a print spooler and associated utilities. It is based on the "Internet Printing Protocol" and provides printing services to most PostScript and raster printers.

Package information

CUPS dependencies


OpenSSL-0.9.7e or GnuTLS (which needs libgpg-error, libgcrypt and opencdk, in that order), Linux-PAM-0.78, PHP-5.0.3, Python-2.4, J2SDK-1.4.2, OpenSLP, libpaper and Valgrind (optionally used if running the test suites)

Installation of CUPS

Create an 'lp' user, as CUPS will install the lppasswd command SUID to this user. Use the following command as the root user:

useradd -c "Print Service User" -d /dev/null -g lp -s /bin/false lp

If you utilize Linux-PAM, you need to modify some files so CUPS can find needed headers. Make the appropriate modifications using the following command:

sed -i -e "s@pam/pam@security/pam@g" \

Install CUPS by running the following commands:

./configure &&
make &&
make install

Command explanations

The basic default behavior of the installation is appropriate for LFS systems. CUPS files are placed in /usr/bin, /usr/sbin, /var and /etc/cups.

Configuring CUPS

Configuration of CUPS is dependent on the type of printer and can be complex. Generally, PostScript printers are easier. For detailed instructions on configuration and use of CUPS, see The Software Administrators Manual and Software Users Manual are particularly useful.

For non-PostScript printers to print with CUPS, you need to install ESP Ghostscript-7.07.1 to convert PostScript to raster images and a driver (e.g., from Gimp-Print-4.2.7) to convert the resulting raster images to a form that the printer understands. Foomatic drivers use Ghostscript to convert PostScript to a printable form directly, but this is considered to be a hack by CUPS developers.

During the install, CUPS created the startup file /etc/rc.d/init.d/cups. The file works, but you may want to change it to a more conventional LFS startup file by installing the script included in the blfs-bootscripts-6.0 package:

make install-cups


CUPS provides accept, cupsaddsmb, cupsd, cupstestppd, lpadmin, lpc, lpinfo, lpmove, reject, cancel, cups-config, disable, enable, lp, lpoptions, lppasswd, lpq, lpr, lprm, lpstat, libcups, libcupsimage and various scripts and filters.


lpc provides limited control over printer and class queues provided by CUPS .


cupsd is the scheduler for the Common Unix Printing System.


accept instructs the printing system to accept print jobs to the specified destinations.


reject instructs the printing system to reject print jobs to the specified destinations.


cupsaddsmb exports printers to the SAMBA software for use with Windows clients.


lpadmin configures printer and class queues provided by CUPS.


lpinfo lists the available devices or drivers known to the CUPS server.


lpmove moves the specified job to a new destination.


cupstestppd tests the conformance of PPD files.


lpq shows the current print queue status on the named printer.


lpr submits files for printing.


lprm cancels print jobs that have been queued for printing.


cancel cancels existing print jobs.


disable stops the named printers or classes.


enable starts the named printers or classes.


lp submits files for printing or alters a pending job.


lpoptions displays or sets printer options and defaults.


lpstat displays status information about the current classes, jobs, and printers.


lppasswd adds, changes or deletes passwords in the CUPS digest password file passwd.md5.


cups-config is the CUPS program configuration utility.