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CUPS is an acronym for Common UNIX Printing System.

CUPS is widely used as a modular printing system for UNIX and Linux systems.

CUPS was published in 1999 by Michael Sweet, then owner of Easy Software Products. CUPS originally used the LPD protocol. CUPS was soon embraced by all Linux distributions.

In 2002, Apple decided to use CUPS as the printing system for Mac OS X 10.2. In 2007, Apple purchased the CUPS source code from Michael Sweet and hired him as lead developer.

UPS is now free software and uses the Apache License. CUPS works with IPP, SMB and PPD.