September 27, 2023


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Ubuntu 23.10 plans to use Snap version of CUPS by default

3 min read

Ubuntu 23.10 plans to use Snap version of CUPS by default


Ubuntu 23.10 plans to use Snap version of CUPS by default.

CUPS is an open source modular printing system for Linux systems originally developed by Michael Sweet.

In 2007, Apple acquired CUPS and hired Michael Sweet to continue development. In 2017, Apple decided not to develop CUPS under the GPL, but to continue developing CUPS under the Apache 2.0 license agreement.

In addition to Linux, this open source printing system is widely used on Unix and macOS.


Ubuntu 23.10 plans to use Snap version of CUPS by default.



However, with Michael Sweet leaving Apple at the end of 2019, CUPS development has stalled.

In 2021, Apple confirmed that there will be no further development for CUPS, the development of upstream functions has been transferred to the OpenPrinting organization, and Michael Sweet will continue to work on the project.


Michael Sweet also signed a contract with Apple. Based on the contract, he needs to pull the important bug fixes on the OpenPrinting CUPS branch back to the CUPS code base in Apple macOS.

That is to say, Apple’s CUPS will continue to pull from OpenPrinting CUPS in the future. These bug fixes were taken, but Apple is no longer interested in feature development on them.


Recently, Till Kamppeter, the developer of Canonical and the project leader of OpenPrinting, said that they plan to use the Snap version of CUPS as their printing system on Ubuntu 23.10 (Mantic Minotaur), and use the Snap version of Printer Application as the driver for non-IPP driverless printers .


Compared with the traditional deb format, Snap has the following advantages:

Dependency management :

Snap packages have all the runtime and dependencies built in, so they can run on any version of the Ubuntu distribution without having to worry about dependencies.

Version control :

The Snap format allows developers to package different versions of software into different Snap packages, which allows users to install different versions of software at the same time without interfering with each other. This is also very useful for developers, as they can test different versions of software in different Snap packages.

Security :

The Snap format provides a sandbox mechanism that restricts software access to the system, thereby increasing the security of the system. This mechanism enables users to install and use software more safely without worrying that the software will endanger the security of the system.

Ease of maintenance :

The Snap format allows developers to automatically update software to the latest version, which makes it easier for users to keep software up to date.

If you don’t want to wait until Ubuntu 23.10 is released, OpenPrinting has actually released the Snap version of CUPS in Snapcraft , and users can download and install it in advance.

Although switching to the Snap version of CUPS is not necessarily good news, OpenPrinting has announced a real bad news, that is, the release of CUPS 3.x will be delayed by one year, and it is not expected to be launched until the end of 2024.




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