Chances are if you print anything from your Mac, Linux desktop or server, or Unix system, youre using the Common Unix Printing System, or CUPS.
Now, in a surprising development, Michael R. Sweet, CUPS creator, revealed on CUPS Web site that Apple has bought CUPS source code and other intellectual property.
CUPS is used for printing in almost all Linux distributions. This includes such major Linux distributions as Debian, Novell SUSE, Red Hat, PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu.
It is also supported in most Unixes, such as AIX, FreeBSD and HP-UX, and its an option in OpenSolaris. Beginning with Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar), CUPS became the basis for the Macs printing system.
Previously, CUPS and its trademarks belonged to Easy Software Products, which was founded by Sweet to develop a 3-D modeling program for real-time displays called ESP Modeler. The need to print these models led Sweet to develop ESP Print.
When it became apparent that ESP Print was the more popular of the programs, Sweet turned his attention to it. From his work on ESP Print came the concepts and technology that became CUPS.