I was recently given a copy of a new book, CUPS Administrative Guide, to read and review. My initial thought was, “There is an entire book about the Common UNIX Printing System? Why?” You see, I have never had a problem configuring or using a printer with Linux, but my needs are simple, and I have always done my research first to see if the hardware is supported before purchase.
I received the book this week. Not only is CUPS much more powerful and configurable than I previously knew, but the book’s author does a very good job of discussing the system and its options clearly. Anyone working in a business or computer lab setting would find the book useful and probably more enjoyable and easier to parse than using man pages and Google searches. I think this is especially true in a place with multiple workstations, several shared printers, and users set up with individual accounts and in specific user groups.
My favorite feature in the book is that for most configuration options, multiple methods of making the changes are discussed. There is information on using the command line, using the CUPS web interface. Also wonderful is the detailed description of the major options for configuration file settings, and a useful comparison between the language used for configuring the Apache and CUPS daemons.