The New Architecture for Printing and Scanning on Debian

Speaker: Till Kamppeter

Track: Packaging, policy, and Debian infrastructure

Type: Long talk (45 minutes)

Room: Anamudi

Time: Sep 16 (Sat): 16:30

Duration: 0:40

With the background of all modern printers being driverless IPP printers (self-advertising network printers, AirPrint, Mopria, IPP Everywhere …) and the standard job format being PDF and not PostScript any more for years we will have changes in the architecture of the printing stack.

From the 3.x series on (release end-2024) CUPS will not support classic printer drivers consisting of PPD (PostScript Printer Description) files and filter executables any more but go totally IPP (Internet Printing Protocol), supporting only driverless IPP printers. To not drop support for legacy printers the drivers are now provided as Printer Applications, software emulators of IPP printers.

As many driverless IPP printers are multi-function devices with a built-in scanner, we got also standards for driverless scanning, via IPP itself or via eSCL, making the scanners in such printers also just work and especially give us the possibility to have Printer Applications support the full multi-function devices or even create Scanner Applications as new format of distributing scanner drivers.

And this also has impact on the desktop user interfaces, printer setup tools and print dialogs, as we do not have permanent CUPS queues with driver filter and PPD any more but instead, IPP print services for which CUPS auto-creates a temporary queue on demand. So we list IPP services and not queues now and printer setup tools find and install Printer Applications and lead us to the web admin interfaces of the IPP services.

In this talk an introduction to the New Architecture is given and how it affects the Debian distribution, especially also printer setup tools and print dialogs and also the differences between the Debian distribution only containing Debian packages and the Ubuntu distribution (23.10+) using the Snaps of CUPS and the Printer Applications.

This way right after the Bookworm release and in the beginning of the new cycle the Debian developer community will be informed about all printing- and scanning-related changes which have to get taken into account.

And right before this DebConf, on the Opportunity Open Source in the IIT Mandi, on September 8, we will have the OpenPrinting Roadmap Sprint 2023 where we are planning our work for the next 12 months. The outcomes will be covered by this talk, too.

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