10.6 Alternatives to the Standard Spooler

If you have been reading straight through this manual, by now you have learned just about everything there is to know about the LPD spooling system that comes with FreeBSD. You can probably appreciate many of its shortcomings, which naturally leads to the question: “What other spooling systems are out there (and work with FreeBSD)?”


LPRng, which purportedly means “LPR: the Next Generation” is a complete rewrite of PLP. Patrick Powell and Justin Mason (the principal maintainer of PLP) collaborated to make LPRng. The main site for LPRng is http://www.lprng.org/.


CUPS, the Common UNIX Printing System, provides a portable printing layer for UNIX®-based operating systems. It has been developed by Easy Software Products to promote a standard printing solution for all UNIX vendors and users.

CUPS uses the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) as the basis for managing print jobs and queues. The Line Printer Daemon (LPD), Server Message Block (SMB), and AppSocket (aka JetDirect) protocols are also supported with reduced functionality. CUPS adds network printer browsing and PostScript Printer Description (PPD) based printing options to support real-world printing under UNIX.

The main site for CUPS is http://www.cups.org/.


HPLIP, the HP Linux® Imaging and Printing system, is an HP-developed suite of programs that supports printing, scanning and fax facilities for HP appliances. This suite of programs utilizes the CUPS printing system as a backend for some of its printing features.

The main site for HPLIP is http://hplipopensource.com/hplip-web/index.html.