Ubuntu 23.10 is aiming to ship the CUPS printing stack as a snap package.
Canonical’s Till Kamppeter, who is also the project lead for the OpenPrinting Project, says he wants to “…switch Ubuntu 23.10, the Mantic Minotaur, as planned, to use the CUPS Snap as its printing system and the Printer Application Snaps as drivers for non-IPP-driverless printers.”
Printers are not my forte; I last owned a printer about a decade ago and even then it hadn’t been used for years — not quite a daisy wheel, but getting there! I recall plenty of printer driver issues on Ubuntu, and errors resulting from each Linux app (seemingly) using its own print dialogs/settings.
Thankfully I believe things have improved greatly since then, with new standards like IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) replacing the need for devices to have bespoke printers drivers on every device you want to print from. And the CUPS 2.0 release
Even so, the new CUPS snap is likely to continue working with devices which do require specific printer drivers as a number of these are already snap’d).
For more details on the state of Linux printing now and in the near future, check out Till’s presentation slides from his talk at this year’s Linux App Summit, or watch the whole talk and demo on YouTube. He gives a great overview of the ‘new architecture’ that future versions of Ubuntu will offer.
And if you can’t wait for the future you can already install CUPS from the Snap Store — so try it out!