New Training: Explain and Use Linux Devices
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New Training: Explain and Use Linux Devices

In this 4-video skill, CBT Nuggets trainer Shawn Powers covers the physical and virtual hardware devices on a Linux system. Gain an understanding of device management on the Linux command line. Learn how to manage hard drives, printers, and more. Watch this new Linux training.

Learn Linux with one of these courses:

This training includes:

  • 4 videos
  • 19 minutes of training

You’ll learn these topics in this skill:

  • Finding Devices on the System
  • Virtual Filesystems
  • CUPS Printing and Legacy Tools
  • Understanding UDEV

CUPS isn't a Fancy Coffee Lounge: It's A Printing Subsystem

CUPS stands for Common Unix Printing System though that acronym might be a bit dated today. It's the printing subsystem for just about all Unix-based operating systems. Calling CUPS a subsystem is a bit of a misnomer, though. Cups is more of a print server.

Before CUPS came along, installing and configuring printers in Linux was notoriously difficult. CUPS made managing printers much easier by creating a unified print spooler, print scheduler, and print server that utilized the internet printing protocol. After CUPS was released in 1999 by Easy Software Products, many Linux distros quickly adopted it as their default print subsystem, though at that time support from printer manufacturers was still sparse.

In 2002 Apple adopted CUPS for Mac OSX. Up to that point, Apple was having a difficult time creating an in-house printing solution for its OS. Once Apple adopted CUPS, printer manufacturers could not ignore the market share that Apple held and started to develop printer drivers for Apple's OS.

CUPS isn't a picky printing server, though. If CUPS drivers exist for a printer, they can be used for it despite the OS. So, the Linux enthusiast scene started to break open print drivers for OSX and using them with other Linux distributions. Because of that, printer manufacturers started releasing native printer drivers for Linux due to its simplicity.

Today CUPS is widely supported by all versions of Linux and printer manufacturers. Many printer manufacturers have even released specialized tools on Linux for their hardware to do things like monitor ink levels and clean print heads.



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