Apple has licensed Easy Software Product's Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) for use with Mac OS X.

Apple's director of developer technologies Richard Kerris told Macworld UK: "The number of developers moving to Mac OS X has exceeded our expectations by far." OS X is attracting existing Unix developers, particularly from the sci-tech and entertainment industries, the company claims. Existing Unix applications usually need a simple recompile to run on the OS and enjoy its full power, including the Aqua user interface (UI).

CUPS will deliver enhanced printing capabilities to Mac OS X and its software applications. It also offers better Unix, Linux and Windows interoperability. The standard version of CUPS will be provided with Apple's open source Darwin operating system – an Aqua version of CUPS will be provided with Mac OS X.

Print platform The solution offers a portable printing layer for Unix operating systems, and was developed as a standard printing solution for all Unix and Linux systems.

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 solution is licensed under the GNU General Public License and GNU Library General License.