Ubuntu was planning to ship the CUPS printing stack as a Snap in 23.10 — but after several months of testing, its changed its mind.
Accordingly, a DEB-based printing stack will feature in Ubuntu 23.10 “Mantic Minotaur” and in Ubuntu 24.04 LTS. Switching to the CUPS Snap will now aim to take place during the Ubuntu 24.10 development cycle.
The CUPS Snap got added to Ubuntu 23.10 development builds early and has recieved a decent bout of testing – but issues remain:
- Desktop integration for Snap-based CUPs stack isn’t ready
- CUPS Snap not working correctly in some flavors
- GNOME Control Center UI changes need accommodating
- Session D-Bus support in snapd needs to be released
This reversal is undoubtedly disappointing for the devs working on it but it is the right decision for end-users — for the time being. The CUPS Snap doesn’t support all the features of the existing DEB-based version. Another “snap upgrade that introduces regressions” (see: Firefox) wouldn’t go down well.
The CUPS Snap print effort isn’t going on pause though.
As I mention further up, Ubuntu Core Desktop — Ubuntu’s immutable Snap-based desktop image — needs printing and scanning capabilities. So work on this CUPS Snap configuration will continue there.
stars printer heads align, this effort can make its way over to the “classic” desktop image.
Those wanting to stay up-to-date on the state of CUP Snap support in the meantime can follow Ubuntu developer Till Kamppeter’s Open Printing News.