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Samba HowTo Guide
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As previously stated, PostScript is the central file format to any UNIX-based printing system. From PostScript, CUPS generates raster data to feed non-PostScript printers.

But what happens if you send one of the supported non-PS formats to print? Then CUPS runs “prefilters” on these input formats to generate PostScript first. There are prefilters to create PostScript from ASCII text, PDF, DVI, or HP-GL. The outcome of these filters is always of MIME type application/postscript (meaning that any device-specific print options are not yet embedded into the PostScript by CUPS and that the next filter to be called is pstops). Another prefilter is running on all supported image formats, the imagetops filter. Its outcome is always of MIME type application/vnd.cups-postscript (not application/postscript), meaning it has the print options already embedded into the file. This is shown in Prefiltering in CUPS to Form PostScript.

Figure21.4.Prefiltering in CUPS to Form PostScript.

Prefiltering in CUPS to Form PostScript.
Samba HowTo Guide
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