Driverless Printing means that to be able to print on a given printer no software or data specific to that printer model needs to be installed on the client. The client should even be able to print on printers which did not exist yet when the client's software was released. The printer must use known page description languages and must inform the client about its capabilities on request.
There exist a variety of methods for a client to submit a job to a printing system and print driverlessly-:
- Print directly from an application on the client.
- Use AirPrint or IPP Everywhere printing.
- Use a cloud service such as Google Cloud Print (GCP).
- Send the job as an email attachment to a special address.
- Web print. The document is uploaded from a web browser via a web form style interface.
Driverless printing is especially important for Linux and similar operating systems as they are often not explicitly supported by the manufacturers supplying drivers for them. Originally the driverless printing standards were created to allow smartphones, tablets, and similar mobile devices to print, as these come with several different and new operating systems. Even very cheap printers do driverless printing (people want to print from phones), so it is easy to get a printer for Linux nowadays.