PostScript Printer Description (PPD) files are created by vendors to describe the entire set of features and capabilities available for their PostScript printers. PostScript (PS) is a page description language used primarily in the electronic and desktop publishing areas. ...
A PPD also contains the PostScript code (commands) used to invoke features for the print job. As such, PPDs function as drivers for all PostScript printers, by providing a unified interface for the printer's capabilities and features. For example, a generic PPD file for all models of HP Color LaserJet  contains: In computing, a print job is a file or set of files that has been submitted to be printed. ...
*% ================================= *% Basic Device Capabilities *% ================================= *LanguageLevel: "2" *ColorDevice: True *DefaultColorSpace: CMYK *TTRasterizer: Type42 *FileSystem: False *Throughput: "10"
which specifies that the printer understands PostScript Level 2, is a color device, and so forth. The PPD can describe allowable paper sizes, memory configurations, the minimum font set for the printer, and even specify a tree-based user interface for printer-specific configuration.
CUPS uses PPD drivers for all of its PostScript printers, and has even extended the concept to allow for PostScript printing to non-PostScript printing devices, by directing output through a CUPS filter. Such a file is no longer a standard PPD, but rather a "CUPS-PPD". The Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) is a modularised computer printing system for Unix-like operating systems that allows computers to act as powerful print servers. ...
- Adobe PostScript Language Specifications
- Adobe Tech Note 5003: PostScript Printer Description (PPD) File Format Specification
- Adobe Tech Note 5645: Update to PPD Specification Version 4.3
- CUPS, PPDs, PostScript and GhostScript (Tutorial material by Kurt Pfeifle)