IPP or windows print sharing protocols are not only supported in Linux, they are better, as you point out they don't require additional 'drivers' as the win API isn't there.
So pretty much any printer that's network aware will work with Linux, one way or other. But connecting via USB is a different matter, you do need a driver, which if it isn't already part of the kernel you're going to need a binary "blob" to get it working.
It's a PITA, distros are quite different so the binaries have to be packaged for each one separately. That's one place where the win API looks like a good idea.
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