October 14, 2008

Canon PIXMA scanners now network ready on Linux !

A major update of the PIXMA backend is now available through Sane CVS.

Door is opened to scanning over a network on Linux, with (presumably) all PIXMA multifunction scanners offering a network connexion.

On Linux, older PIXMA models offering network connexion were only able to print, under the JetDirect protocol, using the well known port 9100.
Scanning over the network without a Windows or Mac box was unfortunately not possible, because involving a Canon proprietary protocol, named BJNP, coming with absolutely no information or documentation, and thus very difficult to approach.

Recent PIXMA models offering network connexion have been "enhanced" by Canon, in the way they now accept ... only the BJNP protocol for printing and scanning!
Bye bye JetDirect, welcome to Canon's world!

The situation then for Linux users? print and scan only with USB, forget about network ...

Until ...

Until Louis Lagendijk, a Linux user like many of us, acquired his new PIXMA MP970, and started to work on demystifying this BJNP Canon protocol, for his own needs, to have his printer work over the network.
Louis first designed a Cups printing driver, that works with all network PIXMA printers running the BJNP protocol. This cups-bjnp driver is available here.

Recently, Louis has also worked on adding BJNP support to the Sane pixma backend ...
The result now: you can scan over a LAN network on Linux with Xsane, and your PIXMA network scanner !

Great job.

With the arrival of Canon's new PIXMA 2008 series, models like MP620, MP980, ... which propose network and Wifi, are very likely (but feedback needed!) to be used on Linux with Sane, Cups, for printing and scanning over network ...

Good news again for Linux Canon users!