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Canon printer drivers (cnijfilter)

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Canon provides source code for cups driver, but with some proprietary binary libs.

This libs available only for x86. No way for direct compiling cnijfilter for ARM (and other architectures). :(


But we have qemu! We can transparently run x86 executables on any other host architectures.


Easy steps to run cnijfilter on ARM (or any other arch):
- Build https://github.com/endlessm/cnijfilter-common for x86

- Copy all needed x86 libs using recursive ldd. And copy it to /usr/lib/bjlib/

- Patch all executables: set interpreter to /usr/lib/bjlib/x86/ld-linux.so.2 and rpath to /usr/lib/bjlib/

- Install these patched packages to ARM system

- Install qemu-user and qemu-user-binfmt (or qemu-arm-static)


You do not need to do this manually. I have implemented an automated build system: https://github.com/Azq2/cnijfilter-arm-build


All you need is any x86 machine to do the build.


How to use

1. On any x86 machine:


# Install dependencies
sudo apt install debootstrap git util-linux

# Get build system
git clone https://github.com/Azq2/cnijfilter-arm-build

# Start building
cd cnijfilter-arm-build
sudo ./build.sh build

# Get .deb packages
ls -lah ./result/full
ls -lah ./result/light


After build we have two variants of packages: full and light


Item Full Light

PPD files

+ +

CUPS filters

+ +

CUPS backends

+ -
lgmon + -


+ -
cngpij + -
cngpijmnt + -
cnijlgmon2 + -
cnijnetprn + -
cnijnpr + -
docs + -


In most cases, a light package is completely sufficient:

- We don't need canon usb backend, because cups have builtin USB support

- We don't need canon network backend, because cups have builtin BJNP support (package cups-backend-bjnp)

- Other canon maintenance utils are useless (in my opinion)


2. Copy .deb from result/light or result/full to your ARM machine.


3. On your ARM machine:


# Install dependencies
sudo apt install qemu-user qemu-user-binfmt # or sudo apt install qemu-user-static

# Install common for all printers package
sudo dpkg -i cnijfilter-common.deb

# Install printer-specific package
# Choose right package for your printer! e400series only for reference!
sudo dpkg -i cnijfilter-e400series.deb


4. Done. You can now configure CUPS.


Security with apparmor (optional)


CUPS filters don't need any specific permissions.


Create file /etc/apparmor.d/cnijfilter-filters with contents:


#include <tunables/global>

/usr/bin/bjfilter* {
	#include <abstractions/base>
	@{PROC}/sys/vm/mmap_min_addr r,

/usr/bin/cif[a-z]*[0-9d]* {
	#include <abstractions/base>
	@{PROC}/sys/vm/mmap_min_addr r,

/usr/lib/cups/filter/{cmdtocanonij,pstocanonbj,pstocanonij} {
	#include <abstractions/base>
	@{PROC}/sys/vm/mmap_min_addr r,


Then restart apparmor:


sudo systemctl reload apparmor
sudo aa-enforce cnijfilter-filters


Note: this minimal file full coverage all executables in light package. For full package you need write additional rules by yourself.

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Great work.


Currently still running building, so i dont know if it will work.

building for a while now & ill leave it for the night 😴.


Just a suggestion, I see that my terminal is showing its building for all canon printer models. (see screenshot)

In the future it would be nice if a specific model can be chosen instead of all model, to save time.




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Nice, I see that your strating from the build of https://github.com/endlessm/cnijfilter-common that has not been maintained since 3 years now.
Unfortunately for me it doesn't support yet my pixma G5550.  However Canon distribute new sources for the cnijfilter (https://www.canon-europe.com/support/consumer/products/printers/pixma/g-series/pixma-g550.html?type=drivers&detailId=tcm:13-2160851&os=all&language=en&productTcmUri=tcm:13-2080172).
Any suggestion how I can adapt your build to use directly Canon sources ? (or directly 64bits binaries)  

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