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Using a PIXMA iX6820 in a Chromebook without Google Cloud Print?

DataMeister
Apprentice

With Google Cloud Print closing down at the end of 2020, what is the best way to use the PIXMA iX6820 with Chromebooks?

 

When I go into Chrome OS printer settings the "Canon iX6800 series" is listed with a Set up button next to it.  I can then choose the manufacturer as Canon, but the exact model isn't listed.

 

  • Is there a similar wide format printer under different model number?
  • Is there PPD file that would work?
  • Is there some other method Canon plans to provide to make this work with ChromeOS?
9 REPLIES 9

ps_canon
Contributor

That printer does not have firmware to support the basic IPP Internet Print Protocol. The PDFs that exist are for Linux and are much too large to use. What Cloud Print did is have the computers create pdf format jobs, send them to Google and them use a Linux CUPS print server which sent the job back to the users' printer in a protocol (language) it could support.

 

Unless Canon decides to push out new firrmware this month, you and I will need to buy different printers.

 

After a lot of research found that very few Canon printers support IPP, but nearly every Epson printer made in the past decade does. So do many HP printers. These have embedded web servers which in MP models can scan to email or cloud storage.

 

At one time Canon offered those functions through Canon Print services. My mx922 had them. Canon discontinued them before 2015 - took them off the menus with a pushed firmware update.

 

I'm now looking for a used Epson printer to tide me over until I can afford an Ecotank model. 

anon
Apprentice

Yes you can still print to the Canon PIXMA iX6820 from a Chromebook without Google Cloud Print if you take advantage of the printer's built-in Airprint feature.  You just need to make sure that Airprint support is enabled from the printer's web UI.

 

Recent versions of ChromeOS have direct support for CUPS printing, which can work with Airprint with the right PPD.

 

Here is a link to a PPD that works for my printer: Canon_PIXMA_iX6820_Airprint.ppd 

 

Instead of trying to match the printer from the drop down lists, just upload this PPD instead.

Thanks. Where did the PPD come from? It doesn't appear to support the larger paper formats up to 13x19.

TL;DR;  The PPD file is the result of lots of experimentation and some hand editing.

 

 

The gory details...

 

When I found out that Cloud Print support was going away, I started experimenting with ways to make the ChromeOS built-in printer support work.

 

I noticed that my Mac could print to the iX6820 via AirPrint (sans Cloud Print), so I extracted an old working PPD (circa 2016) from the Mac and started manipulating it until I got it working with ChromeOS (mostly having to remove some statements in the file that ChromeOS didn't like or understand).

 

To my surprise, this actually started to work, and I got some basic printouts directly from my ChromeOS device via AirPrint.  It took a bit more editing to get most of the printer features and paper sizes to show up and work properly.

 

Having been through that experience, I think an updated procedure could be used today as outlined below.  You'll need a Mac to do this...

 

1) In a terminal window on a Mac, run the "ippfind" tool to scan your network and display all of URIs for any IPP printers it finds.  The output will hopefully include your iX6820 printer.  On my system, I got a URI that looked like 

$ ippfind
ipp://canon-ix6820.local:631/ipp/print

 

2) On the Mac, locate the utility call "ipp2ppd".  On my Catalina Macbook, this was found under 

/System/Library/Printers/Libraries/ipp2ppd

 

3) On the Mac, locate the "AirPrint.ppd" file.  On my system, this was found under 

/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/PrintCore.framework/Versions/A/Resources/AirPrint.ppd

 

4) Run the "ipp2ppd" program including the printer URI and the AirPrint.ppd file as parameters on the command line, and redirect the output (a generated PPD) to a file of your choosing.  The command might look something like

/System/Library/Printers/Libraries/ipp2ppd ipp://canon-ix6820.local:631/ipp/print /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/PrintCore.framework/Versions/A/Resources/AirPrint.ppd > Canon_PIXMA_iX6820_AirPrint.ppd

 

5) Edit the newly generated PPD file (like Canon_PIXMA_iX6820_AirPrint.ppd in my example) to remove lines that ChromeOS doesn't understand.  At a minimum, you will need to comment out or delete the lines that reference color profile files (*.icc) that exist on the Mac but are unknown to ChromeOS.  On my system, I had to remove the lines that looked like this

*cupsICCProfile Gray../Grayscale: "/System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/Generic Gray Gamma 2.2 Profile.icc"
*cupsICCProfile RGB../Color: "/System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/sRGB Profile.icc"

You can optionally eliminate other lines that reference files on the Mac, but ChromeOS did not seem to mind one way or the other if I removed lines like

*APPrinterIconPath: "/Library/Printers/Icons/00000000-0000-1000-8000-84BA3B08E962.icns"

 

6) [OPTIONAL] You can manually edit some of the other settings in the PPD file if you want to tailor the appearance and behavior of the printer.  For example, I modified the "ModelName", "Product", "ShortNickName", and "NickName" strings to say "Canon PIXMA iX6820" rather than the bland and generic "Canon iX6800 series".  I also changed "DefaultPageSize", "DefaultPageRegion", "DefaultImageableArea", and "DefaultPaperDimension" to be "Letter.Fullbleed" instead of the "4x6" filled in by the ipp2ppd tool.  Save all your changes and copy this PPD file to your ChromeOS device(s).

 

7) On your ChromeOS device, go to the printer settings (Settings->Advanced->Printing->Printers).  If you haven't already added your iX6820 to the list of printers, ChromeOS should automatically detect the printer and have it show up under "Add printers to your profile".  Pressing the "Set up" button next to the printer will prompt you for printer information, at which time you can give it your newly generated PPD file.  If the printer was already added before and shows up under "Your saved printers", you can give it the new PPD pressing the three dots menu next to the printer and selecting "Edit".  At the bottom of the Edit dialog box, you can give it your new PPD file and press "Save".

 

From this point on, you can print wirelessly to the iX6820 as if it was a locally attached printer. Smiley Very Happy

 

 

 

In regards to 13x19 paper, you should be able to add your own custom media sizes by editing the PPD file.  You will need to add new lines defining "PageSize", "PageRegion", "PaperDimension", and "ImageableArea" for your desired media size, copying the format from the other parameters having the same name.  Note that the measurement units are in points (72 points per inch).

 

Oddly, when trying to print from ChromeOS, the drop down list of paper sizes do not use the names given in the PPD file, but rather get renamed to things like "oe photo-I", "Index-4x6 (Postcard)", etc.  Based on my limited testing, this appears to be a cosmetic quirk of ChromeOS, and the resulting prints seem to honor my PPD specified dimensions despite the odd names.

Could you post the link again, tiny url no longer supports that link

 

Posting the PPD file via new link: Canon_PIXMA_iX6820_AirPrint.ppd

Hopefully, this one will work longer term

DataMeister
Apprentice
Thanks for the detailed response. I like knowing "the gory details".

Regarding the paper sizes, did your original Mac driver just not contain the larger paper sizes?

I think the ipp2ppd tool is asking the printer for its capabilities (via IPP protocol) and generates a PPD from there. I'm guessing the printer is simply reporting a limited list of the most popular paper sizes even though it's technically capable of printing almost anything up to 13x19.

Fortunately, the PPD is a plain text file that we can edit to customize to our heart's content.

traskie3535
Apprentice

I have a Pixma ix6820 - when I go to print - the dialogue box only brings up three options under Media Type: Envelope, Photo and Paper. No other options for glossy paper, matee paper, specialty paper etc. come up. I feel like i've downloaded the correct driver but still nothing. The method for adjusting color ratios for RGB and CYMK also seem to be missing. 

Thanks for any help.

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