Bought a Canon MX860. Did my research beforehand, and was able to force-install the 32-bit Canon drivers (for printing) on my 64-bit Ubuntu desktop. Getting scanning to work is another exercise as yet not done. The fact that Canon has published sources that (with the exception of a missing library) could be compiled as 64-bit native, lead me to poke Canon USA support.

My original query as represented in Canon’s support system (and trimmed):

Original Message Follows: ————————- Email Support Form Message Product Type: PIXMA MX860 Product Serial Number: absx22394 Date of Purchase: 11/18/2009 First Name: Preston Last Name: Bannister Address: 14 Vallecito City: Foothill Ranch State: CA Zip: 92610 Phone Number: 9495880872 Email Address: preston@bannister.us INQUIRY: Need drivers for 64-bit Ubuntu (Debian Linux). Found the 32-bit drivers and sources on the Canon European site, but the sources are incomplete, so I cannot compile a 64-bit version. Either compiled 64-bit drivers, or a complete set of sources would be acceptable.

The response was pretty predictable, if not exactly addressing the question as posed.

On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 5:09 AM, Canon Support - MFP <mfp @cits.canon.com> wrote:

Dear Preston Bannister:

Thank you for contacting Canon product support. We value you as a Canon customer and appreciate the opportunity to assist you. We regret the issues experienced with locating Linux drivers for the MX860.

Canon USA does not support Linux with its consumer products. The only recommendation I can offer would be to check the various Linux enthusiast websites to see if anyone has successfully attempted writing a third party driver.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance with your MX860.

Sincerely,

James Technical Support Representative

Since there is always a chance (if small) of a constructive outcome, I tried again.

What I did was find that the Canon Europe and Canon Australia sites distribute Canon-developed Linux drivers for the MX860 (and other printers).

The software is pretty well done, has an active documented development history that goes at least to the year 2000, and is distributed as both binaries and source.

Odd that Canon USA does not distribute Canon-developed drivers (in which Canon has made a significant investment).

This is a case of so-close-but-not-quite there. The effort required for Canon to have a complete offering is pretty small, if someone can find the right branch of the company hierarchy to nudge.

Any chance of finding who within Canon sponsored development of the existing drivers for Linux?

The last response, which sounds dangerously close to “Fuck you. Go away.” (Though I would gladly be proven wrong.)

Dear Preston Bannister:

We appreciate your continued correspondence regarding Linux drivers for your PIXMA MX860.

I have forwarded your comments to Canon USA through our Customer Feedback process. This process allows us to capture important feedback from our valued customers. As we constantly strive to improve our products and services, your comments are vital to our continued success.

We hope this information is helpful to you. Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance with your PIXMA MX860.

Thank you for choosing Canon.

Sincerely,

George Technical Support Representative

Had to try….