Canon refuses to support Linux

I’d been wanting a scanner for a while, and kept procrastinating.  Eventually I got fed up with myself and drove to Staples and bought a Canon CanoScan LiDE 70.  After getting home, I remembered why I don’t make impulse purchases at stores.

The scanner seems decent, but does not work in Linux, making it useless to me since I switched to Ubuntu.

I wrote to Canon several times asking them to support my OS, and they refuse:

Thank you for your inquiry. We value you as a Canon customer and appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

Unfortunately, Canon does not write or support any drivers or software for the various Linux operating systems. The driver development information is proprietary information, kept at Canon Japan, and is not available to the public. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance with your LiDE
70 scanner.

Thank you for choosing Canon.

I told them that they don’t need to write drivers themselves; they can be written by the Linux Driver Project for free.  All Canon has to do is provide the proprietary communication protocol information, which will not be disclosed, but they refuse to do anything to help:

While considering the desire to provide the best possible support for Canon‘s products, Canon USA must make decisions on which products to provide driver support and platforms to provide drivers for.  Currently, Canon USA has decided to support only the Microsoft Windows and the Macintosh operating systems.

Canon USA has announced no plans to provide or assist in supporting the Linux platform with the consumer line products.  We understand, and sincerely apologize for any frustration this may cause if your are using an operating system Canon USA does not support.

We sincerely apologize for the difficulties and inconvenience this reply may cause. As a Canon customer, your satisfaction with our products and service is very important to us. We are dedicated to doing our best to provide support of our products, warranties, and customers with the support options we have available to us.

We remain committed to gaining your confidence and business once again. If, in the future, you reconsider your decision regarding your Canon scanner, we hope you will provide us with another opportunity to serve you. Until that time, we hope any replacement products perform to your expectations.

Thank you for contacting Canon.

Blah blah standard form response.  Guess I won’t make the mistake of buying their products again.

It looks like there might be hope, as Jürgen Ernst is working on a SANE backend for “CanoScan LiDE 600F”, which would support the LiDE 70, too.  I can understand not wanting to waste employees’ time on a tiny minority OS, but it’s ridiculous that users have to completely reverse-engineer their products’ protocols in order to use them, when manufacturers could very easily make this information available for us to write drivers with at no cost to them.

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4 Comments

  1. Ya know, I have always liked Canon products. I have only VERY recently climbed on the VERY back of the Linux train these last few weeks due to a virus that wiped out my Vista OS on my other laptop. I was a “Windows all the way” user. I had no idea of what sort of ethics were behind these companies and their ignoring Linux so much. I mean, it is not like you were going to obtain their TOP SECRET hashing or code techniques like none EVER seen before and take over the world. The very LEAST you would have done is open a door for Linux users to continue using Canon products. To keep money flowing to them…um…I am still very confused at their lack of any sort of regard toward helping you (and a ton of other users by looking at the forums) use Canon products. Effective tonight, I will never, EVER advise someone (including myself) to purchase a ANY Canon product – ever again. I am reinstalling Windows on my other work laptop only out of necessity, and I have the Canoscan right here. No thanks. I went out and bought an HP that cost 6X more that will work with Linux (or be willing to lend you a hand on the Linux Driver Project.) I would rather spend every penny in my accounts buying new products than use my existing Canon gear. It’s garbage to me now. Why can’t they see that this mentality is not good for revenue? I am the Chief Financial Officer for my company, and when I read this I was horrified at the disregard for potential money that could have been made. It just seems so wasteful to be so childish and not help you help them—- FOR FREE. Stupid.

  2. I am sitting with 2 of their products Ip4300 Printer and Ide 70 Scanner that seems to be worthless to me. Having hassels with printer as well. Cant understand the mindset of the people out there with products that cant work on Linux platforms. they must be plain stupid or are they getting a “kickback” from B.Gates? Just asking!!! Thank you for your post .

  3. I highly doubt Microsoft is paying them off. They just don’t see it as an important problem. Linux desktops are typically very hard to use, and so only a small portion of computer users bother. Linux distributions also vary wildly from each other, so it’s not something they can support from their end. Maybe Canonical should be talking to Canon instead of individual users. If they’re confronted with a corporation which runs a single desktop distribution with millions of users, they’ll probably change their tune. It’s probably a lot easier to cooperate with a single large distro that can sign NDAs and such.

  4. Yep… Canon sucks! I hope Canon get trashed in the market for them not supporting linux. Epson is excellent in the printer/scanner support on Linux.

    Buy Epson guys !

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