Mboxir is a specialized filtering backend for CUPS, designed specifically to filter jobs into a specified mailbox of Canon imageRUNNER printers.

Download mboxir




Mboxir is a specialized filtering backend for CUPS, designed specifically to filter jobs into a specified mailbox of a Canon imageRUNNER (iR2270 tested).

Example URIs: mboxir:/1/lpd:// mboxir:/0/socket:// mboxir:/3/ipp://

The second parameter is the mailbox into which the print job will be stuffed. This backend will only work with postscript. It removes any existing PJL and adds the necessary PJL header, commands, and footer, for mailbox insertion.

This is a filtering backend, which is not the best place to accomplish filtering in CUPS. However, if you want to accomodate filtered and raw queues alike, an interface script will not do.


1) Perl

2) the File::Copy Perl module

3) A printer that accepts Postscript


Download the script and copy it into the CUPS backends directory, which is typically /usr/lib/cups/backend. Once there, you have to send CUPS a SIGHUP for it to re-scan all the available backends. Do a 'killall -HUP cupsd', or use the init script: '/etc/init.d/cups reload'. A restart will work just as well, but no real need to stop and start the server daemon.

Now check the web interface. When creating or modifying printers, you should see an option for an "Mailbox (imageRUNNER)" in the dropdown box of available devices. If not, make sure the permissions on the file are chmodded to 755 and owned by the correct user:group (check the rest of the files in the directory and match it).


Variables in the conf hash can be set in script, affecting all queues, or can be overridden on a per-queue basis through an external configuration file. The $queues_conf variable determines location, default /etc/cups/queues.conf.


The qconf file is formatted exactly like the printcap file, except that comments, blank lines, and whitespace between all elements are allowed. All variables above can be overridden on a per-queue basis. Location is determined by the queues_conf variable. If this file does not exist, variable values are simply those set in the script. Example file:

 # TEST1 has debugging, saving jobs, and factor four set
 # TEST2 is identical
 TEST2 | debug : save_jobs
 # Some other random configuration
 TEST3 | check_user : check_job


You may wish to simply setup a printer and try to fire away test pages and look at the CUPS log to see what problems exist. Set it up initially with a device URI like this for mailbox zero:


Check the logs. Try enabling debugging within the script. If it all works, enjoy.


The mboxir backend assumes it is receving raw postscript, and simply adds the necessary PJL commands (according to to stuff a job into a mailbox. Sending lousy postscript, postscript with existing PJL headers, PCL, binary junk, etc., will usually result in no output, but can result in a locked up printer. Your mileage may vary.

Unfortunately the official Windows drivers as shipped by Canon fall into this catetory. They embed all kinds of binary junk in their postscript. Use something like a LaserJet 4000 driver or a generic PS driver. Or, to retain full printer features, download their .PPD and package up your own .inf installer. Pretty simple once you look at it.


mboxir 1.02 (20120421)

- All script variables can be overridden on a per-queue basis using new "qconf" configuration file format. Most variables renamed in a more consistent manner to fit with this scheme.

- URI syntax check loosened to accept mboxir:/#/<original uri> as well as mboxir://#/<original uri>, since the latter will no longer work with cups-1.4.x.

- Integrated perldoc.

mboxir 1.01 (20051223)

- The PJL addition and filtering of the printjob has been made into a function called filterPrint.

- Now adds a nicely formatted job title into the printer mailbox, in the form of "username: title" instead of whatever.

- Some cleanup of extraneous code leftover from earlier backends from which this is derived.

mboxir v1.00 (20051221)

- Quick and dirty, roughly based on accsnmp backend.

- Some enhancements based off of Till Kamppeter's beh backend, most notably: using the device URI for passing arguments, the more elegant handling of the device URI generally, and actually using the CUPS tempdir to spool temp files.