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February 25, 2013 09:50
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Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) for nodejs

A pure Javascript implementation of the IPP/2.0 protocol that has no dependencies.

The IPP protocol was started in the 90's and is still being worked on today. It is a very indepth protocol that spans many RFCs- some of which are dead while others were herded into IPP/v2.x.

There are millions of printers that support IPP. If you have one, this module will allow you to send/recieve data to/from the printer.

To find out if your printer supports IPP:

  • Google your printer's specs
  • Try: telnet YOUR_PRINTER 631. If it connects, that's a good sign.
  • Use the '/examples/findPrinters.js' script.

I have a pretty good starting point here. I created reference files (attributes, enums, keywords, operations, status-codes, versions and tags) and tried to include as many links in the comments to the ref docs as I could.


$ npm install ipp

Printer(url [,options])

var ipp = require('ipp');
var PDFDocument = require('pdfkit');

//make a PDF document
var doc = new PDFDocument({margin:0});
doc.text(".", 0, 780);

	var printer = ipp.Printer("http://NPI977E4E.local.:631/ipp/printer");
	var msg = {
		"operation-attributes-tag": {
			"requesting-user-name": "William",
			"job-name": "My Test Job",
			"document-format": "application/pdf"
		data: pdf
	printer.execute("Print-Job", msg, function(err, res){

To interact with a printer, create a Printer object.

Technically speaking: a Printer object does not need to be an actual printer. According to the IPP spec, it could be any endpoint that accepts IPP messages. For example; the IPP object could be persistant media- like a CD ROM, hard drive, thumb drive, ...etc.


  • charset - Specifies the value for the 'attributes-charset' attribute of requests. Defaults to utf-8.
  • language - Specifies the value for the 'attributes-natural-language' attribute of requests. Defaults to en-us.
  • uri - Specifies the value for the 'printer-uri' attribute of requests. Defaults to ipp://
  • version - Specifies the value for the 'version' attribute of requests. Defaults to 2.0.

printer.execute(operation, message, callback)

Executes an IPP operation on the Printer object.

  • 'operation' - There are many operations defined by IPP. See: /lib/enums.js.
  • 'message - A javascript object to be serealized into an IPP binary message.
  • 'callback(err, response)' - A function to callback with the Printer's response.


Parses a binary IPP message into a javascript object tree.

var ipp = require('ipp');
var data = new Buffer(
    '0200' +	//version 2.0
		'000B' +	//Get-Printer-Attributes
		'00000001'+	//reqid
		'01' +		//operation-attributes-tag
		//blah blah the required bloat of this protocol
		'470012617474726962757465732d6368617273657400057574662d3848001b617474726962757465732d6e61747572616c2d6c616e67756167650002656e' +
		'03'		//end-of-attributes-tag

var result = ipp.parse(data);
//  ta-da!
//	"version": "2.0",
//	"operation": 11,
//	"id": 1,
//	"operation-attributes-tag": {
//		"attributes-charset": "utf-8",
//		"attributes-natural-language": "en"
//	}


Converts an IPP message object to IPP binary.

See request for example.

ipp.request(url, data, callback)

Makes an IPP request to a url.

var ipp = require('ipp');
var uri = "your_printer";
var data = ipp.serialize({
	"operation-attributes-tag": {
		"attributes-charset": "utf-8",
		"attributes-natural-language": "en",
		"printer-uri": uri

ipp.request(uri, data, function(err, res){
		return console.log(err);
//  ta-da!.. hopefully you'll see a ton of stuff from your printer

Browser Support?

See this thread




Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) for nodejs






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