Gavin R. Putland,  BE PhD

Sunday, August 17, 2014 (Comment)

How to install a Brother MFC-7460DN printer/scanner over a network on Linux Mint 17 ‘Qiana’ MATE 32-bit ed.

Here's how I did it:

  1. Using (e.g.) the synaptic package manager, make sure the following packages are installed: sane-utils, tcsh (or csh), a2ps, psutils.
  2. Make sure the directory /usr/share/cups/model/ exists (it should exist “out of the box”).
  3. If the directory /var/spool/lpd/ does not already exist, create it with the command
    sudo mkdir /var/spool/lpd
    (N.B.: In this document, each command begins with sudo and must be on a single line).
  4. Create a symbolic link:
    sudo ln -s /etc/init.d/cups /etc/init.d/lpd
  5. Starting from Brother's “Software Download” page, pick your region and product category, then “Downloads”, search on the model number, and then search on “Linux (deb)”. From the resulting page, download the “LPR printer driver (deb package)” (mfc7460dnlpr-2.1.0-1.i386.deb) and the “CUPSwrapper printer driver (deb package)” (cupswrapperMFC7460DN-2.0.4-2.i386.deb) to a working directory.
  6. From the same page, download the “Scanner driver 32bit (deb package)” (brscan4-0.4.2-3.i386.deb) to the working directory.
  7. Go to the working directory and install the printer drivers:
    sudo dpkg -i mfc7460dnlpr-2.1.0-1.i386.deb
    sudo dpkg -i cupswrapperMFC7460DN-2.0.4-2.i386.deb
    (in that order).
  8. From the desktop panel, click on Menu → Control Center → Printers. There should be an icon for the “MFC7460DN”. Right-click on that and select Properties → Settings. For “Device URI” click Change → Network Printer. There will be two entries for the Brother MFC-7460DN, one of which will include an IP address (four numbers separated by dots). Make a note of the address. Then click on that entry, followed by Apply → OK. If you want the MFC7460DN to be the default printer, right-click on its icon again.

    You should then be able to print from applications. If the output is imperfect, remember that any bugs in a printer driver can probably be worked around by first printing to a PDF or PostScript file, then printing that file to paper. For the latter step, you can use lpr from the command line (if a default printer is set).

  9. Install and configure the scanner driver:
    sudo dpkg -i brscan4-0.4.2-3.i386.deb
    sudo brsaneconfig4 -a name=MFC7460DN model=MFC7460DN ip=
    where “address” is the IP address noted above. (N.B.: There are only two command lines above; beware of line wrapping in your browser.) The “name” can be arbitrary; but if it matches the model number, the “Scan source” in simple-scan will show the make and model.
  10. To give ordinary users access to the scanner, edit the file
    to insert the lines
    # Brother scanners
    ATTRS{idVendor}=="04f9", ENV{libsane_matched}="yes"
    at the end of the list of ATTRS, just before the comment
    # The following rule will disable ...
    and, more importantly, before the
    In the inserted lines, note that the first “equals” sign is doubled and the second isn't.

    According to Brother, you need a reboot to make this change effective.

The above procedure differs from Brother's instructions in the following ways:

  • I didn't need the --force-all option in dpkg.
  • As one would expect for a network installation, I didn't need a USB cable at any stage.
  • I used the MATE printer tools instead of editing /etc/printcap or using http://localhost:631/printers/.

Note on the MFC-8860DN

Under an earlier version of the same operating system, I have had occasion to install one other Brother printer/scanner, namely the MFC-8860DN.

The printer drivers for this model do not need to be downloaded separately, but can be found by installing the printer via Menu → Control Center → Printers → Add.

Steps 6, 9 & 10 are applicable to the MFC-8860DN, except that the appropriate scanner driver is called brscan2, for which the configuration command is brsaneconfig2 instead of brsaneconfig4.

What about the 64-bit edition of the OS?

The Scanner drivers come in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. The printer drivers are 32-bit, but downloading them leads to some additional instructions for 64-bit systems, of which the instructions for Ubuntu should be applicable to Mint.

However, because the default Mint kernel (for Ubuntu-based distributions) features Physical Address Extension (PAE), one might prefer to use the 32-bit version because of its shorter instruction length and smaller program files.

[First published for Mint 14.1, December 16, 2012; revised for Mint 17, August 17, 2014.]

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