How can I make MFC420CN work on Uuntu 7.04 amd64

Asked by DaveL on 2007-05-21

I am a new user of Ubuntu. I like it a lot. I use a Gateway MX7515 with AMD64 architecture. Following instruction from others I got it set up and configured with, http://localhost:631/printers/. When I try to print, it goes through the print process but nothing comes out of the printer. Please help!

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Massimo Forti
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Massimo Forti (slackwarelife) said : #1

Thanks for your question. Can I ask to post the wiki page you have used to setup your device. Thanks

DaveL (dave-lockwood) said : #2

Using the Brother MFC-420CN multi-function device with Kubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) or Kubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft)

The [WWW] Brother MFC-420CN is a multi-function device that offers (ink-jet) printing, scanning, faxing and copying capabilities in one compact device. The device has an RJ-45 network port, built in LPD server and is well supported on Linux (with a proprietary driver from Brother). It offers 20 ppm (black) and 15ppm (color) printing speeds and is available for less than $100.
Linux support

Brother offers Linux drivers for the MFC-420CN. The stock Kubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) distribution does not come with the drivers for the MFC-420CN. I am not sure whether it ever will given that one of the driver (filter) files from brother appears to be a proprietary binary file, but who knows... Brother offers separate drivers for the printer and the scanner components. Brother also has LPR PC-Fax and CUPS PC-Fax drivers, but I have not explored the Fax functionality of this device, and this will not be covered in this document.

This document assumes that you are using the network interface on the MFC-420CN, and that you know the IP address / hostname associated with the device. I recommend you setup your DHCP server to offer a fixed IP address to the device, and associate that IP address with a hostname on your local domain. If the IP address associated with the device changes, and you do not have an associated hostname, the printer configuration that once worked will stop working!

I am assuming that you have a working default installation of Kubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger). and that you chose the 'standard' install (kubuntu-desktop) and not the 'server' install. You need to have the following packages available before installing the drivers from Brother: a2ps gs-esp cupsys csh. The Debian packages from Brother don't seem to have the right dependencies built in, and the installation will go through but the driver will fail if you do not have these packages. In addition, you may want to install the following optional packages:


      cupsys-bsd: If you are used to the lpr / lpq / lprm commands rather than lpstat / cancel

      xsane: If you want the xsane UI for scanning

      gimp: If you want to use gimp as the front end for scanning

You can check whether you have these packages installed using the following command:

dpkg -l a2ps gs-esp cupsys csh cupsys-bsd xsane gimp

If you see output similar to the following (with all the packages listed with 'ii' in the first two columns), you can proceed with the installation:

| Status=Not/Installed/Config-files/Unpacked/Failed-config/Half-installed
|/ Err?=(none)/Hold/Reinst-required/X=both-problems (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name Version Description
ii a2ps 4.13b-4.3 GNU a2ps - 'Anything to PostScript' converte
ii csh 20050313-1 Shell with C-like syntax, standard login she
ii cupsys 1.1.23-10ubunt Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - server
ii cupsys-bsd 1.1.23-10ubunt Common UNIX Printing System(tm) - BSD comman
ii gimp 2.2.8-2ubuntu6 The GNU Image Manipulation Program
ii gs-esp 7.07.1-9ubuntu The Ghostscript PostScript interpreter - ESP
ii xsane 0.97-3ubuntu2 GTK+-based X11 frontend for SANE (Scanner Ac

If you don't have any of these packages, you can install them easily by typing:

sudo apt-get install a2ps gs-esp cupsys csh cupsys-bsd xsane gimp

Note: For Kubunu 6.10 you will require csh to be installed as well

sudo apt-get install csh

Downloading drivers from Brother

[WWW] This is the Brother Linux Driver home page. Remember: you need BOTH the LPR Printer Driver (filter) as well as the CUPS Printer Driver (PPD).
Printer drivers

Download the LPR Printer driver (filter) from [WWW] this page. If you want to directly go to the MFC-420CN driver for Debian, click [WWW] here. Once you have accepted the agreement, you will be prompted to download / save a file named mfc420cnlpr-1.0.2-1.i386.deb Download the CUPS Printer driver (PPD) from [WWW] this page. If you want to go directly to the MFC-420CN driver for Debian, click [WWW] here. Once you have accepted the agreement, you will be prompted to download / save a file named cupswrappermfc420cn_1.0.0-1_i386.deb
Scanner Driver

Downlopad the scanner driver from [WWW] this page. The MFC-420CN requires the brscan2 package. If you want to directly go to the MFC-420CN driver for Debian, click [WWW] here. You will be prompted to download / save a file named brscan2-0.2.1-0.i386.deb

Run the following commands only if you are very particular you do not want to see any errors from the installation of the mfc420cnlpr package:

sudo rm -f /usr/lib/*
sudo ln -s /etc/init.d/cupsys /etc/init.d/cups
sudo mkdir /var/spool/lpd/

The first command removes symlinks that mfc420cnlpr puts in but doesn't remove when it is uninstalled (in case you have already installed and removed this package once). The second command makes it easier for the package that expects /etc/init.d/cups (that Mandriva, Red Hat, Suse provide). The third command creates some missing directories required for the mfc420cnlpr package.

Installation is as simple as running dpkg -i on all the downloaded packages:

sudo dpkg -i mfc420cnlpr-1.0.2-1.i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i cupswrappermfc420cn_1.0.0-1_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i brscan2-0.2.1-0.i386.deb

Note for Feisty Fawn (7.04 beta):

When installing mfc420cnlpr-1.0.2-1.i386.deb, IGNORE the following error

mkdir: cannot create directory `/var/spool/lpd/MFC420CN': No such file or directory
chown: cannot access `/var/spool/lpd/MFC420CN': No such file or directory
chgrp: cannot access `/var/spool/lpd/MFC420CN': No such file or directory
chmod: cannot access `/var/spool/lpd/MFC420CN': No such file or directory

When iinstalling cupswrappermfc420cn_1.0.0-1_i386.deb, IGNORE the following errors:

lpadmin: Unable to copy PPD file!

We will fix this error later – installing the PPD through the CUPS web interface.
Configuring Printer

The Brother package would have created a printer named MFC420CN. To configure, proceed as follows:


      Make sure the CUPS system is running – run /etc/init.d/cupsys start if required.

      Open the Printing manager by clicking KDE Panel --> Utilities --> Printing Manager. On 6.10 use the KDE Panel --> System Settings and click on Printers.

      Click 'Administrator Mode' and enter your password when prompted. Make sure you select CUPS as the Print System (drop down box just above the OK button).

      Choose the MFC420CN printer and click on the 'Properties' tab

      Click on 'Interface' on the left and click on the 'Change' button

      Choose 'Network Printer (TCP)' and click 'Next'

      Enter Printer address (IP address or hostname) and enter 9100 as the port and click 'Finish'

Note for Feisty Fawn (7.04 beta):

The above steps (alone) are insufficient to get the printer working. In addition to (or INSTEAD of) making changes through the KDE Printing Manager, do the following:


      Open a browser to [WWW] http://localhost:631/printers/ – this is the CUPS web-based administration interface

      Select 'Printers' – you should see a printer named 'MFC420CN'

      Modify this printer as follows through several dialogs

      Location / Description: Retain defaults, press Continue

      Device: Choose 'LPD/LPR Host or Printer', press Continue

      Device URI: Enter socket://mfc-420cn:9100 (where mfc420cn is the DNS name or IP address of your printer), press Continue

      Make / Manufacturer: Choose to provide PPD file, enter /usr/share/cups/model/brmfc420cn_cups.ppd

      Press Finish

      Set printer to be Default (if that is what you want)

Configuring scanner

As root run the following command:

brsaneconfig2 -a name=MFC-420CN model=”MFC-420CN” nodename=mfc-420cn

Replace nodename=mfc-420cn with the IP address or hostname associated with your device. brsaneconfig2 may give and error of "Invalid model name" removing the quotes around the model name will help.
Note for Feisty Fawn (7.04 beta):

Ensure that the model name does not containing surrounding double quotes – i.e

brsaneconfig2 -a name=MFC-420CN model=MFC-420CN nodename=mfc-420cn

and not

brsaneconfig2 -a name=MFC-420CN model=”MFC-420CN” nodename=mfc-420cn

Using scanner

Assuming you have xsane installed, it is as simple as running xsane and choosing your scanner

Kooka (installed by default on 6.10) works as well.

CategoryDocumentation CategoryCleanup

last edited 2007-04-09 09:59:14 by SundarNagarajan

FYI, I'm using Feisty.

Best Massimo Forti (slackwarelife) said : #3

Thanks. You can delete the setting by running the command below:

brsaneconfig2 -r FRIENDLY-NAME

Remember that if you do "-h" like a option after the command es.:

brsaneconfig2 -h

you will recive all option that you can use with the command. Thanks

Cesare Tirabassi (norsetto) said : #4

I think Massimo would have been happy with just this one:

Try running (as root) this command: brsaneconfig2 -r MFC-420CN

This should remove the settings. Then try again to add the correct ones.

DaveL (dave-lockwood) said : #5

Thanks Massimo Forti, that solved my question.