Install Networked Brother MFC-L2700dw Printer/Scanner on Linux


I recently purchased a Brother MFC-L2700DW Printer/Scanner/Fax combination monstrosity. It’s an inexpensive black and white laser printer, perfect for the occasional home based business printing of tax forms and contracts.

Getting it set up on Linux (Xubuntu 14.10) was a tad fiddly. First, I connected the printer to my local network and printed a self-test page by printing the Fax and Copy buttons together. This confirmed that the printer can in fact print.

To make sure that the printer is connected to the network and visible, you can go to the ‘Printers’ dialogue and click ‘Add’. In the pop-up menu, select ‘Network Printer’ - the list will take some time to populate. On my system, it took about 15 seconds. If you see two options for “Brother MFC-L2700DW …”, the printer is visible on the network.

Don’t set up the printer this way! The MFC-L2700 is not in the printer database, at least not that I could find. Instead, go to the brother website, select “Linux” / “Linux (deb”) as your operating system, and download two files. First, download and install the “Generic LPR Printer Driver”. Then download and install the “Generic CUPSwrapper printer driver”.

Once both of these are installed, the printer should appear automatically in your list of printers in the printers dialogue. However, it will default to expecting to being connected via USB. If you want to connect via the network, you can open the printer properties, and select “Change” next to the “Device URI” box. Then, navigate to the “Network Printer” section again, wait for the list to populate, and select the second of the two Brother options. When you hit “Apply”, it won’t show the change in the “Device URI:” dialogue, but it will have changed.

Just hit “Print Test Page” to confirm that your printer is working, and click “OK” to exit. If you re-open the properties dialogue, you should see the updated Device URI beginning with “dnssd://”.

Enjoy the new printer!

(So far I have not been able to get network scanning working.)

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