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I would like to install printer and scan drivers for Brother wireless printers on linux distro (no matter if dpkg or rpm based) without installer Brother supports ("Driver Install Tool"). Therefore I'd like to understand the installer to perform only necessary steps.

Printer, scanner and fax drivers for Brother printers as well as the Driver Install Tool can be downloaded from their site (e.g. MFC-L2730DW).

I tried to read the installation script and it looks like it does at least:

  • install udev rules sample for Brother MFP (/etc/udev/rules.d/${number}-brother-libsane-type1-inst.rules)
  • install libusb-0.1-4 if not available
  • detect printer and scan
  • install some script dependencies (mawk for Debian)
  • in the end runs wget and dpkg -i --force-all (for Debian/Ubuntu based distros) or rpm -ihv --nodeps --replacefiles --replacepkgs (for rpm based distros)

Could anybody describe what exactly the script does step by step? One can decide what are the necessary steps.

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I haven't tried that particular printer, but I have some experience with other Brother printers like HL-...DW.

It seems like there are generally two options with CUPS: Using the Brother driver, and generic/driverless.

The generic is easy to setup. When you go to the CUPS UI at http://localhost:631/ and follow the links to add a printer, it should be detected. You will then get a choice of different generic/driverless options. They will work, but I found that sometimes the quality is not as good (low DPI) and some features of the printer are not available.

With the Brother driver, I get much better printing, but it's necessary to install it. It shows up as Brother HL-L2325DW (Brother HL-L2325DW) in CUPS for me.

The Arch Wiki has a section which you might find helpful: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/CUPS/Printer-specific_problems#Brother

I had to install the AUR package https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/brother_hl-l2325dw-cups-bin for this. You can check the PKGBUILD and see that it downloads the files from Brother's website and installs them. If you don't use Arch, you will unfortunately have to read about https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/PKGBUILD a bit.

There is an AUR package https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/brother-mfc-l2730dw for the model you gave. This should help you see how it is installed (on Arch at least). I'm not sure about the scanner, though.

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  • Thanks for info. I hate proprietary drivers, but I would probably go for it to have better quality. I just wanted to do the setup myself than having to trust very long script run under root.
    – pevik
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 9:38

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