I am running Fedora 18 and have CUPS and the brother printer driver and CUPS wrapper (provided by brother) installed on my machine. The printer model is the MFC-255CW. This printer works seamlessly with my Apple MacBook, but it is not working with my linux computer. I also made sure that my primary user has CUPS permissions to submit print jobs to the printer.

I was able to setup the printer in CUPS, and in the admin tab when I check on the sole printer setup, the MFC225CW, I can see the following:

Description:    MFC255CW
Location:   Home
Driver: Brother MFC-255CW CUPS (color, 2-sided printing)
Defaults:   job-sheets=none, none media=na_letter_8.5x11in sides=one-sided

However, whenever I submit a print job or even just try to print a test page, I always get back "printer status busy". However, on the printer itself, I have no issue printing a test print page, and my MacBook has no problem printing.

I suspect that the issue is either between CUPS and the printer, or perhaps my configuration of the printer? How can I further troubleshoot and isolate what the problem is?

  • 1
    Looks like it's an IPP printer, but there isn't a port used in the URL. I'm not sure if CUPS will use :80 or :631 if you leave off the port, you might try explicitly specifying whichever one is appropriate and trying again. Also, couldn't hurt to determine if it's a network issue by doing a nc to the correct port on Failing that, You can try to increase the cups logging level and see if anything descriptive shows up in the log.
    – Bratchley
    Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 16:51
  • Are you printing to this printer via CUPS as a networked printer or is it attached to the PC as a USB device? The setup is slightly different depending on which.
    – slm
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 0:27
  • I installed both the LPR and CUPS driver, and I do not have the machine hooked up via USB. I would like to be able to use the network interface (via WiFi) so that I can print from all over the house.
    – Dr. Watson
    Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 21:30

2 Answers 2


After a sustained campaign of googling, It turns out I had to use lpd protocol, and I had to specify the print server program on the printer: binary_p1.

 Connection: lpd://

Though not really an indicator that I needed to use the lpd protocol, after reading the log files on my machine, it looked like it was trying to print via USB, and because it could not find the printer plugged into a USB port, the print jobs just sat in the queue.


There may be a very simple solution to this. You say the printer is already working flawlessly from your MacBook, correct? Then just clone the configs from there!

Specifically, visit http://localhost:631/ from a browser on your MacBook, which will take you to the CUPS web-admin interface. You should be able to look up the printer and see how it's configured in CUPS on the MacBook, and configuring the printer the same way on your Fedora 18 box should give it a much better chance of working.

  • Thanks for this suggestion. While it did not exactly solve my situation, it was a very good idea. On my MacBook, the printer is configured with a very cryptic "mdns://..." address. I suppose it has to do with more advanced software (Brother Control Center) that is available for PC/MAC.
    – Dr. Watson
    Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 21:28
  • Ah! Of course, I really should've expected that. Makes sense that the Mac side wouldn't be using lpd by default.
    – FeRD
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 8:09
  • 1
    (Gah! Hit Enter too soon, then went over my 5-minute edit window!) The issue, I think, is not the control center on the Mac side, but the... limited drivers on the Linux side. Theoretically, your printer could be set up with the same type of discovered local-net address on the Linux side — labeled dns-sd://... instead of mdns:// — and, in fact, that's how CUPS tries to set up the printer if you discover for it. However (as you've perhaps seen, if you tried autodiscovery), that doesn't work, because Brother's Linux drivers are limited to an lpd wrapper that doesn't grok Avahi/Bonjour — or IPP.
    – FeRD
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 8:17
  • Very interesting, though I cannot say I am surprised a commercial entity would not invest much in Linux drivers. I would hope their commercial line of printers has better support. Woh is the consumer who selects Linux. :-)
    – Dr. Watson
    Commented Aug 11, 2013 at 16:57

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