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I have two Brother printers : an MFC-9330CDW and a QL-1050.

Since Ubuntu 16.04 doesn't seem to provide drivers for these models, I downloaded and installed drivers from the Brother website.

The printers were automagically detected by Ubuntu, and anyway I was able to delete and add them again through the CUPS server interface (http://localhost:631).

However in both case I am not able to print any document. Even the test page won't print (though the "self test page" does) : it appears briefly in the queue, then disappears silently.

I suspect an issue with CUPS filters, since it does print when using lpr -o raw.

What could be the problem ?

Side note : I noticed that the Brother website advices ia32-libs or lib32stdc++ as requirements for Debian 64 and Ubuntu 64, but apt says there are no such packages.

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The "side note" is actually the issue : Brother only provides 32-bit drivers, they don't work as is on 64-bit distributions.

The drivers should work after installing these packages instead of the missing ones suggested by Brother :

sudo apt-get install lib32z1 lib32ncurses5 lib32stdc++6

(Actually they may not all be needed, please someone test them separately and edit this answer accordingly.)

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Brother printers might be detected by Ubuntu, but without the right drivers, they will not work properly (at least, not for all functions).

Brother provides Linux drivers on its website. The drivers come with an installation script, but I found that it didn't work very well, and I had to manually install the drivers for my model.

Brother also lists several prerequisites, such as

  • ia32-libs OR lib32stdc++ is required to be installed. You're right that ia32-libs is not in the standard Ubuntu repositories, but lib32stdc++6 (notice the "6" at the end) is, and it should be sufficient.
  • Create /usr/lib/cups/filter/ if it does not exist.
  • Create /usr/share/cups/model/ if it does not exist.
  • Create /var/spool/lpd/ if it does not exist.
  • Package sane-utils should be installed if you're using brscan, brscan2 or brscan3 (which might not be the case for your model from what I can see, but having sane-utils won't hurt).
  • Package apparmor-utils should be installed (for the aa-complain command, although I think this is a bad idea, and I found that it wasn't necessary when installing the drivers manually).

Make sure you have the requirements for your situation, and then install the drivers from the Brother website

$ sudo dpkg -i [driver_file.deb]

(I don't think the --force-all option that Brother recommends is necessary.)

You might need a couple of extra steps to get the scanner working, but this should get you to at least be able to print. If it's still not working, we'll probably need some more details of the problem.

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