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I've got a Brother MFC-7820N configured as follows:

  • Device URI: ipp://printy.mcnally.home
  • Make and model: Brother MFC-7820N BR-Script3

The URI works from every computer on my network (both Linux and Windows). I can connect to the printer at that address and look at its status etc. via its built-in HTTP server, so I'm pretty confident that there are no network issues.

edit — the Ubuntu system in question is a 13.04 installation. I've had the same problems for quite some time however.

The problem I have is that printing PDF files takes an insanely long time from my Ubuntu machine(s). The exact same files can be printed from Windows (both other Windows 7 machines on the network, as well as a Windows 7 VM on my Ubuntu machine) in a very small fraction of the time. By "insanely long time" I mean that a one page document can take from 5 to 15 minutes to print. Sometimes they simply never finish, and I have to restart the printer after a half hour or more.

The effect is the same — precisely the same — whether I print from Firefox's built-in PDF viewer or from evince or anything else.

There are a zillion references on the internet to this problem, but nobody seems to really know what's going on, and no published "solution" I've seen actually works (or has any effect whatsoever, really, other than those suggestions that make printing fail completely).

Does anybody know what it is that one needs to do in order to get an Ubuntu machine to do ... whatever it is it needs to do in order to print to these Brother networked printers?

(Hooking the printer up to USB or whatever is absolutely not an option for a variety of reasons.)

  • Is the behavior improved with: ipp://printy.mcnally.home:631? – chili555 Dec 5 '13 at 1:34
  • No; I'm pretty sure that the "ipp" protocol implies port 631. And that exact URL works fine from all the Windows machines (and virtual machines) in the house. Also note that the printer works OK when it's printing stuff other than PDF files, with that same URL. It's specifically a PDF issue. – Pointy Dec 5 '13 at 1:39
  • Does the machine in question have cups-filters and libfontembed1 installed? – chili555 Dec 5 '13 at 13:58
  • @chili555 yes it does. I'm running 13.04 - I'll add that to the post. – Pointy Dec 5 '13 at 14:31
  • This is a shot in the dark, but have you tried printing from PS instead? Convert your PDF using ps2pdf, and print that using evince. – landroni Mar 11 '14 at 7:34
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Here is a valuable link.

The key bit of advice from that page is that the default BRScript and Foomatic drivers do not work with stuff like PDF files. That sure is my experience too. Instead, there are other drivers:

sudo apt-get install brother-lpr-drivers-laser brother-cups-wrapper-laser

Those show up (for me anyway) in the (so, so terrible) "New Printer" interface in xfce as the "Brother MFC7820N for CUPS" driver. That one works.

edit — as of 13.10, you have to select "MFC7820N for CUPS" from the Brother printer list in order to find the driver.

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    5 years later, this still applies! In addition to the above, I went to CUPS page localhost:631 , selected Administration - Manager Printers - Modify the printer you would like to use and browse to /usr/share/cups/model and select PPD file for your printer. Done! – MF.OX Apr 4 at 17:04
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    @MF.OX crazy isn't it? On the bright side that printer, though it feels like it's made from the flimsiest plastic available, is still going strong, and I've had three kids go through school and community college over those 5 years. – Pointy Apr 4 at 17:19

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