Posts Tagged Brother

Problems printing in landscape with LibreOffice 3.6 on openSUSE 12.3

I noticed this problem while trying to print something today. Even though the page was formatted to landscape, the printer would still print it in portrait mode.

My printer is a Brother HL-2170W using the Foomatic/hpijs-pcl5w (recommended) driver.

The fix:

In LibreOffice, go to File > Printer Settings > (select printer) > Properties > Device.

Change ‘Printer Language Type‘ from ‘PDF’ to ‘PostScript (Level from driver)’

The page now prints in the correct orientation.

Futher reading:

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Using Synology DS211j as an AirPrint Print Server for Brother HL-2170W

I have a Brother HL-2170W printer that I’m using as a wireless printer. One thing I wanted to do was use AirPrint from my iPhone to print if the need should arise, as it does from time to time. My Synology DS211j includes a USB print server with Bonjour and AirPrint support, so I knew I could plug my printer into it via USB and use it as a print server, but there was the issue of the already-configured wireless clients.

I wondered:¬†Since I’m already using my printer wirelessly, can I just plug the printer into the NAS using the USB port and use both USB and wireless? The answer to that is actually yes, according to this post at UbuntuForums. You can use USB and either wired or wireless at the same time, but you cannot use both wired at wireless at the same time.

Now that I had that important issue aside, it was time for setting it up.

First, physically plug the USB cable from the printer to the NAS. You should be able to verify that the printer shows up in Control Panel > External Devices as shown here:

Once that’s done, click the printer to select it, then click USB Printer Manager > Set Up Printer:

Since the DS211j didn’t have a specific print driver listed for this model, I took the known-working driver configuration from my “Ubuntu and Brother¬†HL-2170W” post, and set it up as shown below:

  • Mode: Network Printer
  • Advanced Settings: Enable AirPrint
  • Printer Brand: Generic
  • Printer Model: Generic PCL 5e Printer

After that, I hit Save and then Close, and I was able to print a test page successfully by clicking on the printer and then clicking USB Printer Manager > Print Test Page. One thing to be aware of is that the DS211j is a bit lacking in RAM, so print jobs can take a bit (up to 5 minutes) from the time they’re sent to the server until they come out of the printer.

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Ubuntu CUPS Brother Print Self-Test Page Error

If you followed my previous article about setting up the Brother HL-2170W under Linux, and attempted to print a self-test page, you may hav e gotten the following less-than-helpful error message:

Print Self-Test Page Brother Error

Unable to send command to printer driver!

Unsupported format ‘application/vnd.cups-command’!

Two bugs have been reported against this in Launchpad (36532 and 510781) and one in Debian (381743), but the end result is that there are two options, “Print Test Page” and “Print Self Test Page.” The “Self-Test” is what generates the error. If you use the “Test Page”, it seems to work without error. The Launchpad pages show fixes/workarounds, but if printing works fine for you, it may be easier to simply let it be until it’s fixed upstream.

Questions, comments, and feedback are welcome in the comments.

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Ubuntu and Brother HL-2170W

I picked up a Brother HL-2170W wireless laser printer at OfficeMax a while back to replace my empty HP ink jet. For the price per page, laser is without a doubt the way to go.

I had done some searching while I was at the store because, as a Linux user, I’m big on cross-platform. (Obviously, or I’m not going to buy it.) I read a lot of mixed stories about this printer, but at the time Lucid (10.04) was coming out and I figured that a number of the issues would be addressed and I had a good chance of it working. Besides, it was a wireless printer so nearly any generic driver should work.

I brought it home, unpacked it, and set it up. Connecting the printer to the wireless AP was a breeze — simply connect the printer (via wire) to either the PC (via USB) or the router (via ethernet) and do the config using either the web interface (built into the printer) or the software. I had tossed the instructions immediately upon opening the box — this is one case where you’re probably going to want to refer to them. At least until that first test page comes out okay.

So I got the printer hooked up, on the wireless network, static IP set up, and off I go to install the drivers on the machines.

Ubuntu: Recognized immediately. Going to System > Administration > Printing and click Add brought up the add printer screen where the printer showed up after a few moments. Though the installer showed some lag, I attributed it to having to communicate with the printer during the setup.

Windows Vista: Installation of the drivers from the CD was grudgingly slow. It must have taken me the better part of half an hour start to finish.

Printer performance? I was immediately impressed. But my mind changed after a few days: This printer choked on graphics. A page of text would come out immediately, but any page with a graphic on it could take up to 20 minutes. Then for the sake of troubleshooting I tried it on the Windows machine. Came out in moments.

Something was definitely amiss. But I left it as it was for a while, until I finally got tired of waiting 20 minutes per page to print shipping labels for 15 boxes one day. So I put Windows 7 on my machine. Problem solved. (Note — the printer ships with a second drivers disc specifically for Windows 7.)

So now, a few months later, I am a Linux user once again and ran back into the same problem: The incredibly slow graphics printing. Only this time, determined to find a solution. I only had to look so far as this post. Citing a fault in the cups drivers for (at the least, this printer model), a solution was explained using a generic driver instead of the [presumably broken] cups driver:

1. Log on to the cups web interface: http://localhost:631/admin (for username and pw I used an account with sudo privileges).
2. Select “Add Printer
3. From “Other Network Printers:” I selected: LPD/LPR Host or Printer
4. under “Connection” put in: socket://IP_of_the_printer:9100 (of course, substitute in the IP of your printer)
5. Name, description, location: fill those out as you wish.
6. Sharing: I did not check this box.
7. Make: Select Generic and click Continue
8. Model: Generic PCL 5e Printer Foomatic/hpijs-pcl5e (recommended)
(this model is the closest by name to what Johnny_vc told me to use. I figured mine is different because I’m using Lucid)

Nick (below) adds this: Make and Model: Brother HL-2170W Foomatic/hpijs-pcl5e (recommended)
If you find the Brother selection, try it and see if it works, otherwise the Generic as above is known to work.

9. Click “Add Printer” and you’re done.

Works for me too. After doing this, you can view and edit the properties of the printer via System > Administration > Printing. Printing speed is back to normal.

Also, I strongly recommend you have your printer assigned a static IP address, either on the printer itself or using DHCP address reservation.

UPDATE: I encourage users to try the instructions contained in the blockquote above first, if their printer does not appear or performance is bad. Make sure you know the LAN IP address of your printer or it won’t work. I just tested this with a stock 10.10 install and I was able to print without installing anything else.

Feedback and comments are welcome, as always.

Make and Model: Brother HL-2170W Foomatic/hpijs-pcl5e (recommended)

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