Specifically, I’m running Debian 8 (“Jessie”) with kernel 3.16.0-4-amd64 on a desktop computer connected to the router via ethernet cable, and our printer connects wirelessly. The printer is actually a multi-function device, Brother MFC-J835DW.
As a prerequisite to printing from Debian in general, install cups:
sudo apt-get install cups
The Debian printing tutorial might contain other helpful or necessary information.
I followed all the steps at Brother’s Debian/Ubuntu x86/amd64 prerequisites page, plus a few extra steps that probably weren’t necessary but I’ll list them anyway.
1. Try to install ia32-libs or lib32stdc++, but ia32-libs is not in the Debian repository and lib32stdc++ would’ve had a dependency conflict, and I am certainly not qualified to resolve that. I noticed that when I tried to install ia32-libs, APT told me that the package lib32ncurses5 had replaced it, so I just installed that:
sudo apt-get install lib32ncurses5
sudo apt-get install csh
sudo apt-get install tcsh
(I chose csh.)
sudo mkdir /var/spool/lpd
4. This might only be necessary for some scanner-related functions, not printing, but I did it anyway because I figured it wouldn’t hurt:
sudo apt-get install sane-utils
5. Brother also says this was only necessary for a completely different line of Brother products on Debian systems that don’t have psutils installed, but I was running a Debian system that didn’t have psutils installed, so I figured this couldn’t hurt either:
sudo apt-get install psutils
6. Download the .deb files for the lpr driver and cupswrapper driver to ~/Downloads.
sudo dpkg -i --force-all mfcj835dwlpr-3.0.1-1.i386.deb
(Obviously, replace that .deb filename with your own.)
sudo dpkg -i --force-all mfcj835dwcupswrapper-3.0.0-1.i386.deb
10. Check to make sure two Brother drivers, one LPR and one CUPS, were installed:
dpkg -l | grep Brother
My output was:
ii mfcj835dwcupswrapper 3.0.0-1 i386 Brother CUPS Inkjet Printer Definitions
ii mfcj835dwlpr 3.0.1-1 i386 Brother lpr Inkjet Printer Definitions
ii printer-driver-brlaser 3-3 amd64 printer driver for (some) Brother laser printers
ii printer-driver-ptouch 1.3-8 amd64 printer driver Brother P-touch label printers
11. Install the printer to the system via the web interface:
11a. Go to the CUPS web interface in a web browser: http://localhost:631/
11b. Click on Administration.
11c. Follow the prompts and click everything as appropriate.
11d. My Brother driver was not listed among the many Brother drivers available, for some reason, even though I was able to choose MFC-J835DW at the previous step just fine, so I clicked on Browse… to add my own .ppd file.
11e. I found mine in /usr/share/ppd/Brother/. If you can’t find yours at first, try running
sudo updatedb to update your system files (or whatever
updatedb does). You could also simply run
locate *.ppd (which didn’t find my Brother .ppd file until I ran
12. Click through the web interface to set the printer options. I was able to click on a button to autodetect my printer’s default options.
13. Print a test page.
Never in my life have I seen such a beautiful test-print page.