Brother Scanner not Found on Linux Mint 18.1 and Ubuntu 16.04 – Fixed!

I’ve previously posted about my Brother MFC-7840N printing slowly, but since then Brother updated their driver package for Linux and everything was going quite smoothly. Unfortunately, after I upgraded from Linux Mint 17.3 to Linux Mint 18.1 today, the Brother Linux drivers failed to activate the scanner. When I started XSane it said there was no scanner found.

After a lot of re-installing of drivers and scanner configurations I found the problem was simply some missing files. It seems sane must be looking for information in the standard directories and not where the 64-bit libraries are.

Anyway, here are the commands to run to make your Brother scanner work with Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

sudo mkdir /usr/lib/sane
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/sane/ /usr/lib/sane/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/sane/ /usr/lib/sane/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/sane/ /usr/lib/sane/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/ /usr/lib/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/ /usr/lib/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/ /usr/lib/

If you are already logged in as root (naughty you!) then just use the same commands without sudo.

mkdir /usr/lib/sane
ln -s /usr/lib64/sane/ /usr/lib/sane/
ln -s /usr/lib64/sane/ /usr/lib/sane/
ln -s /usr/lib64/sane/ /usr/lib/sane/
ln -s /usr/lib64/ /usr/lib/
ln -s /usr/lib64/ /usr/lib/
ln -s /usr/lib64/ /usr/lib/

Hopefully this post saves some time for a few people and will remind me what to do when I hit the same problem with my Brother MFC-7840N scanner not being found!

Installing Kdenlive 0.9.10 on Linux Mint 17.1 (Rebecca)

In this post I’ll describe how to install Kdenlive 0.9.10 (or any later version) on Linux Mint 17.1 using the Kdenlive repositories.

When installing the default Kdenlive version from the standard Linux Mint 17.1 repositories I found the version was out of date at 0.9.8 instead of the current 0.9.10. I thought it would just be a matter of adding the required Kdenlive repositories to my software sources and the next update cycle would upgrade Kdenlive, but the default process didn’t work.

The problem is with the priority of the software sources. The Linux Mint repository is listed with a higher priority than the newly added Kdenlive repository. Thus, try as you might, Kdenlive 0.9.8 will always be preferred over newer versions in the Kdenlive repository. You can verify the priorities by running the following command:

apt-cache policy kdenlive

In the output you should see the Candidate version as 0.9.8 and see the priority of the Kdenlive repository listed as 500, while the priority of the default Linux Mint repository is listed at 700. Once you have fixed the priority and installed Kdenlive 0.9.10 the output of the command should look something like this:

 Installed: 0.9.10-0ubuntu0~sunab~trusty1
 Candidate: 0.9.10-0ubuntu0~sunab~trusty1
 Version table:
 *** 0.9.10-0ubuntu0~sunab~trusty1 0
 800 trusty/main amd64 Packages
 100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
 0.9.8-1ubuntu2~ubuntu14.04~ppa1 0
 700 rebecca/import amd64 Packages
 0.9.6-5ubuntu1 0
 500 trusty/universe amd64 Packages

To fix the priorities you need to add the relevant information into either official-extra-repositories.pref or official-package-repositories.pref located in the /etc/apt/preferences.d directory. Open your favourite editor and add the following lines (I used official-extra-repositories.pref):

Package: *
Pin: release o=LP-PPA-sunab-kdenlive-release
Pin-Priority: 800

To update the changes you then need to run:

apt-get update

Now that you have overridden the default repository you will be able to install or upgrade Kdenlive to the latest version from the Kdenlive repository by using either:

apt-get install kdenlive
apt-get upgrade kdenlive

Compared to Kdenlive 0.9.8 on Linux Mint 17.1 the latest version 0.9.10 is a massive improvement. When I started 0.9.8 it kept on crashing during the start-up wizard and even if I made it past that point I couldn’t even add a clip to the project without a crash. As soon as I upgraded to 0.9.10 I was able to quickly get a video together and had no bugs during the simple editing process.

Hopefully the Linux Mint and Kdenlive teams will sort out the software sources priority problem and enable us to get the latest Kdenlive version installed without the above manual steps.

Brother Laser Printers – Slow Printing on Linux

I’ve had my Brother MFC-7840N print very slowly each time I update my Linux Mint system to the latest release and configure the printer. Instead of trying to hit my head against the wall repeatedly I’ve decided it’s time to put the solution on my blog to help me and hopefully you the next time it happens.

The Brother drivers from the Brother website involve a bit of messing around to get everything installed with specific pre-requisites for different Linux distributions and a few files to download and install, especially if you are enabling scanning too. That’s not too bad, as the documentation is reasonably straight forward to follow and, hey, it’s better than no support!

The problem arises when you go through the process and select one of the drivers already provided in the Linux Mint distribution. The drivers do work, but they are painfully slow.

Here is what you probably saw when adding the printer in CUPS.

Brother Printer Driver Selection - Slow

If you were like me, you decided that one of those drivers with the right model name looks pretty good and you click on that. However, what you should have done is scrolled further down until you saw the following driver:


Once you have selected the above CUPS driver and finished the “adding a printer” process you should get something that looks like this in CUPS:


I don’t know why there are two drivers that look the same, but I just selected the first driver and it worked like a charm.

I’ve seen plenty of posts on forums about slow printing with Brother printers, but none seemed to point to this rather simple answer. Hopefully you have found this useful and now have your printer zooming along at full speed. If this post has helped you, please drop a comment below and tell everyone else what printer model you have so they know the same process will work for them.