Ubuntu Brother Printer-Scanner Network Setup

How to Setup Brother MFC-6490CW Network Printer with Ubuntu

  1. Configure your router to reserve a static IP address for your printer. This way your computer will always know which address to contact the printer on.
    Here's a rough guide on how to do that: http://lifehacker.com/5822605/how-to-set-up-dhcp-reservations-so-you-never-have-to-check-an-ip-address-again
    Make a note of your printer's IP address.

  2. Find out if your system is 32-bit or 64-bit.
    Run uname -m
    If the response is 'x86_64' you're running 64-bit, if it's something like 'i686' you're running 32-bit.

  3. Download driver packages appropriate to your system.
    Brother drivers for Linux

  4. 32-bit Ubuntu
    On 32-bit system double-click the .deb packages to install.


    64-bit Ubuntu
    On 64-bit system use the command line:

    sudo mkdir /var/spool/lpd 
    sudo dpkg -i --force-all mfc6490cwlpr-1.1.2-2.i386.deb
    sudo dpkg -i --force-all mfc6490cwcupswrapper-1.1.2-2.i386.deb
  5. The driver will have added a listing for the printer on the assumption that it is plugged in with USB (usb:/dev/usb/lp0).
    Delete this entry from Ubuntu printer utility before continuing.

  6. In Ubuntu printer utility, click the 'add printer' button. Under 'Enter device URI' enter your printers IP address with the LDP protocol eg. lpd://

  7. Under 'Select driver from database' select Brother as manufacturer then click next and find MFC-6490CW CUPS in the model list (it's easy to spot as it's usually the only one with CUPS on the end).
  8. If Network connections are operational you should be able to print a test page successfully.

Getting a Brother MFC scanner working via the network with 64 bit Ubuntu and Linux Mint

This is tested and known to work with MFC-J415W, MFC-8880DN and MFC-6490CW on Ubuntu 11.10 - 12.10 and Linux Mint 12 - 13.

  1. First get the brscan3 package, which installs the brsaneconfig3 tool:

    brscan3 32-bit deb package
    brsane3 64-bit deb package

    or check for updated packages here

  2. Double-click on the package to install
  3. Then (critical bit) create these links - for some reason the 32 bit and 64 bit compatibility scripts have fallen down here (probably due to the non-standard nature of the Brother deb packages):

    sudo ln -sf /usr/lib64/libbrscandec3.so* /usr/lib

    sudo ln -sf /usr/lib64/sane/libsane-brother3.so* /usr/lib/sane

  4. Then define the scanner on your system (note, no spaces allowed in the values assigned... and capitalisation seems important) - to find the IP you might need to go to the scanner, hit "Menu" and find the network TCP/IP settings.

    brsaneconfig3 -a name=BrotherScanner model=MFC-6490CW ip=Your-printer-IP

    This should result in a scanner definition - confirm it here (should be at the bottom of the list in a separate section, probably number 0) (Note: it creates a signature for the device in /usr/local/Brother/sane/brsanenetdevice3.cfg - you can check it here to make sure it's right...):

    brsaneconfig3 -q

  5. If that doesn't do it, you might need to add your user to the "scanner" group. Check the groups you're in by running


    at the command line when you're logged in. If you add yourself to the new group, you'll have to run "newgrp" or log out and in again to get the group membership to take effect.

    If you mess up, you can remove any of them with

    brsaneconfig3 -r [name you entered above]





Anonymous - Sun, 11/08/2013 - 08:36


It has started to work on my 12.04LTS and T60p laptop with MFC-6490CW in 5minutes. Software Center has announced all packages with Quality warning, ut it works fine now.

Linux Mint 16, note that the drivers as of 5/6/2014 at the "latest drivers here" link are ending in "4" instead of "3" now. Just replace "3" with "4" in the steps above and it works great! I am using wireless function, scanning over wifi. Pretty nice.

Egbert-Jan Holleman - Wed, 06/08/2014 - 21:21


In fact Brscan3 is for the MFC-6490CW printer and others, library-names end with 3.
In fact Brscan4 is for the MFC-8810DW printer and others, library-names end with 4.

Clark, no offence! Just like you I want to help. ;)

Roger Reeves - Sat, 30/08/2014 - 17:21


I have followed this setup procedure for Linuxmint 17 (64-bit) with it being Ubuntu based and now have the printer working fine.
But can I get the scanning facility to work? - not a chance - so far. So can someone please help?
I have downloaded and installed from the Brother (UK) website all the relevant packages. The scanner definition is correct and so is the IP addr' but there is no me in the scanner users when I run id. In fact no scanner listed. The output being:
uid=1000(roj) gid=1000(roj) groups=1000(roj),4(adm),24(cdrom),27(sudo),30(dip),46(plugdev),108(lpadmin),111(sambashare)
I've looked around other forums without success, but as this forum worked for me with the printer side, then hopefully someone will have the answer to this scanner problem.
Many thanks and regards in advance.

John Larkworthy - Sat, 31/10/2020 - 14:28


This is an old printer/scanner now so I was surprised at how easy it was to restore operation after I upgraded my OS to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
Thanks for the clear guidance.

Works fine also on my debian stretch. For some reason it detects the USB connection as well now but only the network device scans. Thanks a lot.

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