Get Updates by Email

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Getting my Brother scanner / printer to work in Ubuntu

I'm sharing this because, like a lot of people who like Ubuntu, I tend to do fresh installs on old Windows computers that have become infected with viruses. As a matter of fact, I'd tried reinstalling Windows on some computers that I'd reformatted, using the serial number on the sticker at the back of the computer. They did not seem to work.

As a result, I've started salvaging those "virus-laden" computers at office and my own laptop from stagnating and becoming irrelevant. I installed Ubuntu. To make sure that I can print, I buy printers from printer manufacturers that have support for Linux. One such manufacturer is Brother. Their Linux drivers website is here.

My MFC printer / scanner / fax machine is the MFC 7360. I downloaded all the relevant DEB package files for 32-bit machines (mine is an old machine indeed). I followed all the instructions and even created a simple bash script to install DEB's.

for i in *.deb; do echo .; echo $i being installed; sudo dpkg -i --force-all $i; done

Basically this takes all the DEB's in the present directory and installs them one by one.

At the end of it, however, there was something important missing. The scanner could not be detected / connected by XSane. I did an "lsusb" to find out the connected devices and found that Brother's MFC 7360 was, indeed, connected. Its device was identified as "04f9:024d". (For the uninitiated, "lsusb" from the command line prints out the devices connected to the computer by USB. This includes thumb drives, printers, scanners, and everything else.)

Eventually I managed to find a page at the Ubuntu forums for another Brother scanner. A user "Plucky" had posted a solution:

From Here (

Ubuntu 9.10, 10.04, 10.10, 11.4, 11.10, 12.04

1. Open "/lib/udev/rules.d/40-libsane.rules" file.
2. Add the following two lines to the end of the device list. (Before the line "# The following rule will disable ..."):

The lines to be added---------------------------

# Brother scanners

ATTRS{idVendor}=="04f9", ENV{libsane_matched}="yes"

3. Restart the OS.

But it did not seem to be enough. Eventually I figured out the problem. The computer could identify Brother printers because of the Vendor ID, "04f9". However, it did not incorporate the entire "lsusb" output. I examined the "40-libsane.rules" file and observed that other entries made reference to "idProduct". I thought to myself, "Aha! Maybe that's where the "04f9:024d" should be used.

This made it work. So if you happen to have an MFC 7360 that you want to get working with Ubuntu, edit the 40-libsane.rules file and put in these lines:
# Brother scanners
ATTRS{idVendor}=="04f9", ATTRS{idProduct}=="024d", ENV{libsane_matched}="yes"

Thanks Ubuntu for making a great OS. Thanks, Plucky for your effort. And thanks to Brother for making a great printer.


Lai Hee Song said...

I read your posting and I finally found help. I have mfc 7360 but tried everything to install into ubuntu 12.04 (may have tried all the wrong things) it did not works. I am on the verge of giving up and I found you. Can you show me how to make it work as my computer literacy is low.My email is