Brother MFC-9970CDW on Linux

This procedure applies to networked or USB connected printers. Network printing with Brother MFC-9970CDW works great on Linux and Windows Subsystem for Linux. The Brother installer script automatically downloads and installs necessary programs. Opt out of the last program brscan-skey, as it’s unnecessary.

  1. Download Brother MFC-9970CDW driver.

    apt install cups
    mkdir -p /var/spool/lpd/mfc9970cdw
    gunzip linux-brprinter-installer-*.gz
    bash linux-brprinter-installer*
    • Windows Subsystem for Linux: save to c:\temp → WSL Terminal: cd /mnt/c/temp → steps above
  2. “Input model name ->” mfc9970cdw

  3. “Will you specify the Device URI? [Y/n] ”  y   (if networked)

  4. “Specify IP address”: “Enter IP address” the static IP printer address

  • BRscan: YES allows xsane for Brother MFC9970CDW.
  • BRsaneconfig: YES xsane scanner over the network
  • BRscan-Skey: NO don’t install. Don’t need to press a key on the scanner to go to my laptop, because of potential security risks.

If accidentally installed brscan-skey, uninstall with

dpkg -r brscan-skey

As usual, manage/check printer from CUPS by pointing your PC web browser to localhost:631

Scanning documents in Linux in typically done with Xsane, which works on networked or USB connected scanners.

apt install xsane


To update scanner IP address:

brsaneconfig4 -a name=MFC-9970CDW model=MFC-9970CDW ip=yourIPaddress

For native Windows (not using Windows Subsystem for Linux), download driver that is about 15-20 MB and add the MFC-9970CDW by IP address and choose “have disk”, pointing to the folder where you extract the drivers files to (e.g. C:\brother9970)