Brother MFC-9970CDW install in Linux Ubuntu

This procedure applies to networked or USB connected printers. Network printing with Brother MFC-9970CDW works great on * Linux (including Ubuntu 18.04 / 16.04) * Windows Subsystem for Linux

The Brother installer script automatically downloads and installs 4 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
    • “Input model name ->” mfc9970cdw
    • “Will you specify the Device URI? [Y/n] ”  y   (if networked)
    • Specify IP address
    • “Enter IP address” your 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 you accidentally installed brscan-skey, uninstall it with

      dpkg -r brscan-skey


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

      Scan documents in Linux

      apt install xsane
  • Xsane works on networked or USB connected scanners.
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux



  • ia32-libs will fail to install, this is normal and doesn’t affect anything.
  • to update scanner IP address:

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

    Native Windows

    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)