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

  5. “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 localhost:631

Scanning documents in Linux in typically done with Xsane, which works on networked or USB connected scanners. On Windows Subsystem for Linux, only networked scanners will work and Xsane needs X11 for WSL

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)