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Note: If you have another Scanner from Brother that works with these instructions, please update the "Other Models that work" section on the main page of this article with the model of your printer. This will help keep this section as clean as possible without adding clutter, and will still inform other users that your model works.


Setup MFC 420CN scanner drivers

Brother: Linux Sane Scanner Driver

First go to the web site linked above and you'll need to download the driver for your model MFC. There will be a chioce between a USB driver, and a Network driver. Choose the driver that you need.

Note: Depending on which MFC you have, you may have to choose either one of brscan, or brscan2. In my case I had to choose brscan2... The commands used are pretty close to being the same, but remember to use the proper command, either brsaneconfig, or brsaneconfig2, depending on which driver supports your MFC

Install the Sane driver

Make sure the file name matches the file that you downloaded. Install using rpm:

rpm -ivh --nodeps brscan2-0.2.4-0.x86_64.rpm

Note: First merging rpm-package with "emerge -a rpm", but that is not the Gentoo way! Use "rpm2targz" instead. This will prepare a bit (hopefully) upcoming ebuild for Gentoo.

Install using rpm2targz (convert, extract, copy extracted files):

rpm2targz brscan2-0.2.4-0.x86_64.rpm
tar xfzv brscan2-0.2.4-0.x86_64.tar.gz
cp -R usr /

Do manually some things that rpm would do on a RedHat machine:

echo "brother2" >> /etc/sane.d/dll.conf

Check the list of supported scanners

brsaneconfig2 -q

Please note the exact spelling of the model listed. You should take this opportunity to copy the model you have.

Configure MFC for ethernet access

This section is for those of you who have your MFC configured for network access.

Configure the MFC

brsaneconfig2 -a name=MFC420CN model=MFC-420CN ip=


echo " brother.mynetwork brother" >> /etc/hosts
brsaneconfig2 -a name=MFC420CN model=MFC-420CN nodename=brother

Ok... Now you can see that there are three options that need to be configure here.

Name can be whatever you want it to be. Model is the model that you copied from the prior command. And IP is the IP address you set in the MFC. (Read the MFC's manual to learn how to set the IP)

Check your configuration

brsaneconfig2 -q

It should say something like this at the end of the list

Configure MFC for USB

This section is for those of you who have your MFC configured for USB access.

Configure /etc/fstab

echo 'none /proc/bus/usb usbdevfs auto,devmode=0666 0 0' >> /etc/fstab
echo 'none /proc/bus/usb usbfs auto,devmode=0666 0 0' >> /etc/fstab

if you use libusb-0.1.12:

echo 'none /dev/bus/usb usbfs auto,devmode=0666 0 0' >> /etc/fstab

Modify the USB access control

umount /proc/bus/usb
mount /proc/bus/usb   # or "mount /dev/bus/usb" see above
mknod -m 666 /dev/usbscanner c 180 48

If so, then we need to install a scanner GUI

Emerge XSane

emerge -va xsane

When that is done fire xsane up, and scan something. Does it work? Great!!


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Last modified: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 08:36:00 +0000 Hits: 7,913