New to BSD. Printing issues


Hi. I installed TrueOS Stable on my Lenovo T420 laptop. Works great. I’m new to BSD but have 20 years experience with Linux, mostly Debian. I tried to get my Brother MFC-J88DW network printer to work with TrueOS and failed. I copied the Debian PPD files to appropriate TrueOS locations and CUPS said it was successful when printing a test page. Nothing came from the printer. I conclude that this cheap printer does not speak PostScript natively and relies on the Linux kernel to work. I have located a printer that is listed in the database and shown in my TrueOS printer list. This printer offers IBM AIX and Sun Solaris drivers in addition to a Debian driver. If I buy this printer, which of these drivers would be of the most help for TrueOS? Thanks.


also look in AppCafe for a program called hplip.

its an hp gui


Thanks. hplip will help if I decide on an hp printer. I’m looking at a Lexmark printer and wondering if either Unix driver would be useful. Whatever I buy, I will have it installed on my Debian computers as well as the TrueOS laptop so will have access to the ppd files from the Debian install. I want to be able to move to TrueOS or other BSD if/when the Linux kernel becomes unusable as has been predicted.


my bad.

i found that linux ppd, should not matter. work sometimes, sometimes not.

Lexmark has been a notoriously windos printer, in the past.

Have you looked here?

or here


No problem. I sort through the Lexmark products listed as Linux/UNIX compatible. Then compare that list to the Lexmark list. Then, try to find a printer that hasn’t been discontinued and can still be purchased. Same routine for Brother but my concern is that most (all) Brother printers do not support PostScript. No problem with Linux but I’ve read that the Brother emulation requires kernel support. In my TrueOS system, I solved all the CUPS error messages when using Linux ppd, and CUPS now reports no errors when I try to print a test page, just said it was complete. The printer does not respond, however. Thanks again for your comments.


I prefer HP printers, for that reason.

good luck


Please look at
I have used it with a DPC-7030


you’ll need to install cmake.

can’t hurt to download and try and build it


Thanks for the suggestions. I will give it a try.


Built and installed brlaser without problem. Nothing from the printer when I tried a test page. Modified the printer in CUPS to be one of the printers which CUPS says is one that uses the brlaser driver. Tried the test page again and the CUPS reported “connected to printer”, the printer came alive, but nothing printed. The printer is a Brother MFC-J880DW, multifunction inkjet printer connected via Ethernet to my router. It works well with the several Debian 9.5 computers in the network after installing the Brother Debian installer packages in each machine. I’m still thinking of alternatives before I go buy a Lexmark cx310 or cx410. Thanks for all the help and advice.


My last suggestion is lpd Printing With FreeBSD from the well known user Warren Block.

The idea is to use a ghostscript filter as suggested in the Brother Support Site:
I’m using FreeBSD. Do you have a driver for FreeBSD?
We do not support FreeBSD. However generic Postscript/PCL driver can be used for Postscript or PCL compatible products.
If your product is a Laser product, you will be able to use the Ghostscript hl1250 driver or Ghostscript hl7x0 driver.”

My printer is shared by a Windows machine, the my /etc/printcap is:

$ cat /etc/printcap

If your printer is a network printer you must change the above file.
My filter is:

$ cat /usr/local/libexec/ps2hl 
/usr/local/bin/gs -dSAFER -dNOPAUSE -q -sDEVICE=hl1240 -sOutputFile=- -

Good Luck

Z600 installer screen won`t appear
Z600 installer screen won`t appear

Thank you, again. This was very interesting. I spent a lot of time in chat with Brother support and was told my printer (all Brother inkjets) do not support PS or PCL. I followed the instructions given in Warren Blocks’ document and I still can’t print. Of interest is this command didn’t print either: nc MFC-j880DW 9100 < file.txt The printer said it was receiving data for over 5 minutes but nothing came out The file was a single line of text.

Throw a print server running Windows or Linux, with Brother's 
proprietary print drivers installed, in front of the printer.
Configure your Trident desktop to print to the print server.

Conceivably the print server could run under VirtualBox or bhyve.

Or upgrade to a printer/scanner with an open print control language
or better yet handles PostScript or PDF natively.


Thanks for the suggestions. My preferred option is to buy a printer/scanner that is listed on and comes with Linux and UNIX install packages. I have a couple in mind but want to do some more research. I’m grateful for the help and suggestions from this community.


For what’s it worth.

I prefer HP devices. fairly simple to make them work


I’m not sure if the Ecosys from Kyocera is on, but they do list drivers for UNIX/LInux on their website. I bought one late last year, and I couldn’t be happier with it.