Posted by: reformedmusings | June 3, 2017

Getting the Brother HL-2280DW Scanner to Work in Kubuntu 17.04

If Linux has a weak spot, it’s scanner support. The system that supports scanners doesn’t appear to get a lot of love. There’s a basic support system called SANE – Scanner Access Now Easy, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. At least not for every scanner.

First, I downloaded the drivers from Brother, which provides excellent Linux support. Before installing the drivers, read the instructions from Brother. No kidding, read the instructions, especially the settings changes required. After you’ve done all that and rebooted, the scanner still won’t be found by the system.

That’s because apparently Brother hasn’t caught up with the latest 64-bit Linux directory structure. I found this helpful forum thread which contained a host of suggestions. You can read through the thread to see what worked for folks, but I suggest copying the /usr/lib64/sane files to /usr/lib/sane as the most important step for the system mods suggested:

sudo mkdir /usr/lib/sane
sudo cp /usr/lib64/sane/* /usr/lib/sane/

Although I made all the changes suggested throughout the thread, I’m not convinced that the rest of them made any difference except one other.

Kubuntu apparently doesn’t load the necessary USB library by default. You need to install libusb-0.1-4 yourself:

sudo apt-get install libusb-0.1-4

That last step is what got Kubuntu to recognize my Brother scanner. In fact, I even got the scan key on the scanner to work with the driver from Brother. Be aware, though, that the scan key only works with GIMP, which I use a lot anyway.

Now my scanner works perfectly. It took some effort, but it was worth it.



  1. Warning: there’s a typo in your commands. The directory should be /usr and not /user.

    • Thanks! I will fix it when I get a chance.

  2. Typo fixed in multiple places. Thanks again for pointing it out!

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