How to install 32-bit Brother drivers on 64-bit Ubuntu 13.10 or later?

by James Fu   Last Updated July 14, 2018 03:02 AM

The prerequisite for installing Brother's official linux drivers includes ia32-libs or lib32stdc++. Running sudo apt-get install ia32-libs on 13.04 and earlier fulfils this. However, ia32-libs was removed in 13.10. Running sudo apt-get install ia32-libs under 13.10 results in:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Package ia32-libs is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
However the following packages replace it:
  lib32z1 lib32ncurses5 lib32bz2-1.0

E: Package 'ia32-libs' has no installation candidate

How do I install the 32-bit drivers on my 64-bit 13.10 installation?



Answers 3


Run sudo apt-get install gcc-4.8-base:i386 libgcc1:i386 libc6:i386 to resolve dependancies and subsequent instructions to install Brother's official drivers should just work.

James Fu
James Fu
October 19, 2013 06:48 AM

An easier solution on 13.04 64bit and probably from 12.10 onwards (at least for a MFC-7420 and similar connected by USB):

I used Synaptic Package Manager, however installing with apt-get is simply just apt-get install packagename or with Ubuntu Software Center type in the packagename

In Synaptic, "Quick Filter" type brother, then right-click "Mark for Installation" the following packages:

  • brother-lpr-drivers-laser
  • brother-cups-wrapper-laser
  • brother-lpr-drivers-common

Once installed, go to System Settings, then Printers. Click Add Printer, with the Brother printer in Devices and click Forward.

Select "Provide PPD file" and browse to /usr/share/ppd/Brother/ and select your printer ppd file. In my case "MFC7420.ppd". The click Forward, then Apply.

Print a Test Page, to be sure it works ...

This basic procedure could be used for a network model as well.

Larry Wilson
Larry Wilson
November 11, 2013 12:32 PM

2018-07-13 Updated Solution

Though this an old question, it and its answers provided the clues necessary for me to enable CUPS printing from a 64-bit OS via WiFi to a Brother MFC-J870DW.

The 32-bit support libraries necessary to run the 32-bit Brother drivers on a 64-bit Debian-based system have been changed, so the files referred to in the question and James Fu and Larry Wilson's answers are no longer in the repository.

The following steps got me to the correct libraries and successful printing...

First, try to install the meta package which will fail but will list the current libraries that replace it. Doing this first may get you the then-current library names if they change again in the future..

[email protected]:/# apt-get install ia32-libs
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Package ia32-libs is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
However the following packages replace it:
  lib32z1 lib32ncurses5

Now install those two libraries...

[email protected]:/home/alpha# apt-get install lib32z1 lib32ncurses5
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  lib32tinfo5 libc6-i386
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  lib32ncurses5 lib32tinfo5 lib32z1 libc6-i386
0 upgraded, 4 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 3,084 kB of archives.
After this operation, 12.4 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Get:1 http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stretch/main amd64 libc6-i386 amd64 2.24-11+deb9u3 [2,597 kB]
Get:2 http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stretch/main amd64 lib32tinfo5 amd64 6.0+20161126-1+deb9u2 [299 kB]
Get:3 http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stretch/main amd64 lib32ncurses5 amd64 6.0+20161126-1+deb9u2 [99.4 kB]
Get:4 http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stretch/main amd64 lib32z1 amd64 1:1.2.8.dfsg-5 [88.6 kB]
Fetched 3,084 kB in 0s (4,391 kB/s)
Selecting previously unselected package libc6-i386.
(Reading database ... 123518 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../libc6-i386_2.24-11+deb9u3_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking libc6-i386 (2.24-11+deb9u3) ...
Selecting previously unselected package lib32tinfo5.
Preparing to unpack .../lib32tinfo5_6.0+20161126-1+deb9u2_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking lib32tinfo5 (6.0+20161126-1+deb9u2) ...
Selecting previously unselected package lib32ncurses5.
Preparing to unpack .../lib32ncurses5_6.0+20161126-1+deb9u2_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking lib32ncurses5 (6.0+20161126-1+deb9u2) ...
Selecting previously unselected package lib32z1.
Preparing to unpack .../lib32z1_1%3a1.2.8.dfsg-5_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking lib32z1 (1:1.2.8.dfsg-5) ...
Setting up libc6-i386 (2.24-11+deb9u3) ...
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.24-11+deb9u3) ...
Setting up lib32z1 (1:1.2.8.dfsg-5) ...
Setting up lib32tinfo5 (6.0+20161126-1+deb9u2) ...
Setting up lib32ncurses5 (6.0+20161126-1+deb9u2) ...
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.24-11+deb9u3) ...

Now use the CUPS management utility to setup the printer as usual. For newbies, unlike most other setup wizards, the cupsd daemon runs a small local webserver and the wizard is implemented as a series of web pages. To start it...

As root... start your browser and point it to local port 631. For example...

firefox localhost:631

The rest of the setup is outside the scope of this question.

DocSalvager
DocSalvager
July 14, 2018 02:59 AM

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