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Thread: Nothing Works For Installing Brother HL-2170W Laser Printer!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Unhappy Nothing Works For Installing Brother HL-2170W Laser Printer!!

    Sorry, can't wade through 408 pages this late at night. My problem is getting Ubuntu 8.04.1 to recognize and install my Brother HL-2170W Laser Printer which IS on the compatibility list!!

    When I look at the Documentation material on the official "Documentation for Unbuntu 8.04.1 LTS" page for the procedure to install my Brother printer, it doesn't work. Under "Printing" I click on "Local Printer," since this is the only printer or standalone one I have connected to my Acer Desktop PC via an Ethernet instead of USB cable.

    With my printer plugged in and powered on, it is NOT automatically detected! NO printer icon appears in the Notification Area (where is this??). Then, I attempt to follow the remaining directions, which are:

    1. Obtain the model name of your printer.
    2. Ensure the printer is turned on.
    3. Choose System → Administration → Printing
    4. Now choose New Printer.
    5. Your printer should be automatically detected. If so, simply click
    Forward and then Apply.
    6. Finally, you can enter in a description and location for your

    If your printer was not automatically detected, you can try to select the port and printer driver manually - where and how do I do this, since the above procedure doesn't work?? Some printers need further setup. Search the databases at or check the Ubuntu Wiki's Printer page for possible information on your printer. When I click on the link I am redirected to a page with the following URL: I click on the "Printers" button on the left-hand side of the page and fill in three fields from left to right that say: "Show" the "Brother" and finally "HL-2170W" which my laser printer make and model ARE.

    I am then sent to yet another page that says: "Brother HL-2170W
    BW laser printer, max. 2400x600 dpi, works Mostly
    Recommended driver: pxlmono (Home page, view PPD, download PPD)
    Generic instructions for: CUPS, LPD, LPRng, PPR, PDQ, no spooler." At this point, I just give up and have no idea what to choose or do any more.

    Can anybody help me or do I just uninstall Ubuntu, completely clean my one hard disk drive (160 GB SATA) and don't believe all the glowing praise and reports about/for Ubuntu's advantages??

    Craig B.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Exclamation Re: Nothing Works For Installing Brother HL-2170W Laser Printer!!

    I just installed mine, heres how.
    The file that you need to download is the .ppd (Postscript Printer Description) file.
    I got it from this page
    Press the download PPD button.

    Now that you have the file open the printing section and click "New printer"
    Select the HL-2170W printer on the left and hit forward.
    In the lower section it says "Provide PPD File" check that and browse to the file you just downloaded. Hit Forward.
    Name the printer, and if you want you can add a few optional descriptions.

    Click "Apply"

    To test the install click on the printer name, make sure that it is set as the default printer, and print a test page.

    If you run into problems, just post 'em here and I will see what I can do.
    Striker_XF35 (PM's might get a faster response, idk)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Pensacola, FL
    Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

    Re: Nothing Works For Installing Brother HL-2170W Laser Printer!!

    From your description it sounds like you might have the printer directly connected to the pc with an ethernet cable, as you would with a standard usb printer. if this is the case, it could be a lot of your issue. With a network printer, you need a network, and something that can issue I.P. addresses like a router. I was actually just having a similar problem, since for some reason I can't get the same printer to print from windows at the moment, but my Hardy laptop works like a charm now. Go figure.

    As well, please don't confuse "Ubuntu's advantages and glowing praise" with a lack of proper driver support by hardware manufacturers. Ubuntu(and linux as a whole) works very well as an operating system, and even better than Windows with many things. But with certain uncommon hardware types, or new or bleeding edge pieces, it takes a bit for someone(generally much smarter than I) to figure out how to make it work with the least amount of hassles for those of us trolling the Ubuntu forums for howto's on everything, which is generally what I end up doing. Good luck with the printer =D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Nothing Works For Installing Brother HL-2170W Laser Printer!!

    This thread is a life saver. Thanks Guys. Got my printer connected in less than 2 min!!!

    1. Brother HL-2170W printer was already setup via my router using Windows
    2. Went to and downloaded the file. Saved it on Desktop
    3. Went to System/Preference/Printer. Added one. Search for it and found it immediately. Pressed next.
    4. Asked for a PPD file. Just browsed for it. Then the set-up took a few seconds and that's it.

    I'm already printing as we speak!
    D201GLY2A SiS662; Celeron 220; Ubuntu Server 8.04 64bits
    A8V Deluxe; ATI Radeon 9550; AMD64 3800; Ubuntu 8.04 / XP
    GA-MA78GM-S2H; AMD LE-1620; Ubuntu 8.04 MythTV Front end
    Registered Linux User number 439576

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Re: Nothing Works For Installing Brother HL-2170W Laser Printer!!

    I tried the PPD file and the pages that I print says "PCL XL error"

    Error: IllegalTag

    I am using a USB cable

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Re: Nothing Works For Installing Brother HL-2170W Laser Printer!!

    I have not set up the printer using USB, but I can give you the best site I have at this point
    If you are able to get anything out of that then please try, if not shoot me a PM and once I reinstall GRUB I will try and set it up using USB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Re: Nothing Works For Installing Brother HL-2170W Laser Printer!!

    Follow the Brother Printer Guide here - Although it says Brother MFC210C, just find the right cups and lpr drivers from the brother website. It explains everything in detail and gives you the link to the brother drivers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Re: Nothing Works For Installing Brother HL-2170W Laser Printer!!

    i have a problem with the same printer, but mines didn't be recognized by the wireless router and i cant print wirelessly; altought few days ago i can i do not whats wrong with the printer any help?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Re: Nothing Works For Installing Brother HL-2170W Laser Printer!!

    While I don't know what is wrong with the printer from what you just said, I can tell you probably the easiest way to fix it.
    1. Reset the Printer- you can use the quoted instructions
    2. Setup the printer using the original instructions
    3. Have working printer, or post here with more details of your trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Support Website
    If you wish to reset the print server back to its default factory settings (resetting all information such as the password and IP address information), please follow these steps:

    Turn off the printer.
    Make sure that the front cover is closed and the power cord is plugged in.
    Hold down the Go button as you turn on the power switch. Keep the Go button pressed down until the Toner, Drum and Error LEDs light up. Release the Go button. Make sure that the Toner, Drum and Error LEDs are off.
    Press the Go button seven times. Make sure that all the LEDs light up to indicate the print server has been reset to its default factory setting.
    This was found at

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Re: Nothing Works For Installing Brother HL-2170W Laser Printer!!

    Hello, sorry to interrupt the thread but I am looking for a laser printer, preferably a (built-in) network version. It could be wireless.

    I am wondering if you would recommend this printer.

    I read some 'how-to's on how to set this particular printer up. I agree, the OpenPrinting website and Brother's site (i.e. Brother Solutions Center) are steps in the right direction.

    It seems quite a few procedures are needed to set up this printer for Ubuntu/Linux.

    I was wondering if a Samsung or Lexmark laser would be easier. However, I found the same model of Brother available for cheaper than the other two, although, it seems to need a bit of work to set up.

    If you already have this printer and have been using it for a while in Ubuntu, does it keep working? Are the drivers decent? Any issues? Would you recommend it to others?


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