Ubuntu/Linux Mint – Brother QL-800 Label Printer

Holy, this took a while.

First thing first, leave the USB off. When you first plug in the power, if the “Editor Lite” light is on, then hold the button until it turns off. Editor Lite causes it to mount as a mass storage device and not as a printer.

Next up, download the drivers from Brother’s website: https://support.brother.com/g/b/producttop.aspx?c=ca&lang=en&prod=lpql800eus or via my local mirror (ql800pdrv-3.1.5-0.i386.deb).

Install the usual way:

sudo dpkg -i ql800pdrv-3.1.5-0.i386.deb

This will add the drivers and add a new printer. If you get any /var/spool/lpd errors, try making the right directory ahead of time and re-install the deb file.

sudo mkdir -p /var/spool/lpd/ql800

Plug in that USB. Check in Printers or via the CUPS interface (http://localhost:631/printers/). The device URI should look something like usb://Brother/QL-800?serial=000W0H924252.

If you run into problems (check via dmesg or jounalctl -f), it could be a udev rule that you’re missing. Try adding a new udev rule, changing the Serial number (find that out via “dmesg | grep Serial” when first plugging the USB in).

sudo vi /etc/udev/rules.d/10-brother-printer.rules
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="04f9", ATTRS{idProduct}=="209e", ATTRS{serial}=="000W0H924252", MODE="0664", GROUP="lp", SYMLINK+="usb/lp0"

Then restart udev and cups:

sudo udevadm control -R
sudo service cups restart

If you’re installing some other Brother, the vendor code should be good but you’ll need to replace the Product ID (209e) with your own. You can find this out by running “lsusb” (check the bold for the product ID).

Bus 003 Device 019: ID 04f9:209b Brother Industries, Ltd QL-800 P-touch Label Printer

Bonus! Using brother_ql – the Python package to control your Brother printer from the command line

Download and install from the website https://pypi.org/project/brother-ql/.

This should add it to the path (if not, the binaries should be in ~/.local/bin/brother_ql)

This next part you’ll need to figure out. I am using DK-1201 labels which are 29mmx90mm. I created a sample.png file which was exactly 306×991 pixels for testing. So my command line looks like this:

brother_ql --backend pyusb --model QL-800 --printer 'usb://0x04f9:0x209b/000W0H924252' print -l 29x90 sample.png

Note the change in the USB string — replace those with your product ID (if not QL-800) and serial number.