Setting up UNIX lp on Debian9 for Brother HL-D5470DW laser printer

The Brother HL-D5470DW already has IPP network protocol set up. But this article is for the ordinary UNIX lp “feed print job to print daemon” and said Brother printer.

Configuration File

Edit the /etc/printcap file:

vim /etc/printcap

Add the following entry to the /etc/printcap file:

# /etc/printcap: printer capability database. See printcap(5).
# You can use the filter entries df, tf, cf, gf etc. for
# your own filters. See /etc/, /etc/filter.pcl and
# the printcap(5) manual page for further details.

# Key   Replaced By
# %P    printcap entry primary name (printer)
# %Q    queue requested
# %h    short host name (host)
# %H    fully qualified host name (host.dns.whatever)
# %R    remote printer (rp value)
# %M    remote host (rm value)
# %D    date in YYYY-MM-DD format

# Replace `rm=` value with IP address of Brother printer
# Add `|lp` to first field to make this your default printer, 
#    if more than one exists.

rlp|lp|Remote printer entry:\
        :cm=Dungeon printer:\

Logging File

Then create a log file:

touch /var/log/lpd-errs

Who Can Use This Printer

To allow non-root user(s) to use the printer, add that user name to the lp group in /etc/group.

Edit the /etc/group:

vigr -g

The vigr command will use the editor that your EDITOR environment is set to otherwise fallback to nano.

Scroll down to the row containing the lp entry.


Note: If more than one user are being added, separate them by a comma symbol.

And add name of user account at the end of lp:x:7: row:


Exit editor and save.

Final Step

Log out of the desktop or terminal account and re-login to make effective the new lp group into the authorized user account(s).

Try it out by printing the file:

unix2dos < /etc/hosts | lp -d rlp