Printout alignment issues with Brother printers

Bug #187598 reported by Andreas Modinos on 2008-01-31
2
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
cupsys (Ubuntu)
Medium
Unassigned

Bug Description

Short summary: DCP-135C prints everything too much to the right, except the test pages which it prints correctly. Using with Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), printer set up with the official Brother drivers.

The whole story: Unfortunately I do not know which package to file this bug against. I'm not even perfectly sure it is a bug but given this is easy to reproduce I thought I could solve the problem if I had someone look at this who knows the internals of Linux printing better than I do.

The problem is this: when I print from any application (OpenOffice, Firefox, Evince...) the printed material is shifted towards the right side of the page. However if I print the CUPS test page it comes out just like it's supposed to. I have verified this using the alignmargins script from:
http://www.linux-foundation.org/en/OpenPrinting/Database/LPDDocumentation

So the system seems to have the printer properly figured out, but for what ever reason something is corrupted along the way, apparently in the communication between the applications and CUPS.

The printer I'm using is the Brother DCP-135C set up using the drivers from the Brother Linux Solutions website: http://solutions.brother.com/linux/sol/printer/linux/cups_drivers.html
If I understand correctly this printer uses an LPR driver for the actual print process and a wrapper driver for CUPS which I'm led to believe is what is used by default on Ubuntu. Why Brother couldn't just produce a CUPS driver is beyond me but I have a feeling this double-driver arrangement is the cause for all my recent head aches.

This is the thread on Ubuntu forums that I have on the subject:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=640615

Apparently this same problem exists also with other models from Brother so we have a chance to squash many issues in one run.

Here are the remedies that I've tried to apply:
* I've set /etc/papersize to A4
* I've modified the file brdcp130.ppd (so that A4 is always the default option) and uploaded it using:
lpadmin -p DCP-135C -E -v usb://Brother/DCP-135C -P /usr/share/ppd/brdcp130c.ppd
* I've checked the printer settings in both Gnome's utility and the CUPS configuration URL
* I've attempted to manipulate print offset properties using this page as a reference:
http://forums.linux-foundation.org/read.php?24,3042,3042,quote=1

None have had any effect on the printout alignment.
The Brother tech support person with whom I've been exchanging information with thinks I should have the printer replaced but seeing as the test pages come out perfectly fine I have a hard time believing this would be a hardware issue.

package hint: cupsys

Till Kamppeter (till-kamppeter) wrote :

Can you try the new Ubuntu packages of Brother's printer drivers presented in bug 25966? Does this driver solve your problem?

Changed in cupsys:
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Incomplete
Andreas Modinos (blueturtl) wrote :

Progress update.

I checked the following URL for which packages were required:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BrotherDriverPackaging

My model (DCP-135C) was attached to the following packages:
brother-lpr-drivers-extra
brother-cups-wrapper-extra

Packages for Gutsy available at http://upload.leservicetechnique.com/brother/gutsy/

At this time the brother-lpr-drivers-extra package however was unavailable so I downloaded the bh7 packages instead. I did this because DCP-130 is supported by those packages and apparently DCP-135 and DCP-130 are fairly similar (even the Brother official drivers are actually for DCP-130).

This however did not work. The printer will not function at all with these packages.
I would like to try again with the correct packages once those become fully available.

Andreas Modinos (blueturtl) wrote :

Today I tried with the correct packages and results follow:

* Installation of packages brother-lpr-drivers-extra and brother-cups-wrapper-extra went without a hitch.
* After powering up the printer it was correctly detected and configured.
* Printed test page and my CV, print quality excellent however there are still problems with the margins:
- while the CUPS test page was completely centered it appears that the bottom and top margins are not correct.
- my CV printed through OpenOffice is slightly on the left side of the page and it appears there is no top margin at all

I have posted attached a photo of the documents for reference.

Till Kamppeter (till-kamppeter) wrote :

Are you sure that your paper size is correctly set to A4? Both in the print queue configuration and in the page settings of your CV?

Andreas Modinos (blueturtl) wrote :

System->Administration->Printing

The printer options tab shows paper size A4.

Andreas Modinos (blueturtl) wrote :

I ran the 8.04 beta live cd, but my printer was incorrectly detected as DCP-2100 and would not print.
Are there any packages to try for the Hardy Heron (8.04) Beta release? I could help test those.

Andreas Modinos (blueturtl) wrote :

A solution finally!

I stumbled on this page via launchpad bug reports:
http://solutions.brother.com/linux/sol/printer/linux/printsetlpr.html

It appears the CUPS settings do not apply with Brother's own LPR driver so you have to use their special utility to set the paper size correctly.

I logged in as root using sudo -s and then entered the following command:

brprintconf_dcp135c -pt A4

This fixed print alignment for me (using Brother official drivers).

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