Brother HL-2040

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This guide explains how to install a Brother HL-2040 laserjet printer using CUPS.

Note: If you already attempted (and failed) to install the driver in CUPS, remove it before proceeding with this tutorial.


This tutorial assumes you have already configured the CUPS printer server. There is plenty of existing information to get this working.

Download Brother HL-2040 drivers

Create a temp directory such as /home/username/brother

Download the RPM packages of the LPR driver (HERE) and the CUPS wrapper (HERE) and place them into your newly created temp dir

You may also download a ppd for HL-2040 from here. This one has the margins problem fixed.

Extracting the RPM files

You'll need to grab a script to extract the files from the RPM packages, so log in as root and execute:

# pacman -S rpmextract

Then extract both RPM files:

$ brhl2040lpr-2.0.1-1.i386.rpm
$ cupswrapperHL2040-2.0.1-1.i386.rpm

You should now have two sub-directories: usr and var

Editing files to make them work with Arch

Arch Linux uses its own filesystem hierarchy, so you must edit some files to match it. We'll assume you created the temp directory brother in your home directory as mentioned earlier. Use your favorite text editor (i.e. kate, gedit, or vi) and open


Replace all instances of /etc/init.d/ with /etc/rc.d/ Save and close

Next, edit:


Replace all instances of /etc/printcap.local with /etc/printcap Save and close

Now we're ready to copy the files to their respective places on our system (you'll need to be root for this)

# cp -r /home/username/brother/usr/* /usr
# cp -r /home/username/brother/var/* /var

Installing the driver and printer

Now let's run the installation script (again, as root):

# cd /usr/local/Brother/cupswrapper/
# ./cupswrapperHL2040-2.0.1

Upon completion the script will attempt to restart the CUPS daemon if it was running. Now browse to the CUPS server : http://localhost:631/

Under the Administration category, choose Manage printers. You should now see your HL2040 printer automatically installed and configured.

Print a test page and configure the printer settings to your liking.

Edit /etc/rc.conf

You will want to edit the /etc/rc.conf file to start cups on every reboot. Add cupsd to the daemon list.

Regional Settings

Make sure to set your printer preferences to match your region. For example, if you live in North America (Canada, US, Mexico) your paper size should be changed from the Default "A4" to "Letter". Sometimes this will be done automatically by your Desktop Environment (e.g. KDE) but it's worthwhile to check it yourself or the text on your pages won't align properly.

Alternate Method (foomatic)

NOTE: If you are having alignment issues using the standard HL 2040 driver, try this method or using the standard CUPS setup to select the 'Brother HL-2400CeN Foomatic/hl1250' driver.

Install Required Packages

pacman -S cups foomatic-db foomatic-db-engine foomatic-db-nonfree foomatic-filters

Edit /etc/rc.conf

You will want to edit the /etc/rc.conf file to start cups on every reboot. Add cupsd to the daemon list.

Start Cups

/etc/rc.d/cupsd start

Finish Installation from the KDE menu (Optional)

This assumes that you are:

  1. Using KDE
  2. Your printer is connected on LPT1 - parallel port.
Go to K menu -> settings -> printers
Click administrator mode
Enter root password
Click "add printer"
Click next
Choose local (top one)
Click next...the port should be lpt1
Click it... then next
.......builds database
Choose brother

Then the hlwerfjefja one we all know and love HL-2400CeN hl1250
Click next then test
Set dpi to 600, test again.
no banners... no quota... denied users... 
Give it a name
Click next
You should be done