Brother HL-L2340D printer and lpd?

Victor Sudakov vas at
Sun May 3 18:47:12 UTC 2020

Polytropon wrote:
> On Mon, 4 May 2020 00:12:59 +0700, Victor Sudakov wrote:
> > Dear Colleagues,
> > 
> > I'm trying to use a Brother HL-L2340D printer as a simple networked
> > line printer with lpd. I've successfully used HP and Canon printers like
> > that with a simple printcap like this:
> > 
> > # by VAS
> > lp|Brother HL-L2340D series:\
> >         :sh:\
> >         :rp=TEXT_P1:\
> >         :rm=
> > 
> > but the story with Brother HL-L2340D is different. When fed some input 
> > with "lptest |lpr", it just spits out 3 empty pages. I've never seen
> > anything like that before.
> It's possible that your previous printers could understand
> regular (unformatted) ASCII text, but the new one doesn't.

I've never seen a network printserver (and I've seen a few) which would
not understand plain ASCII text. I did not even imagine that such an
abomination is at all possible.

It's true, I've heard about GDI winprinters with LPT interfaces,
but a networked printer? 

> > I'm wondering if someone has this printer and made it work as a line
> > printer.
> > 
> >  From the specification at
> >
> > it should support LPD.
> It's not a matter of supporting LPD - it's the question which
> printer language the printer can process. The default output
> format for programs is PS. According to the above specification,
> the printer does not understand PS. However, it supports PCL,
> and tools like gs (GhostScript) should be able to convert PS
> to PCL. This is what you need to send to the printer.

Indeed, it probably does not understand PostScript, though it does have
a PostScript queue for some reason.

But what's the point of running an LPD server on port 515/tcp and not
understanding ASCII text? LPD is an acronym of "Line Printer Daemon"
BTW. The text queue is here:

> I assume you're not using CUPS? In this case, a PPD file for
> this printer would probably be the easiest thing, but you can
> get around using CUPS of course.

No, I don't use CUPS, I think it's a monster.

> Maybe this example can help:
> First verify that the printer really understands PCL. You can
> use nc (netcat) to send it some data directly. If it works,
> instantiate a simple printer filter in /etc/printcap, for example:

Could you please generate a small one-page PCL file for me so that I
could test it? I suppose I should netcat it to the 9100 (raw) port, right?

Victor Sudakov,  VAS4-RIPE, VAS47-RIPN
2:5005/49 at fidonet
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