You have a number of Windows machines on a network and want to share your QL550 Label printer through a linux box used as a printer server.
Brother® offers a small network appliance that connects through USB to a QL550 and allows sharing of the device on a network.
Configuring the server
We're not going through the installation process of Fedora or any recent linux distribution you usually uses.
You will need, on top of your minimum package set for your distribution, the following services up and running:
Make sure these services are running. On Fedora/RedHat one way of doing it from the command prompt is:
chkconfig --levels 235 cups on
chkconfig cups-lpd on
service cusps start
Note: if you are using a firewall on this machine, don't forget to open incoming connections to TCP/UDP ports
Now, here I assume that you have installed a desktop Manager like Gnome or KDE on your server and that you have access to it to configure the server.
Log in your graphical environment and then plug you QL550 and switch it on.
Now open your web-browser and point it to
Click on Manage Printers then add printer:
Choose the correct device the printer is connected to: USB printer #X, or you can scroll down to the
Complete the remaining steps and you should now have your printer installed as such:
Now we should be done!
Remote access setup
This is ideal if the PC you use does not need the burden of loading a fully bloated graphical environment or if you don;t want to tie up a keyboard and monitor to your server and use it as a netwrok appliance.
On each Windows machine on your network, add the printer as a local printer for which you will create a new standard TCP/IP port with the following information (change the IP address to whatever your print server's):
Then use the driver provided on the QL550 CD to complete the installation process.
This will ensure that the driver will not assume that Windows is managing multiple copies and will force the driver to output them.
Note: if you can't locate the driver itself on the CD provided by Brother®, just attempt to install the printer once as if it was localy connected, then remove the newly created printer and add it the way we did it above.
Alternative Windows setup
Instead of using LPD for printing, CUPS recommend using IPP, the Internet Printing Protocol.
Basically when creating the printer, all you have to do is to add the printer as a network printer, then enter
If you have setup CUPS with some print authorisation, you will be asked to enter the username/password for the account used on the linux box to print (you won't be asked anything if you haven't set it up) and the printer will be added normally.
I still prefer to use the older LPD protocol in my case as the IPP implementation on Windows is not as robust and not as available as creating a TCP/IP port.
If everything seems fine but the labels are not printing and when inspecting the cups error log
Ian Blackwood contacted me recently regarding an issue he had with the QL550 and using Novell iPrint.
Under the printer's "Ports" tab in Windows 2000 there is a checkbox "enable bidirectional support". Unchecking (clearing) this stops the Brother driver from putting up its own little pop-up progress dialog.
I disabled bidirectional at the sending end, and (just to stop the annoying pop-up) at the printing end.
I thought I had set the sending end to print direct too, but when showing the config to the person who is supposed to be setting it up we found I had it set to spool then print...... yet it worked !
And to add another point - on WinXP we found that it automatically disabled bidirectional support - maybe it figured out it was a one way channel all by itself ! :-)
So just to summarize my setup again:
Another interesting thing - when I was testing LPR to LPR I found that creating a printer and adding an LPR port you don't get Byte Counting anymore. Strange - I remember it being as per your screen capture on Server, maybe Pro is different !
If you add as a "Standard TCPIP Port" and later on choose LPR you can get Byte Counting (amongst others).
You can read Ian's original thread on Novell's forums.