Double sided printing no longer possible on brother mfc-9970-cdw

Any ideas why this does not work anymore ?

On the printer itself, via the lcd display, I see that it is set on long edge binding.
In cups settings, and in kde settings/printers, it is also set for long edge binding.

When I want to print something, in Okular, document viewer and LibreOffice, double sided printing is greyed out.

I would try deleting the printer and adding it back in CUPS management (localhost:631 in your browser)

No luck.
I deleted the printer in cups, deleted and re-installed the driver, then reboot printer and pc, but no change.

How about in CUPS-Administration-Manage Printers then
click on the Printer name-Then Administration radio button-Set Default-Options-under General-Two Sided

I venture a guess - since you have set 2-side print on printer - it will default to this setting - and thus the setting from the driver is conflicting or irrelevant.

You can access your printers control panel using a web browser - it’s easier than fiddling with the tiny control panel but using cups web interface should work as well


In cups two sided printing is set to long edge binding.

On the printer, double sided printing is on as well, but in all the applications (Libre office, Okular, Document viewer, …) that allow me to print a document, the option to print double side is greyed out.

I have to assume it has worked - at least from your subject title - no longer possible - so one ponder why it has worked.

The print properties available in any interface on whether an app or cups webinterface is controlled by the installed driver so the ppd file must have changed or it was not entirely correct which only manifest at some point when something print related is updated.

I don’t know where your driver compes from - but a quick peek in AUR reveals brother-mfc-9970-cdw version 1.1.1-5 - this version is listed as the current version on brother’s support web.

Is it safe to assume this is a package build on your system?

brother-mfc-9970-cdw from aur, is indeed the driver I installed, and double sided printing used to work in the past.

I think you have to go over the pacman log so see if something cups related has changed.

You can use Pamac - in the hambuger menu click view history.

Use the search function - try keyword like - and observe a date around the time where it stopped working - even then it may be earlier - depending on how often you use the printer

  • cups
  • gutenprint
  • foomatic

It has been a long while since I used double sided printing, so this could be searching for a needle in a haystack I think.
Re installing the things you mentioned makes no difference either.

In the mean time, I uninstalled the AUR brother-mfc-9970cdw driver, and installed the driver from the Brother support site.
They provided an install script that requires dpkg to be installed, and after I installed dpkg, it installed the driver, and it worked,
but double sided printing remains grayed out in libre office and other office applications.

dpkg is the debian package manager and using it is not encouraged as it - perhaps not with a simple package like this - create hard to troubleshoot issues - and it will place files untracked by pacman in /usr - which will create file conflicts if you decide to rebuild the driver from AUR.

So - no changes to the better I assume

Indeed, same behaviour as before.

From what I can tell, the only way to change the duplex settings is via root access in system-config-printer. Whatever you set there is not the default, but the fixed setting. If anyone knows a way to make duplexing a default setting rather than a locked down setting, I’d love to know how to do it. It is a pain having to set the global printer options every time I want to print in the opposite method.

Can you tell me how to change this as root, what files need to be edited as root to make 2 sided printing no longer locked down ?
Or do I have to create a direct root account on my system, and then as root use the system settings application to change it ?

With my printer (epson) it depends on the type of paper selected whether double-sided printing is possible or not.

Maybe you have some other setting in the way that you changed without knowing that it would have an impact on double-sided printing.