Is There A Means Or A Way To Speed Up The Longer Than Normal Print Wait Times Between My Brother MFC-7820N Multi-Function Printer And Linux Ubuntu v.11.10 64-Bit Operating System? If So, How?

Hello. I am using Linux Ubuntu v.11.10 64-bit. I have a couple of questions to ask you regarding issues with the printing from my Linux Ubuntu v.11.10 64-bit operating system and my multi-function printer (Brother MFC7820N)?

When I successfully installed my Linux Ubuntu v11.10 64-bit operating system I cannot recall exactly what happened, but I know my Ubuntu operating system automatically (no intervention from me) and successfully installed the drivers 'exactly' for this particular Brother multi-function printer so basically did nothing to install the drivers for it. If I go to “System Settings...” -> “Printing” I can see in the “Printing – localhost” window my printer (“MFC-7820N”) with a green check mark in the upper left corner to signify the driver is accepted and fine. So all well and dandy!

Now, this issues:

A. Firefox on Linux Ubuntu & Firefox Plus 4 Other Popular Web Browsers on Windows 7:
When I print from Firefox (Ubuntu's default browser) a webpage, I have 'to wait' all random times for the webpage to begin to print the very first page through the Brother MFC-7820N printer. It can be (but 'very' rare) to print ‘instantly’ from the moment I click “Print” in the “Print “ window of the Firefox webpage I wish to print. Other times it can take up to and even over 1 minute from the time I click “Print” to the moment the first webpage is printed – not uncommon. Now, I am talking 1-3 webpages on average that I may print. On my Windows 7 64-bit operating system, when printing webpages, I do not have this kind of wait from any of my latest web browsers like Firefox v.11, Internet Explorer 9, Google Chrome v.18.0, Opera v.11.60, or Safari v.5.1.2. From these web browsers, I may have to 3-5 seconds for a maximum wait time until the first page from the Brother MFC-7820N prints its first page for say a total of 10 physical hard copy pages to be printed.

B. LibreOffice on Ubuntu & Microsoft Word 2007/2010 on Windows:
Also, I will say that at times, I will have to wait all different random times for the first document page from LibreOffice Writer (v.3.4.4) document to print as well on Linux Ubuntu. It can be 10-20 seconds to print out at times a 2-3 page document. In contrast to printing webpages from Firefox on Linux Ubuntu, document pages from LibreOffice on Linux Ubuntu generally print 'sooner' that printing webpages from Firefox. Contrasting to Microsoft Office Word 2007 or 2010 versions -- obviously only compatible with Windows operating systems (So I cannot compare Microsoft Word 2007/2010 on a Linux Ubuntu operating system), on Windows I have Word document print within 1 second once I click “OK” in Word’s “Print” window.

C. LibreOffice on Windows:
Using the LibreOffice version for Windows I have installed on my Windows 7 64-bit operating system;  the document page will print out within 1 second once I click “Print” on the “Print” window. This is a stark contrast to LibreOffice Linux Ubuntu distribution version on Linux Ubuntu.

Bottom Line & Questions:

1. It is obvious -- So why the longer wait delays in printing from my Brother MFC-7820N on Linux Ubuntu operating system regardless of the program than from Windows operating system programs? Please explain.

2. Is there a means or a way to speed up the longer than normal print wait times between my Brother MFC-7820N multi-function printer and Linux Ubuntu v.11.10 64-bit operating system? If so, how? Please explain.

Please reply.

Thank you!
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

How is the printer connected to the PC, via USB Network, or Network Share? Have you checked whether Printing is speeded up when you print when it is directly attached via USB?

If it prints faster that way, then you are probably normally printing to it using a network share via a Windows PC, and that can slow things down, as the job first needs to go to the Windows PC. Since you didn't have to do anything to setup the printer I assume that is what is happening, as shared printers are automatically picked up by new Linux versions, while printers that have an internal NIC usually aren't automatically picked up.

So if you want to print directly to the printer via it's NIC, you will have to manually set it up via your Webbrowser and the Cups Control Panel. Just open a web-browser and enter in the address bar. Then in administration select "Add Printer". You'll probably be asked for your logon info (username and password). Then select "AppSocket/HP JetDirect". Now under Connection enter Socket://IPAdressOfPrinter:Port (The port is usually 9100 like in the example, but check the Printer's manual to confirm this). After that select Continue, and then enter the details for your Printer, Like it's name, location etc., and then click on "Continue". When done select the manufacturer from the list, and then again "Continue". Now you should get a whole list of printers from your manufacturer, including some of your particular model. First try the Foomatic/Postscript driver and then finish the printer setup and check if it is better. If not, try the other driver, BR-Script.
@rindi has a good point - if the printer is USB-attached to the Windows machine, and the Linux box is accessing it over the network, they will behave differently.  Windows will assume that it has complete control over the printer, so as soon as the first page of its output is ready, it will be sent to the printer - while that page is printing, further pages will be processed and sent to the printer as they are finished.

For remote connections (such as from your Linux box), the entire data file has to be received by the printing machine before it sends any of it to the printer.  This is partly so that if one program is sending a 100-page document over a really slow phone line to the printer, and another is just sending one quick page over a local network, the single page can print without waiting for the big slow document to finish processing.  Once all 100 pages have been received by the printing machine, it can send them to the printer as fast as it can.

So, the question is - once the printer has started printing the first page from the Linux machine, do further pages in that same print request come quickly?

By the way, this probably applies even if the printer is attached by USB directly to the Linux machine - Linux is designed from the start as a multi-user multi-program system, so several programs could initiate print requests at once - if you printed each page as soon as it was finished, pages would be interleaved from separate print requests.  The only ways to make it work are to lock the printer as soon as the first page from one source is printed, so that other sources have to wait, or to wait until a print request is complete before it prints any of it.  Linux normally uses the second solution.  Windows, as a single user system, assumes that only one source is printing, so it can use the "print the first page as soon as it is ready" solution.
BazingerooAuthor Commented:
@ rindi & simon3270:

Hello again. Nice to see you both again.

Thank for both your comments. You have both done a great job explaining some interesting scenarios between printers, USB networks, network shares, NIC, Cups Control Panel, etc. Thank you! Always a learning lesson for me with Linux/Debian/Ubuntu systems since I am a rather newbie!

First, I really need and want to give some hardware setup background as I see this 'IS' pertinent to this issue and provides further clarity to this issue – I see I REALLY DO need to as they say, 'clear the air' since I see you were making some assumptions yourself based on what I originally posted without some specific hardware setup details from me:

For this particular issue, the hardware involved includes a desktop/tower PC, a USB cord, and my Brother MFC-7820N since the beginning of the clean install of my Linux Ubuntu. My Windows 7 64-bit operating system was installed on a SEPARATE hard drive on its won partition; likewise at a later time, I did the same for my Ubuntu v.11.04 64-bit operating system too. They do NOT share any booting process. The way I switch between these two operating systems is that I do by boot device priority via the BIOS at BIOS booting that precedes  either BIOS selected operating systems booting up.

Therefore there is ONLY ONE operating system at a time running -- no sharing with any routers or servers. There is NO network like a home or business network. Each operating system runs independently with the printer. There is ONLY ONE user account established on both my Windows 7 and Linux Ubuntu operating systems. There is a USB cord that connects from the desktop computer's rear USB port (off motherboard's rear connector ports) 'directly to' the Brother MFC-7820N multi-function printer.

Yes, I know I just said Linux Ubuntu 'v.11.04' 64-bit. I did a distribution upgrade to v.11.10 not too long ago. Now, I 'assumed' when I clean installed my Linux Ubuntu v11.04 that Linux Ubuntu HAD   MY DRIVERS for my multi-function printer ALREADY AVAILABLE. It could be possible that these very printer drivers are INHERENT to the Ubuntu v.11.10 64-bit platform.

I will add, I did check those two boxes on the Ubuntu setup screen when I did the clean install. I recall that these two check boxes pertain to finding the latest drivers and updates 'WHILE' the install was occurring. It is 'possible' that the printer drivers were possibly installed at that time accounting for the 'automatic' printer driver installed while I was doing a clean Ubuntu install. I 'think' I recall having my Brother multi-function ON (not doing anything) in the background with the USB directly connected to my desktop computer WHILE I was clean install with the Linux Ubuntu. This 'could of' made Ubuntu search for compatible printer drivers for my Brother multi-function printer.

Bottom line: Whether those printer drivers for my Brother multi-function printer has some native drivers that Canonical has approved and installed (whether inherent to the original Ubuntu install disc or an online update in some manner during the install) making it 'automatic' to print is possible. Basically, a rather 'simple' case scenario here.

I need to answer another one of your questions regarding the fact the frequency and consistently of multipage printing... ...that is if I have more than one page to print, does the multi-function printer keep printing after the lag time for the first printing? Answer: No. It is absolutely and completely random. For example: i am printing 10 pages. I will get the first page to print in 32 seconds, page 2 to print 13 seconds later, pages 3-4 to print 26 seconds later, page 5 to print 1 minute 30 seconds later, page 6-8 to print in 3 seconds later, page 9 to print 38 seconds later, and page 10 to print 21 seconds later. Yes, totally and completely random. Next time I try to print the SAME 10 pages AGAIN, I would get another completely set of timed per page printing session.

On my Brother MFC-7280N multi-printer unit, it has a backlit LCD display. It states while the printing is occurring that the unit is "Receiving data..." the whole time as pages are randomly and completely being printed.              

With this added and clarified information... ...Your thoughts now???        
Okay, is it STILL INDEED drivers issues with my Linux Ubuntu or not after reading this or not?????????????????????? ...or SOMETHING ELSE?????????????????????? :-S

IF SO, do I need a BETTER driver in some capacity or means???

WHAT DO I DO to improve my Brother MFC-7820N print speed issues???

Please reply.

Thank you!
The Ultimate Tool Kit for Technolgy Solution Provi

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy for valuable how-to assets including sample agreements, checklists, flowcharts, and more!

Since you have attached the printer directly to the PC, again open a web browser and enter or localhost:631 into the address bar to get into the CUPS Control Panel.

Then select the Administration tab, and then click Manage Printers under Printers. Your configured printers should now appear. Select your Brother, then click on the Administration button and select "Modify Printer". After that click on "Continue". The page with the Printer's Description should appear. There is also a "Share this Printer" option. If that is on, turn it off, as you probably won't want to print to the printer from another PC while it is connected to your Ubuntu PC. Sharing the printer can cause delays...

After that click on Continue again. You should now get to a list of printer manufacturer's. Here select Brother, then click on Continue. After that you'll get a list of Printers for that Brother made / makes. Select the MFC 7820N. You'll have 2 drivers for your printer to select from. Just try the first driver first and then click on the Modify Printer button. Once that is done do some printing to find out whether the performance is better. If not, repeat the above steps, but this time try the other driver for your printer from the selection.
BazingerooAuthor Commented:
@ rindi & anyone:

Hello again.

Thank you for your comment.

I have performed all your steps (Thank you!) and at the conclusion I have selected the two top choices in the list of drivers and I even went deeper within the list of drivers where i found one more driver for my specific Brother model. I found that all three drivers made no difference in the time it takes to print once I select "print" button. I waited for all three drivers installed over 1-2 minutes for the first page to print. It finally did in each case. So there must be something more at work here? I attached a screenshot below that probably does not have much merit towards this issue I would assume.

Any further ideas to answers why this issue of the 'slow printing' is happening?        

Does USB port connection from my motherboard (which evidently is where the USB cable goes directly to the USB port on the Brother multi-function unit) maybe not the 'most direct' means of sending or transmitting data to this Brother multi-function unit or not?

Please reply and share any more ideas with me.

Thank you!
BazingerooAuthor Commented:
@ rindi @ anyone:

Hello again.

Please reply to my latest comment directly above. This is much appreciated.

Thank you!
USB is almost certainly the quickest attachment method (probably faster than Ethernet, and almost certainly faster than wireless).

Your problem may simply be that the Linux box has to do more work to talk to the printer - because printer manufacturers generally assume that they will be connected to Windows machines, they write the interface code (between the printing program and the printer itself) with Windows in mind. When they are driven by Linux, even if the manufacturer provides a driver program, the code path may be much more complex, sometimes converting from the source program''s data to another format (e.g. PDF) internally, then to another format (e.g. HP PCL) before converting yet again to drive the actual printer.

If you ever replace your Brother, it might be worth considering a Postscript-enabled printer, as Linux can generate Postscript data more easily than other formats.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
BazingerooAuthor Commented:
@ simon3270 & anyone:

Hello again.

Thank you simon3270 for your latest comment.

I can see from your comment that there basically the bottom line is that there is no answer to this question/thread. Not what I want to hear, but something that I have to accept with this printer specifically, or based on your last comment, more to do concisely with the printer manufacturer. I will have to keep this in mind when looking for some  "Postscript-enabled printer".

Let me ask you (simon3270) or anyone:

1. Since you use Linux systems in your routine work, do you have this serious delay in printing between your computer and your printer assuming you utilize 'local' printing and not a network or shared printing setup? ...or any noticeable delays regardless of the print setup as well?

2. May I ask what printers you have had success with in terms of speed of printing between your Linux system and your printer also implicating the setup method or means (local or network/shared printing you have setup)?

Please reply.

Thank you!
I use networked printers from Linux, at home and at work.  There is a delay while the entire job is spooled to the printer, but once it has started printing, it prints as quickly as the printer can.
BazingerooAuthor Commented:
@ rindi & simon3270:

Hello. I am now closing this question/thread at this time.

I appreciate simon3270's latest answer in sharing your personal experience with me. I asked to get an idea of what other printer setup arrangements incorporating a GNU/Linux operating system. You have shared printing and I do not. Thank you!

As I have stated in my previous comment, there really is no 'solution' for me, however there IS an 'answer' for me here in this question/thread as answered by simon3270.


rindi - first two comments – workable attempts for answers through explanation and possible solution – 50 points each

simon3270 – first comment – workable attempts for answers through explanation and possible solution – 50 points

simon3270 – second comment – Accepted Solution – 300 points

simon 3270 – last comment – supporting answer – 50 points

Again thank you for your dedication and compassion with this issue. We seemed to arrive at some sort of a rational conclusion none-the-less.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Linux OS Dev

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.