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Printing with a Brother MFC-7460DN laser printer on Fedora Linux 33

This is a follow-up to my previous post Configuring a Brother MFC-7460DN Laser Printer/Scanner on Fedora 23 (64-bit), as things have fortunately changed to the better in the meanwhile.

As described in this post, setting up this printer in CUPS on Fedora has become quite an ordeal, as Brother no longer updates the printer drivers for these old models and they don’t provide 64 bit binaries.

As I had to switch laptops a few weeks ago, I had to reinstall Linux from scratch and needed to reconfigure my printer settings as well. As I did not want to go through the same hoops again, I did some research and was happy to learn that Peter De Wachter has been working on an open source version of CUPS printer drivers for a wide range of Brother laser printers, which include the MFC-7460DN as well!

Sadly, the printer-driver-brlaser package is not part of the Fedora Linux distribution (yet), so I again had to go out and scour the usual places for a suitable RPM package. Luckily, an RPM package is available from the openSUSE Build Service! There’s no dedicated Fedora package, but downloading and installing the driver package for the openSUSE Tumbleweed distribution worked flawlessly.

To set up the printer, first download and install the RPM package directly from the build service repo:

$ sudo dnf install https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Printing/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/x86_64/printer-driver-brlaser-6+git20200420.9d7ddda-21.4.x86_64.rpm

The actual URL may vary if the package version is updated, so check the download page for the latest version if the download fails.

Now you can set up the printer using the usual CUPS printer configuration tools. In the printer driver selection box, choose “Brother MFC-7460DN, using brlaser v6” and you’re all set!

BTW, this works on Ubuntu Linux as well, they actually include the driver in their core distribution. However, the MFC-7460DN model is not listed explicitly in the driver selection, but choosing any other brlaser device just works.

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Enabling scroll wheel emulation for the Logitech Trackman Marble using Wayland and GNOME 3

For ergonomical reasons, I’ve been a long-time user of Trackballs as pointing devices instead of using regular mice. For several years now, I have been using a Logitech Trackman Marble together with a libinput tweak to use the trackball for scrolling by holding down one of the buttons while spinning the ball.

This worked well until some distributions decided to switch to using Wayland as a replacement for X.org. In the past, I have been reverting back to using X.org (by setting WaylandEnable=True in /etc/gdm/custom.conf), as Wayland does not support the required libinput configurations. I found a workaround that creates a shared library that can be preloaded to implement this, but that looked somewhat hacky to me.

But as Wayland seems to be the way forward and my latest distribution upgrade caused some weird X.org issues (my dual-screen setup did not longer work properly), I caved in and switched to Wayland again. At least all of my screens were properly detected afterwards, but scroll wheel emulation was broken. I did some research if the libinput support in Wayland had improved in that regard in the meanwhile, but it seems it doesn’t.

However, I found a solution for enabling mouse wheel emulation in Wayland/GNOME3 on the Arch Linux Wiki: simply run the following command in a terminal window:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.peripherals.trackball scroll-wheel-emulation-button 8

Now button 8 (the small button above the left button) acts both as a “back” button (e.g. when browsing web pages) as well as the modifier that turns the trackball into a scroll wheel, just like before. Nifty!

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Enabling scroll wheel emulation for the Logitech Trackman Marble on Fedora Linux 24

Update: this solution does no longer work on later versions of Fedora that switched to Wayland instead of X.org by default. If you don’t want to switch back to X.org and you’re using the GNOME desktop environment, you can enable scroll wheel emulation as outlined here.

I’ve been struggling with this for quite some time now, but I finally figured out how to enable scroll wheel emulation for the Logitech Trackman Marble on Fedora Linux 24.

Previously (when I was using Ubuntu Linux), I had a small shell script that defined the required xinput properties. However, this did not work on Fedora, as they use the new libinput framework.

With the change to the libinput subsystem, you can now enable this behavior by creating a file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-libinput.conf with the following content:

Section "InputClass"
 Identifier "Marble Mouse"
 MatchProduct "Logitech USB Trackball"
 Driver "libinput"
 Option "ScrollMethod" "button"
 Option "ScrollButton" "8"
 EndSection

Magically, this function got enabled as soon as I saved the file, without even having to restart X! I’m impressed.