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printer Brother HL-1110
model: Brother HL-1110(model id: 1870)
possible other names of the device:
Brother HL-1110 series
Brother HL-1112
Brother HL-1112A
Brother HL-1118
Brother Industries, Ltd
subtype (laser, inkjet, ..):
VendorID:ProductID code of the device:
year of commercialization:
tested on:
Debian GNU/Linux 10 buster
tested with the following kernel libre:
compatibility with free software:
does it adopt any techniques to track users?
free driver used:

The Brother HL-1110 is supported on GNU/Linux and BSD by the brlaser CUPS printer driver created, and maintained at time of writing, by Peter de Watcher. Some manual installation procedures are required before use. On Debian 10.6, the driver is installed by default but the requisite Printer Description (ppd) files are missing and must be rebuilt and manually installed.

Documents comprising largely text are adequately handled by the printer at full speed, but the printer is unable to complete jobs with significant page complexity. This issue is currently regarded as a device limitation. Both 300DPI and 600DPI resolution modes have been verified to work.

Manual Installation
Method 1: "Lazy" Method for Systems With brlaser, But With Missing PPDs

This method does not require build tools to be installed, but a working copy of CUPS, along with the PPD compiler command ppdc must be present on the host system. It uses an existing installation of brlaser.

  1. Clone the brlaser source tree into a directory of choice, using git, from de Watcher's GitHub repository. If git is not installed, the ZIP file may be downloaded as an alternative.
  2. Navigate to the cloned source tree. If the ZIP file was used instead, extract the brlaser.drv.in file to a directory of choice.
  3. While in the same directory as the brlaser.drv.in file, compile the ppd's with this command:
    ppdc -vd . brlaser.drv.in
  4. Several dozen files with ending with *.ppd will be generated. Take note of the location of the br1110.ppd file. It is recommended to remain in the same working directory as this file for the rest of the installation process.
  5. Find the URI of the device using the lpinfo command:
    /usr/sbin/lpinfo -v
    The URI of a USB-attached printer should appear, among some other entries as something like:
    direct usb://Brother/HL-1110%20series?serial=DEADBEEF
  6. Install the printer in CUPS with the following command, with root privileges:
    /usr/sbin/lpadmin -p 'Brother HL-1110' -v usb://Brother/HL-1110%20series?serial=DEADBEEF \
     -P br1110.ppd -L 'Your room' -E
    # Replace the serial number DEADBEEF with the number of your device,
    # and replace the optional location specified by the -L option as
    # appropriate.
    If a desktop environment is in use, the DE's control panel can also be used instead. With a web browser, the CUPS control panel (accessible from the host system at http://localhost:631 by default) is yet another way to install the printer.

The instructions above are for stock Debian systems. On some systems, the /usr/sbin part from the command may be omitted as appropriate.

Method 2: Build From Source

If brlaser is not installed on your system and unavailable via the package manager of choice, the driver may have to be built from scratch. In this case, follow the build instructions provided at the brlaser GitHub repository. Build tools and development packages will be required.

Level of Support

The printer largely works and handles multi-page documents competently at full printing speed. However, the driver is unable to finish jobs that exceed the memory limitations of the printer.

The HL-1110 has only 1MB of memory, and some of it is used up by the device's firmware during normal operation. To maximise the success rate of a print job, try to keep the print job under 800KB by minimising the complexity of the page layouts. Use raster images and gradient fills sparingly.

According information published on the Brother website, the HL-1110 has a native print resolution of 600x600 DPI. Please avoid using the 1200HQ option; it appears to be a reference to an unimplemented feature.

Miscellaneous Notes

This printer implements a subset of PCL-5. While it responds to PJL commands, all printed content must be sent as a run-length encoded (RLE) raster. The encoding format is described in detail in the Brother Printer Technical Reference Guide (Chapter 2, Part 6.3). The compression is most effective when there are many contiguous regions of black or white on the page.

Versions Tested
  • 4-1, on Debian buster (10.6). The driver is preinstalled in Debian 10.6 under the printer-driver-brlaser package.
Hardware Variations
HL-1110 has a white and black case, HL-1112 has its colors reversed and is mainly black. "A" variant, marked as such on the box only, comes with a completely filled original cartridge. HL-1118 is a 1110 for the Chinese market, the differences if any aren't known.

brlaser GitHub repository. https://github.com/pdewacht/brlaser

Brother Printer Technical Reference Guide. Version AC. https://download.brother.com/welcome/doc002907/Tech_Manual_AC.pdf

Support and Downloads | HL-1110. Brother Industries. https://support.brother.com/g/b/producttop.aspx?c=eu_ot&lang=en&prod=hl1110_us_eu_as

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