Manjaro Update Woes & Resolutions

On August 18, 2018 I updated my Manjaro Linux system with the arrival of a rather large update and it broke my printers. I have three printers, all Brother brand – one USB connected HL-2140 laser printer, one WiFi connected HL-L2180DW laser printer and one Wifi connected inkjet MFC-J430W. ALL printers stopped working after the update!

I deleted and re-installed the two WiFi connected printers and they resumed working. The USB printer was MUCH more stubborn. The problem seemed to be USB related rather than printer (I eventually discovered that USB memory stick drives also didn’t work) . I ended up seeking help from six pundit volunteers on the Manjaro forum. After several days and exhausting the efforts of the forum. all gave up.

While looking at the journal (journalctl -f) I noticed a udev error “Aug 31 14:59:42 asrock systemd-udevd[243]: Invalid rule /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/96-scanner.rules:1: unknown key ‘BUS‘”, however, I ignored it since my USB connected scanner was working – in fact it was the ONLY USB connected device that worked. Consequentially, I ignored the error as unrelated. However, one forum pundit, petsam, was suspicious of the 96-scanner.rules error and asked for the output of a couple of diagnostic commands. The result was “No package owns /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/96-scanner.rules”. I decided to delete the offending udev/rules.d/ 96-scanner.rules. This cured the USB problem and the printer came alive again (partially) as did USB-Sticks. I find it odd that a udev parsing error thrown on an unrelated and unused rule could screw up other USB connections. I assume that this error caused udev parsing to abort before the printer and memory-sticks were parsed, resulting in their not working.

The HL-2140 printer now worked and seemed to be fully functional, but I was wrong. When I tried to print an envelope with libreoffice for a letter that I wrote, the insert envelope feature was all screwed up, producing the wrong size envelope and screwing up formatting and paper position. I found nothing useful in libreoffice, Manjaro or Arch forums but I did find something useful in a Ubuntu forum. A user reported an envelope printing problem similar to mine and the pundit repeatedly told him that the problem was caused by the printer driver (the user doubted the pundit). I originally got the malfunctioning printer working again with the “Brother HL-2140 for CUPS” driver and left it there because “it worked”,  but the envelope issue made me decide to switch to the driver that worked well before the Aug. 18 update – the “Brother HL-2140 Foomatic/hl1250” driver. Success! Now the USB connected HL-2140 printer is fully functional, even with envelopes, and the August 18th trials have been fully resolved.

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