HP printers (Laserjet and Deskjet): how to install them in Linux Mint and Ubuntu


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HP printers and scanners: still the safest choice in Linux

Today, almost all printer manufacturers offer a fair or sometimes even excellent support for Linux. But for printers and scanners, Hewlett Packard is still the safest choice in Linux.

In most cases, your HP printer is plug-and-play; just plug it into your computer and it's operational. For initial installation connect your printer to your computer by means of a USB cable (even when you intend to use it as a network printer later on: for initial installation a USB cable is often needed).

But sometimes you've got to do the following:

Install HPLIP Toolbox (hplip-gui)

1. Installing HPLIP Toolbox is sometimes necessary to get your HP printer or scanner up and running. You can do that as follows:

a. Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

Type (or copy/paste):

sudo apt-get install hplip-gui

Press Enter and submit your password. Please note that the password will remain invisible, not even asterisks will show, which is normal.

Note: is the version of HPLIP Toolbox (hplip-gui) in the repositories of Ubuntu or Linux Mint, too old for your brand-new printer? Then install the latest version of HPLIP Toolbox, which you can download here.


b. After the installation, set your printer to Default (if needed):

Launch HPLIP Toolbox.

Ubuntu: click on the grey Ubuntu logo (Dash home). Query: hplip 
Click on HPLIP Toolbox


Tab Printer control - Set as Default


c. Close HPLIP Toolbox. You're done! Except when you have an HP Laserjet, in which case you need to proceed with the next step described in the column on the right.

(continued in the column on the right)

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HP Laserjet (all models)

2. In Ubuntu and Linux Mint some Laserjets aren't ready for use straightaway, because of lacking proprietary firmware. But that can be helped like this:

a. Ensure that your printer is off (unplug the power cord).


b. Make sure that you've got internet connection; you'll need that for downloading the missing firmware from the internet.


c. Turn the printer on.


d. Launch the application Printers.

Ubuntu: click on the grey Ubuntu logo (Dash home). Query: printer
Click on Printers


Now remove every "wrong" printer instance that has been put automatically in Printers. You're going to create a better one in the next step...


e. Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

Type or copy/paste the following command into the terminal window:

hp-setup

Follow the steps that HP Device Manager offers you, and accept the licence agreement that it presents you with.

Note (1): in the final step you can print a test page. This might fail, even though everything is OK (just try to print another, existing document).

Note (2): when you've neglected to remove the old "wrong" printer instance at step d, then your printer might show up twice in Printers. Throw away the wrong printer instance, because otherwise it gets confusing when you want to print.

Done at last! All these efforts because of the need to accept a bloody license agreement.... Proprietary firmware is a bad idea.



Want more tips?

Do you want more tips and tweaks for Linux Mint or Ubuntu? There's a lot more of them on this website!


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