Praise for HP Source!

As some of you may know, our 8 year old printer died last weekend. This was unfortunate as it is during a time I’m heavily relying on printing and scanning for various goings on. It was a HP psc 1200 series and so I opted to go for HP again and get wireless printer.

So I just picked up a HP Deskjet F4580 All-in-One Printer for £49.99 from Comet which is quite a good price – I needed it for today so I couldn’t order it online and get it cheaper. Anyway I got it home and unpacked, noted the typical Windows/Mac install disk so before I plugged it into my ‘buntu pc I checked online for any known issues.

Now I knew HP supported Linux but didn’t realise to what extent. Support for Linux from various vendors ranges from a single webpage with some obscure references to full blown downloadable software. I was quite happy to discover that HP support offer the latter.

Getting the wireless up and running took only a little effort, below I’ve detailed a a quick how-to for those not confident to delve into the documentation:

  1. Go to the HP Linux Imaging and Printing support site and check your printer is on the list of supported devices (most are).
  2. if your printer is there, click on the link to download HPLIP.
  3. This should download a file called hplip-x.x.x.run (where x.x.x denotes a version number) to your desktop or downloads directory.
  4. Open up a terminal window and navigate to your downloads directory and make the file executable:

cd ~/Downloads
chmod 755 hplip-x.x.x.run

  1. Run the file and follow the install prompts.

./hplip-x.x.x.run

  1. Here’s where it got tricky, the last prompt asked to me to reboot(r), re-plug(p), cancel(c) or ignore(i). I ignored at first as I wanted to go straight to wireless setup but it didn’t immediately detect my printer. The good thing is if you make a mistake you can start over the installation again.
  2. I selected (r) to reboot, and plugged in the usb cable. Ubuntu immediately found and installed the printer to my CUPS interface, but now I wanted wireless, so I found that HP had installed it’s HPLIP Printer service and added it to Applications – Accessories menu.
  3. I opened up HPLIP Device Manager and when to setup device.
  4. Follow the prompts again. I had to select the Wireless/802.11 temporary usb option as I didn’t have a direct connect printer.
  5. Click ‘Next’ and it should automatically detect your wireless enabled printer, then just click ‘Next’ again and enter your wifi network essid and passphrase.
  6. HPLIP will then advise you it is safe to remove your USB cable.
  7. After a short while it should connect and you should see a new printer installed in the HPLIP Device Manager, as well as a new printer installed in CUPS – the first one Ubuntu installed is still there but disabled due to USB being disconnected.

W00t! I have printing again and thankyou HP for supporting Linux so well!

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