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:
- Go to the HP Linux Imaging and Printing support site and check your printer is on the list of supported devices (most are).
- if your printer is there, click on the link to download HPLIP.
- 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.
- Open up a terminal window and navigate to your downloads directory and make the file executable:
chmod 755 hplip-x.x.x.run
- Run the file and follow the install prompts.
- 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.
- 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.
- I opened up HPLIP Device Manager and when to setup device.
- Follow the prompts again. I had to select the Wireless/802.11 temporary usb option as I didn’t have a direct connect printer.
- Click ‘Next’ and it should automatically detect your wireless enabled printer, then just click ‘Next’ again and enter your wifi network essid and passphrase.
- HPLIP will then advise you it is safe to remove your USB cable.
- 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!