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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Mon, 10 Jun 2013

Configuring Fedora 18 to print to HP LaserJet 1020 is a pain in the ass

It didn't take me days to figure it out, but getting this Fedora 18 system to recognize and actually print on my el-cheapo HP LaserJet 1020 should have been a whole lot easier than it turned out to be.

The system "recognized" the printer as soon as I plugged it in. I already had the hplip package installed, which I thought would help. Drivers were installed for me.

But as soon as I tried to print, nothing happened.

I did what I usually do in such situations: Forget about the system's printing GUIs and go directly to the CUPS printing system in the web browser via http://localhost:631.

That yielded this useful bit of information:

HP LaserJet 1020, hpcups 3.13.3, requires proprietary plugin

Hmm. The words "proprietary plugin" and "Fedora" don't usually go so well together.

Where would I find this plugin?

Luckily that was a question for the ages.

I tried to run the hp-setup utility as root. It told me I needed hplip-gui. So hplip-gui I installed.

I could run hplip-gui from the menu (Administration -- HP Device Manager in the Xfce menu, to be exact).

That took me through the steps of actually getting the required driver for the HP LaserJet 1020, which included agreeing to a EULA. I was printing within minutes.

That's a win, but not having an HP printer work out of the box in a distro -- Even if it is the non-newbie-friendly Fedora -- is no win at all.

What's funny about this is that I was able to install other HP printers over the network without all of this fuss.

The takeaway: Just because your device is from HP, don't think it'll be configured seamlessly in Fedora. Install and use hplip-gui for best results.