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jacklawrence84 03-03-2010 06:31 PM

HP Photosmart Plus Printer
I just bought an HP Photosmart Plus B209a Printer. It does everything except actually print. It even says the job is ¨completed" but nothing was done. I repeated the installation 5 times with same results. Before buying, I tried to find out which printer worked. I was told by HP that all of their printers worked on Ubuntu Linux. Best Buy agreed. Is there a solution that I can understand, or must I give in and go back to dreaded Windows just so I can print? Printing seems to be a real Ubuntu Linux shortfall and major roadblock - at least from this Newbies'point of view. Is Ubuntu a poor choice for printing of the Linux options? I really want my Linux to work instead of being forced to return to The Dark Side.

I did this repeatedly:

If your printer was not detected after a few moments, then you will need to
follow these steps:

1.Obtain the model name of your printer.

2.Ensure the printer is turned on.

3.Choose System ▸ Administration ▸ Printing

4.Click New Printer.

tronayne 03-04-2010 07:08 AM

Assuming you're using CUPS and that the printer is a USB connection, you may have missed (or do not have installed in you distribution) HPLIP; you need it. The current version of HPLIP is found at If you do have an older version, replace it with the current. On the left side of the page are documentation links you may want to browse.

You might want to check that you belong to these groups:

users lp floppy audio video cdrom plugdev power usbfs netdev scanner
You may not need all these, but you will need to be in the lp group if your printer includes the scanning function.

Hope this helps some.

pixellany 03-04-2010 07:34 AM

Please edit your post and change the font back to the black default. As it stands, it is almost unreadable.

In addition to the comments above, be sure you are using USB-2.

I recommend always using the CUPS setup directly---simply enter "localhost:631" in any browser.

My system has an hpjis driver for that printer. I'm pretty sure that hpjis gets installed as part of the hplip package.

jacklawrence84 03-05-2010 10:38 AM

Nothing works
The suggested downloads will not download.

I looked at the Linux list of compatible printers trying to find a 3-penguin that I can buy. Unfortunately, the list seems to be of all out-of-date printers, and none of the new ones offered by HP are on the list. eMailing HP Tech Services was less than helpful - they did not even know that Ubuntu is Linux. However, once informed, they said HP printers are Linux Ubuntu compatible. They did not give me a list of best to buy, so - thus - the Photosmart Plus I bought (that is an apparent Paperweight).

Perhaps someone can tell me:
  • The best Linux to use for printing and easy of use for Newbie-non-Computer Engineer such as me - and how to switch from Ubuntu to it
  • The best compatible printer that is available for under $300

Any help will be appreciated before I am forced to return to The Dark Kingdom just so that I can print.



pixellany 03-05-2010 11:05 AM

You'll find that a lot of databases are not current. The fact is that HP does actively support Linux and just about any HP printer is supported.

If HPLIP is not already installed, then it should be available using your package manager. (It should not be necessary to download it.)

1. verify that you have HPLIP installed.
2. try to set it up using the interface I suggested.

(Given that I found a driver on my system, that printer is NOT a paperweight.)

Finally, it makes no difference what version of Linux you are using. With possibly a few rare exceptions, they all use CUPS and the standard driver packages---gutenprint, foomatic, hplip/hpijs, etc.

Crazycheese 07-10-2010 05:59 AM

Linux Debian Testing and Gentoo 2010 profile.

Two B209a Photosmart Plus here, both worked out of the box with no setup so ever.

Ubuntu and any other distributions is FINE with HP printers.
I would actually say linux is AWESOME with HP. HP definately has best printing support for linux compared to ALL other manufacturers taken together.

But you do need to emerge linux printing and linux scanning service if not present. Once added, add printer driver and just plug the printer in and you are ready to go!

First install everything CUPS and SANE from repositories.
Be sure to add cups and saned to startup. I prefer console way(GUI is with "bootup manager", for debian it is:

sudo update-rc.d cups defaults
sudo update-rc.d saned defaults
You may also need to enable saned(which is sometimes disabled by defaults).

sudo gedit /etc/default/saned
set parameter "RUN=yes"
Now you need to add everything "HPLIP"(HP advanced driver) and everything "HPIJS"(HP basic driver). Foomatic is not required.

I also recommend you add system-config-printer if you use GNOME, XFCE or any GTK interface.
It is very simple utility to configure CUPS without complications.

After finished, make sure you are in groups as mentioned earier(which you should have been anyway if need access to any scan or print features). Note you need to relogin if you were not in those groups for changes to apply.

Then you can either reboot, or just start the services(if you were already in groups as mentioned above):


sudo /etc/init.d/cups start
sudo /etc/init.d/saned start
Plug printer in and enjoy full printing and scaning functionality. If you do have complications, thats something on your side, I assure you(cables, defect printer etc).

This is absolutely flawless gem compared to Lexmark, Kodak or pretty any other printer crap.
Im a HP fanboy now.

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