Tuesday, December 25, 2007

HPLIP Upgrade or Yet Another Printing Problem

The long overdue upgrade of HPLIP (HP Linux Printing and Imaging) to version 2.7.10, was supposed to make me happier - it was supposed to fix the fax (try saying it fast).

It didn't.

The first problem I encountered after the upgrade was that hp-toolbox insisted that it can't communicate with my printer (HP OfficeJet 5510 all-in-one). It took some futzing around to discover that the printer was accessible if I ran the program as root with gksu -u root hp-toolbox. Annoying.

By this time I managed to remove the fax printing queue from CUPS. Never mind, I told myself - just run hp-setup, follow the wizard's instructions and it'll be good to go. But here I got another surprise - hp-setup created a printer queue, but failed to create a fax queue, complaining that it could not find the HPLIP fax PPD file.

I futzed around a bit more, trying to manually add a fax queue from within the CUPS web interface. But hp-sendfax reported an error when I tried to use it (I later realized that I selected the printer PPD file instead of the fax PPD file - simply because there was no fax PPD file to select).

I finally decided to go over the hplip package bug page on the Debian Bug Tracking System. I then realized that I was actually hit by two bugs:

Bug #452454: to use the printer the user must be a member of the scanner group.

Bug #454341: the path to the PPD files is wrong in /etc/hp/hplip.conf, and should be set like this:


The fax works now. Dang.


  1. What version of Debian are you using? If you don't mind please submit this at the hplip site. We've tested the fax on many distros and have never seen this problem so I'm thinking perhaps there is a conflict between the debian pre-installed and when you installed hplip. I'll be attempting to reproduce this after the new year but more information will be needed so I can try and reproduce your environment. https://launchpad.net/hplip to submit a defect.. I'd submit it for you but I'll need some info from you to make sure I can reproduce this.

  2. I'm using Debian/testing (Lenny). I upgraded from HPLIP 1.6.10 to 2.7.10.

    Both of the problems that I encountered seem to be packaging problems, and as such Debian specific.

    Since both issues are known and have published workarounds on the Debian BTS, I'm not sure another bug report is really necessary.