Friday, November 27, 2009

Déjà vu: HPLIP Upgrade or Yet Another Printer Problem

I use hp-timedate to synchronize the clock on my Officejet 5510 All In One Printer with my PC clock.

Here's an error message that I found embedded in the output of hp-timedate a few days ago:
error: Unable to communicate with device (code=12): hpfax:/usb/officejet_5500_series?serial=MY3C1D11KS96
error: Unable to open device. Exiting.
I checked the USB cable connection and it looked OK. I listed the USB devices with lsusb and it seemed OK:
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 03f0:3a11 Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet 5500 series
I launched hp-toolbox and was surprised to discover that both the printer and fax icons appeared with a little red X-mark decoration. And sure enough, hp-toolbox insisted that both were unavailable.

I cycled the printer power, but to no avail. I considered rebooting my box, but then I had an idea - or, rather, I finally realized that I faced a very similar situation in the past. It all seemed very familiar. I tried running hp-timedate as root, and what-do-you-know - it worked.

So, this was a permissions issue. Again. I opened /usr/share/doc/hplip/NEWS.Debian.gz and found the following:
Access to the full functionality of hplip; ink check, toolbox,
printing and scanning is now provided for members of the 'lp'
group. The use of the scanner group is depreciated.
So I added myself to the lp group from the GNOME Control Center, using the "User and Groups" task, logged out and logged in, and then verified that I could finally manage the printer from my own account.

Unlike the previous time, the permissions issue was documented alright. Not that it helped, but it's progress nonetheless. I guess.

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