Following Alvaro's guide today, to repair my broken printer support after my dist-upgrade from 6.04 to Ubuntu 8.04 (amd64!) with version 3.9.2 of hplip from sourceforge. I ran into some issues I'd like to share.
After the process, the printer properly showed up in the System Setup > Printer Window and seemed to work okay, but when I actually tried to print, the Select Printer dialog told me that it was "Unable to start filter "foomatic-rip-hplip" - No such file or directory". A bug report on launchpad guided me for help. Fired up a terminal window and did
What a great tool! It analyzed my issues and actually told me what I could do to resolve them...
sudo aptitude install --assume-yes cupsddk cupsddk-drivers
That's what I thought. Trying to print, I got the same error message: "Filter "foomatic-rip-hplip" for printer "HP_LaserJet_1018" not available: No such file or directory" (this error should also show up in /var/log/cups/error_log). A reboot did actually let the printer do some noises on boot time, but later on it wouldn't print.
Back to search-engine-research mode. What I came up with was another filed bug #211382. To brute-force solve the problem I went into Synaptic and installed hplip from the Ubuntu repos over all the stuff I did before. After that, the error was the same only in different prose "Unable to start filter "foomatic-rip-hplip" - No such file or directory.". Puzzling.
Back to base one: I removed Ubuntu's hplip, then did another run of Alvaro's guide, this time with his suggested version of the driver!
wget http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/hplip/hplip-2.8.5.run sh hplip-2.8.5.run
The idea was, that newer isn't always better (above I mentioned that I used 3.9.2, Alvaro in his original guide used 2.8.5...) And: this time I opted for the "reboot + sudo hp-setup afterwards" (instead of just plug-out/plug-in of the printer). Guess what: it worked!
- Don't try to be more clever than a previous version of a process that worked
- Always reboot in an install routine, if that is an option
- Newer driver's aren't always better