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SDB:How to set-up a HP printer

tagline: From openSUSE


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Developer: HPLIP - Hewlett-Packard Linux Imaging & Printing
License: GNU General Public License (GPL) v2; MIT license; BSD license (Licensing information)
Web: http://hplipopensource.com

This article will show an easy way how to install HP (Hewlett-Packard) printers and all-in-one devices (with fax and scanner) with the HPLIP software. An other way would be via YaST → Printers.
As installing and using a HP printer is the most important purpose of HPLIP this article is also the article about the application HPLIP (HP Linux Imaging and Printing System).

Needed Software

Open YaST's Software Management and make sure HPLIP is installed. The hplip packages will nowadays be included one of the default repositories ("oss" or "update").

If you have a brand-new printer make sure on this external hplip page it is at all supported and then search for a more recent hplip packages from openSUSE's buildservice. Select your openSUSE version for the search in the infobox above.

Newer packages will usually be in the "Printing" repository. You could take a look at how to add package repositories in the SDB. The packman repository may also hold new hplip packages as well.


Terminal initiation

Open a terminal (see: SDB:What is a console), write

su - -c "hp-setup"

and push the "ENTER" tab.

This will ask for the Super user/root password of your system and then start the graphical installer which will guide you through the installation process.

For pictures and details you may take a look at this external hplip-description from the HPLIP project.

Initiation via "hp-toolbox"

An other way to begin the same graphical installer is to start the application "hp-toolbox" (the HP Device Manager).

Once your printer is installed, you can also use this to add additional hp printers to your printer list.

Initiation via YaST printer module

Since openSUSE 11.3 you can launch the same graphical installer from the YaST printer module via the buttons "Add" and then "Run hp-setup".

Special Cases

Printer connected via network (LAN or WLAN)

If you install a HP printer that is connected to your computer only via network (LAN or wireless LAN) you may need the IP-address of your printer. The easiest way to get that information will be via your printer's setup menu.


To set up networked hp printers, some knowledge of network setup is required. The best way of setting up the printer's ip address is, like with servers connected to the network, to use a fixed ip address.
This can be done either from a direct usb/parallel cable connection to the printer or via the printer menus.

Printer Setup

1. From the hp-setup menu choose the option Network/Ethernet....
2. Click the Show Advanced Options button, check the Manual Discovery checkbox and enter the printer's ip address from above.
3. Click Next and continue setting up the printer as described above.


Make sure that the packages which provide the HPLIP software come from one same repository (i.e. do not mix packages from PackMan with those from openSUSE). You can check the repository of the package in Versions tab of YaST's software management. openSUSE provides HPLIP in the packages hplip and hplip-hpijs and since openSUSE 12.1 additionally in the package hplip-sane. PackMan provides HPLIP in the packages hplip and hplip-hpcups.

If it works for root but not as normal user, the usual reason is that your user account has insufficient permissions to access the device. By default the device file should be owned by root and belong to the group lp according to the udev rules for HP USB devices. To determine the device file, run "lsusb" and remember bus and device number for your device. The matching device file is "/dev/bus/usb/<bus-number>/<device-number>".
A workaround is to add the required user account to the 'lp' group via YaST → Security and users. Alternatively have a look at SDB:Configuring Scanners in particular the section "USB scanner access permissions via udev".

For HP all-in-one USB devices there is a special complication in the udev rules because HP all-in-one devices have additional udev rules from the sane-backends package to set read/write permissions via ACL (run "getfacl /dev/bus/usb/<bus-number>/<device-number>" to show them) for the one normal desktop user who is currently logged in locally (i.e. logged in via graphical XDM/Kdm) so that the currently logged in desktop user gets sufficient permissions to use the scanner unit as normal user.

The rules from the hplip package are in /etc/udev/rules.d/55-hpmud.rules and the udev rules from the sane-backends package are /etc/udev/rules.d/55-libsane.rules which are set after /etc/udev/rules.d/55-hpmud.rules so that entries in /etc/udev/rules.d/55-libsane.rules could overwrite settings in /etc/udev/rules.d/55-hpmud.rules. Since some time the udev rules in the hplip package are in /etc/udev/rules.d/56-hpmud.rules so that they are set after the udev rules from the sane-backends package.

In general if things do not work, use "hp-check -r" in a terminal to track the issue.

See also

Other pages

The Printing Portal

YaST Printer (openSUSE's standard printer installation)

SDB:Configuring Scanners

Printers, Section: Hewlett-Packard in the Hardware Compatibility List

Links from Novell and openSUSE

Novell's Bugzilla: Search in Bugzilla for for resolved and unresolved bugs (you may refine the search for your openSUSE version)

The openSUSE forums: Search for threads that were manually tagged with hplip or use the advanced search.

Other external links

HPLIP - Hewlett-Packard Linux Imaging & Printing (external links in the text go to subpages of this HPLIP project) with

  1. Release Notes of HPLIP (newest first)
  2. hp-setup: Printer/Fax Setup Utility (ver. 9.0) - man page for the command "hp-setup" (also in some versions via the command "man hp-setup" entered in a terminal)
  3. Technical Documentation: Man Pages - a list of other hp commands and their man pages
  4. Manual Build and Install Instructions