How to fix printing with HP LaserJet 1018 on Ubuntu Lucid and Karmic

This blog post explains how to fix CUPS printing for HP LaserJet 1018. The instructions and the shell script presented have been tested on Ubuntu Lucid and Ubuntu Karmic, but they might work on other Linux systems as well with minor modifications.

The first method to make the HP LaserJet 1018 work is running

$ sudo apt-get install hplip
$ sudo hp-setup

, and following the instructions, and running hp-setup again if necessary. This method seemed to work for me (I could print a test page), but I haven't tested it excessively, and the printer got the margins wrong, because it assumed that I'm printing to Letter paper, but I was printing to A4.

The second method (recommended) is the following. Download and run this script: http://pts-mini-gpl.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/pts-hplj1018/fix_hplj1018.sh.

The script download and install the printer firmware, it will ask you to install some packages (such as cups and foo2zjs), and to connect and disconnect the printer. It will also install the printer, remove (cancel) all pending jobs, and change the CUPS printer state to ready. Run this script each time you can't print anymore (e.g. because of a system upgrade).

The script has the A4 page size (used in Europe) hard-wired. If your printer supports the Letter page size (used in the USA), replace all occurrences of the word A4 in the script by the word Letter.

Setting up the printer is tricky because all settings have to be correct (otherwise the printer will just ignore jobs sent to it), and Ubuntu gets many settings wrong. The script fixes these settings:

  • The updated firmware (as required by foo2zjs) has to be present in /usr/share/foo2zjs/firmware/sihp1018.dl. Ubuntu doesn't have a package containing this file. The script downloads, extracts and installs the firmware.
  • The correct udev rules have to be in place so /usr/sbin/hplj1018 is run (and uploads the firmware) when the printer is connected. Ubuntu Lucid has a wrong (non-matching) udev rule in /lib/udev/rules.d/85-hplj10xx.rules. The script fixes to udev rule.
  • The correct PPD file must be present with the correct page size. The default file /usr/share/ppd/foo2zjs/HP-LaserJet_1018.ppd.gz in Ubuntu has the Letter size, which the script changes to A4 in the file /etc/cups/ppd/HP_LaserJet_1018_pts.ppd.
  • No printing jobs must be active or pending when the printer gets connected (so the firmware has a chance to upload). Ubuntu doesn't care about this. The script makes sure that CUPS is not running when the printer gets connected, and it also removes all pending jobs.
  • On Ubuntu Lucid there is a conflict between the usblp and the usb drivers: the newest CUPS uses usb to drive USB printers (while older CUPS versions used usblp), but usblp claims the printer first, so CUPS has no chance to actually use it. The solution is to modify the DeviceURI in /etc/cups/printers.conf to parallel:///dev/usb/lp0


Fejős Tamás said...

Don't work on Ubuntu Lucid for me.

Try this insted: http://community.livejournal.com/unix_solution/2974.html

And I have to comment out a line in
/etc/udev/rules.d/86-hpmud-hp_laserjet_1018.rules file.
after this line "# hp_laserjet_1018 for Suse 10.3"

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ENV{DEVTYPE}=="usb_device", SYSFS{idVendor}=="03f0", SYSFS{idProduct}=="4117", PROGRAM="/bin/sh -c 'logger -p user.info loading hp_laserjet_1018 firmware $env{BUSNUM} $env{DEVNUM}'", RUN+="/bin/sh -c '/usr/bin/hp-firm
ware -y3 -s$env{BUSNUM}:$env{DEVNUM} &'"

bekele said...

hp-setup -i (text mode, I don't have qt libs) worked for me perfectly (Debian Squeeze), thanks.