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Thread: How do I install a USB printer?

  1. #11
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    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: How do I install a USB printer?

    The other things that come up are

    /dev/usblp0 (a symbolic link)
    /dev/usb/lp0 (to which the above link refers)

    Maybe this isn't sensible but I've tried

    echo . > /dev/usb/lp0 and get 'Permission denied'.

    Also, I may not be setting the URI correctly when setting up the printer (lpd://localhost/dev/usb/lp0)

    Another perhaps disappointing find: http://www.qbik.ch/usb/devices/showdev.php?id=3510
    I think this refers directly to the Prolific PL-2305 (although it doesn't say so) and it states

    BEWARE! The prolific driver appearently fails when connecting to some printers, among them are Minolta 6e/6ex and HP DeskJet 500. The printer is identified but no print data ever gets through, usblp_write ends up in a timeout. usb-devel wasn't helpful either. If you plan to connect older printers (assuming that is the cause), make sure you've a return agreement with your dealer.

  2. #12
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    Re: How do I install a USB printer?

    I've managed to print !!!! This thread helped a lot: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=126135

    UNFORTUNATELY, the only way to print so far is something like

    echo Printing > /dev/usb/lp0

    and not through applications. I'm getting there ...

    The problem is that the ownership of /dev/usb/lp0 does not match the CUPS configuration.

    ~$ ls -l /dev/usb/lp0
    crw-rw---- 1 root lp 180, 0 2010-03-23 21:39 /dev/usb/lp0

    Notice the lp group? When I checked group properties, this group did not have any members - not even root!!! Not sure if this is an Ubuntu installation issue or not (I have a fairly clean installation of 9.10 Karmic Koala.

    The default for CUPS (from the CUPS doc) is lpadmin, in any case, so not sure what lp is all about. In fact, the lp group has ID=0, the same as the group root. I think I will write a separate thread for this so that other new users won't be adversely affected.

    I fixed it by doing this:

    ~$ sudo chown root:lpadmin /dev/usb/lp0

    (In fact, I went further and did this for lp0, lp1, parport0 and parpart1 as well - I have two parallel ports in my setup.)

    I think the printer URI is wrong. I've changed it to usb:/dev/usb/lp0 but it's still not working. I must be close, surely!

  3. #13
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    Re: How do I install a USB printer?

    Download a driver online and use wine to run it, that's what I did for my HP laserjet 4000.

  4. #14
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    Re: How do I install a USB printer?

    Thanks for the suggestion unregistered-user, but that sounds like defeat to me. Here's something new - sudo lsusb produces a different result:

    ~$ sudo lsusb
    Bus 001 Device 009: ID 1a86:7584 Unknown
    Bus 001 Device 008: ID 045e:0039 Microsoft Corp. IntelliMouse Optical
    Bus 001 Device 007: ID 045e:00db Microsoft Corp. Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 V1.0
    Bus 001 Device 006: ID 058f:9254 Alcor Micro Corp. Hub
    Bus 001 Device 004: ID 093a:2460 Pixart Imaging, Inc. Q-TEC WEBCAM 100
    Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0951:1603 Kingston Technology Data Traveler 1GB/2GB Pen Drive
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0409:0059 NEC Corp. HighSpeed Hub
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub

    That first line - "Unknown" is not there when I don't use 'sudo'. It is the printer (it disappears when I unplug the printer's USB cable). So this is sounding more and more like a problem with permissions - why can root see the device but not my user?

    Incidentally, when I rebooted, all the lp devices (/dev/lp0, /dev/parport0, /dev/usb/lp0) had their group changed back to lp again after I changed them to lpadmin (see earlier post). Why is this?

  5. #15
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    Re: How do I install a USB printer?

    I don't have to reboot - just unplug the USB cable and plug it back in and it is reset to be in the group lp.

  6. #16
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    Re: How do I install a USB printer?

    It's SOLVED.

    The only problem was the URI. Nothing else matters - permissions, nothing.

    This thread held the solution but it took me ages to find it: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=894223&page=2

    The solution is that the URI is parallel:/dev/usblp0

    Now I just have to figure out how to mark this thread as solved ....

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