HP Printers (Laserjet and Deskjet): how to install them in Linux Mint

Back to the homepage

Contents of this page:

HP printers and scanners: still the safest choice in Linux

Today, almost all printer manufacturers offer a fair or sometimes even excellent support for Linux. But for printers and scanners, Hewlett Packard is still the safest choice in Linux.

In most cases, your HP printer is plug-and-play; just plug it into your computer and it's operational. For initial installation connect your printer to your computer by means of a USB cable (even when you intend to use it as a network printer later on: for initial installation a USB cable is often needed).

But sometimes you've got to do the following:

Note: some HP printers are "under the hood" actually Samsung printers. That's because in 2017, HP has bought the Samsung printer division. In that case the HP driver HLIP is useless; you then need to proceed like with the Samsung driver. Clear indication that it's a disguised Samsung: when upon unpacking the driver package that you've downloaded from the HP website, creates a folder called uld.

For example this is the case with the HP Laser MFP 135r. After installation of its "covert" Samsung driver, you need to manually select the driver called HP Laser MFP 13x Series

Install HPLIP Toolbox (hplip-gui)

1. Installing HPLIP Toolbox is sometimes necessary to get your HP printer or scanner up and running. You can do that as follows:

a. Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

Type (or copy/paste):

sudo apt-get install hplip-gui

Press Enter and submit your password. Please note that in Ubuntu the password will remain invisible, not even asterisks will show when you type it, which is normal.

Note: is the version of HPLIP Toolbox (hplip-gui) in the repositories of Ubuntu or Linux Mint, too old for your brand-new printer? Then install the latest version of HPLIP Toolbox, which you can download here.

b. After the installation, set your printer to Default (if needed):

Launch HPLIP Toolbox.

Click on the Menu button. Query: hplip
Click on HPLIP Toolbox

Tab Printer control - Set as Default

c. Close HPLIP Toolbox. You're done! Except when you have an HP Laserjet, in which case you need to proceed with the next step described below.

HP Laserjet (all models)

2. In Linux Mint some Laserjets aren't ready for use straightaway, because of lacking proprietary firmware. But that can be helped like this:

a. Ensure that your printer is off (unplug the power cord).

b. Make sure that you've got internet connection; you'll need that for downloading the missing firmware from the internet.

c. Turn the printer on.

d. Launch the application Printers.

Click on the Menu button. Query: printer
Click on Printers

Now remove every "wrong" printer instance that has been put automatically in Printers. You're going to create a better one in the next step...

e. Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

Type or copy/paste the following command into the terminal window:


Follow the steps that HP Device Manager offers you, and accept the licence agreement that it presents you with.

Note (1): in the final step you can print a test page. This might fail, even though everything is OK (just try to print another, existing document).

Note (2): when you've neglected to remove the old "wrong" printer instance at step d, then your printer might show up twice in Printers. Throw away the wrong printer instance, because otherwise it gets confusing when you want to print.

Done at last! All these efforts because of the need to accept a bloody license agreement.... Proprietary firmware is a bad idea.

Want more?

Do you want more tips and tweaks? There's a lot more of them on this website!

For example:

Speed up your Linux Mint!

Clean your Linux Mint safely

Avoid 10 fatal mistakes

To the content of this website applies a Creative Commons license.

Back to the home page