The scanner (and another printer) got a new life with Linux [photo: Henrik Hemrin]

I still have macOS as operating system on my main machine. Not unlikely, I will in the future change to Linux operating system.

My macOS cannot print with an older printer I have. There is no driver.

In the somewhat less old multifunction machine, macOS can print but not scan. There is no driver. 

Yesterday I took the time to explore if I could get them up and running with my laptop where I use Linux Mint as operating system. And yes! Both machines are HP. I installed The HP Linux Imaging and Printing, HPLIP, software as well as related depending software. After installation, both those older machines are usable again! 

Linux is a possibility to give older computers a prolonged life - many Linux distributions are far less resource hungry than Windows. And also other hardware can have a longer life with Linux.

Good for economy, good for sustainability!

To give the full picture, I believe both the printer and the scanner can be used under Microsoft Windows 10, but I'm not certain. I have not Windows installed anymore. 

Further details of the installation

The devices

HP LaserJet M1120MFP (multi function device)

HP LaserJet 1018 (printer)

Both devices are USB connected and are relatively old.

Before the installation

HP LaserJet M1120MFP where printer worked, but not the scanner.

HP LaserJet 1018 Printer which did not work.

The installation

I installed HPLIP (on Linux Mint 19.2 Xfce), downloaded from the HPs Developer Portal.

On a page before download starts, there is the dropdown to select distro - I selected Linux Mint. There is a relatively detailed step-by-step guide at HPLIP. After download, I basically executed with commands in the Terminal "Command Line Interface". It requested to install more dependencies, which I said yes to (for me, it also required installation of XSane software). In a latter stage, there was a "normal" installation window with some final installations. Only thing I recall about that window that confused me was that I had two devices to finalize, and I also had to finally close the window with the "x", and maybe I installed same thing twice before that.

During HPLIP installation, it found an older version of HPLIP, which I replaced with this new one. However, one difference is that there now also is a "control panel" for the HP devices after this installation. I was not really aware of HPLIP already existed in my installation, I did not check and investigate if it had been possible to solve without going to HPs Developer Portal. In any case, after I installed the newer release of HPLIP, the multifunction device works both as printer (as before) and as scanner. And the other printer also works!

After the installation

HP LaserJet M1120MFP both printer and scanner works.

HP LaserJet 1018 Printer works.

So, the download and installation of HPLIP from HP Developer Portal indeed made the difference for me.

Addition regarding Linux Mint 20

I have now installed Linux Mint 20, on two machines. After installation I got problems to get the scanner working. On one of the machines, I tried a lot. Then I let them rest from testing further for a month or so. Linux Mint monthly newsletter, the September 2020 issue under the heading USB Printer Support describes that some have problems with printer and scanner in Linux Mint 20, despite working perfectly in 19.3. The article suggest to reove package "ippusbxd". I did so on the first machine, and now the scanner was working. However, when I reinstalled that package, it is still working. And the other machine, where I earlier also found scanner was not working but did not do anything more, was scanner as well as printers working. So in my case, it appears as any update I have installed later, has made it all functional again. So in conclusion, with Linux Mint 20 it is a good chance above printers and scanner works without any further installation. HPLIP is included in the installation, of a relatively recent version, but without the GUI part of HPLIP - it can be installed if wanted from the software repository, but it is not necessary. Se also the article Installation of Linux Mint 20.

Henrik Hemrin

12 October 2019

2 October 2020 (Addition regarding Linux Mint 20)

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