My mother got me a laser printer for Christmas. I hate Inkjet printers, because I consider them little more than a money sink if used on a regular basis (those ink cartages are insanely overpriced). They’re good cheap color printers, but I’ve never needed to print in color; it’s a nice feature, but it’s unnecessary for me. Unfortunately, my old HP Laserjet 4L has finally gotten flaky (after many years of reliable service), so it was time I got a new printer anyway. Knowing all this, my mother got me the HP Laserjet P1006 for Christmas, and I love it so far. It prints out D&D character sheets a lot faster than the 4L did. The only problem I’ve had with it was the instillation.
The instillation took a lot longer than I expected. The P1006 is basically the only inexpensive laser printer that was being sold at any of the stores I had browsed through, so I figured it was common enough that Ubuntu would recognise and set it up automatically. And technically, it did set it up automatically. It just set it up wrong. I would tell it to print something, then after a minute, it would tell me that the print job was done, even though nothing had actually been printed.
This seems like a pretty common problem with this printer. After Googling the problem, I found basically two solutions. Only one of those solutions actually worked for me, though. The first one sent me to hplip, where you can update the hplip drivers, and have them automatically set up the printer that way. That seems to have worked for some people, but it didn’t work for me.
The solution that worked for me was found in the bug report for this exact problem. The solution was to install the foo2xqx drivers manually. The instructions on http://foo2xqx.rkkda.com/ were very easy to follow, but I needed to open System>Administration>Printing and delete all the redundant entries that resulted from all my previous failed attempts to get the printer set up.
So, if you’re trying to set up an HP LaserJet P1006 on Ubuntu 8.10, here’s what worked for me:
Make sure all redundant entries are deleted from System>Administration>Printing
Go to http://foo2xqx.rkkda.com/ and follow the directions in the section that says “Download and Install”.
Go back to System>Administration>Printing and tell it to add the new printer.
There might be two drivers listed as “HP Laserjet P1006 Foomatic/foo2xqx [en]”. If so, make sure you chose the one that is not “(recommended)” (don’t know why, but that’s what worked for me).