It didn't take me days to figure it out, but getting this Fedora 18 system to recognize and actually print on my el-cheapo HP LaserJet 1020 should have been a whole lot easier than it turned out to be.
The system "recognized" the printer as soon as I plugged it in. I already had the
hplip package installed, which I thought would help. Drivers were installed for me.
But as soon as I tried to print, nothing happened.
I did what I usually do in such situations: Forget about the system's printing GUIs and go directly to the CUPS printing system in the web browser via http://localhost:631.
That yielded this useful bit of information:
HP LaserJet 1020, hpcups 3.13.3, requires proprietary plugin
Hmm. The words "proprietary plugin" and "Fedora" don't usually go so well together.
Where would I find this plugin?
Luckily that was a question for the ages.
I tried to run the
hp-setup utility as root. It told me I needed
hplip-gui I installed.
I could run
hplip-gui from the menu (Administration -- HP Device Manager in the Xfce menu, to be exact).
That took me through the steps of actually getting the required driver for the HP LaserJet 1020, which included agreeing to a EULA. I was printing within minutes.
That's a win, but not having an HP printer work out of the box in a distro -- Even if it is the non-newbie-friendly Fedora -- is no win at all.
What's funny about this is that I was able to install other HP printers over the network without all of this fuss.
The takeaway: Just because your device is from HP, don't think it'll be configured seamlessly in Fedora. Install and use
hplip-gui for best results.