Can't Print from gedit

Paul M. Bucalo ubuntuser at
Sun Jun 5 12:34:24 UTC 2005

On Sat, 2005-06-04 at 20:16 -0400, alex wrote:
> All I want to be able to do is print documentation that I've typed or
> copied into gedit but I just can't seem to get my printer to work.  All
> I can find on the web is situations dealing with networks.
>  I have a HP5551 printer connected to one computer running ubuntu, the
> simplest possible setup.  
> Are there any instructions for setting up a printer that's connected to
> one computer? I know nothing about the relative merits of
> different printer setups, CUPS, et al. 
> Where do I start?
> alex, the OF


If you haven't been able to get a printer setup system-wide, checkout
the basic info on setting up printers, like a "How To:", so that you get
the gist of how it is done. You really need to scan this stuff to
understand what any of us are telling you to do, especially if our
suggestions fail for you. Here's one site that popped up easily in a
Google search:

The following will help you install your printer if this has not been
done at this point:

1. Go into Synaptic and make sure that you have foomatic and cups
installed. I have found the foomatic database of drivers to be the most
extensive of any others available as open source. 

2. After installing both, if any, go to System | Administration |

3. Click on the 'New Printer' icon to add a new printer. <Of course, if
an icon for your printer is visible, you have a configuration problem.
That's another post. :0) >

4. In 'Step 1 of 2: Printer Connection', see if your printer model has
been detected. If it's a USB printer, and you had it on when you booted
up Ubuntu, it probably was detected...unless it was too new or not in
the cups/foomatic database. (You did remember to turn it on *first*,
before booting-up, right?) Make any necessary changes that apply in this
dialog screen.

5. In 'Step 2 of 2: Printer Driver', click on the 'Manufacturer' bar and
choose 'HP'. Scan the list of models for yours. Apply your choice and
continue on to conclusion.

Some concerns:

If your printer is too new to be included in the latest Ubuntu version
of foomatic (I couldn't find it on my system, which is up-to-date with
Ubuntu), check out the foomatic Website to see if they have a newer

It may be possible to choose an older variant or base model that yours
was designed from. Try some out, but be ready to pull paper from the
tray and purge the print queue if the printer begins to print one line
of crazy stuff per page and wants to do this non-stop. :0) 

Remember: avoid turning-off a working ink-jet printer. Pull the paper
out of the tray and quickly kill the queue, first. If the printer has a
reset, that next. If not, turn it off, then turn it on 15-30 seconds
later to get the heads parked. Those print heads clog quickly on some
printers (like and Epson) when left exposed to air.

Keep in mind that when you install from the latest foomatic sources that
they are tar files, and in the simplest explanation, not in Debian
install format to be used by Synaptic or apt-get. You may be able to do
a Google search for the exact version you found at the Website, adding
"Debian" to the search parameters, and find someone who has packaged it
for you. If no such packages exist, you need to uninstall any foomatic
files on your Ubuntu system, using Synaptic or apt-get, *before*
installing any source tar files. This should avoid conflicts between old
and new versions of foomatic. Pay attention to whatever else is
uninstalled by Synaptic or apt-get to make sure that you know what has
to be put back in during updating. Finally, go back to the printer
install wizard to add your printer.

If your problem is strictly printing from Gedit, make sure that you
added your printer via Gnome's Wizard. Only a lack of system-wide
information under 'gconf' would keep Gedit from knowing about your
printer setup. 

Hopefully, there's something or enough in this post that will be of help
to you in finding your answer. If not, please post more information so
someone can help you further.


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