Can't Print from gedit

alex radsky at
Mon Jun 6 02:07:21 UTC 2005

On Sun, 2005-06-05 at 08:34 -0400, Paul M. Bucalo wrote:
> 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
> Alex,
> 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 |
> Printing. 
> 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
> version:
> 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.
> Paul

Using an old WWII expression, this is a "catch 22" situaton.  I'd like
to print out your advice on setting up my printer but I can't make my
printer work.  It's difficult to follow instructions from the screen so
I like to have printed copy to work from.

I checked out and this is a
formidable document.  I'd like to print excerpts from it, but.......

I'm presently doing all my email with 'ubuntu' but it looks like I'll
have to resort to MS XP for some situations where I want to print out
the information about setting up printers in Linux.



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