Setting up the HP LaserJet Professional M1212nf MFP Printer on Linux (CrunchBang Waldorf)

I’ve got an HP LaserJet Professional M1212nf MFP printer at the office, and most of the machines in the office are running CrunchBang Waldorf.  The stock version of hplip does not include the drivers for this printer.

Some time ago I found that the available version of hplip did not include drivers for the HP LaserJet Professional M1212nf MFP.  You can find out what version you have by running the command:

dpkg -l hplip

In my case, this reported version 3.12.6-3+d.  At the time of writing, the current version of hplip is 3.14.1.

The upgrade is simple.  Just head over to the hplip download page and grab the current version.  There’s one trick you’ll need to do before running the installer.

Preparing for Installation

The installer should be run as your normal user, not as root.  It will, however ask you for the root password.  Unlike most other places you probably encounter, where an application wants your password so it can run something with sudo, this actually wants the root password.  Ubuntu-based distributions and some others use a random root password since you don’t actually need to know it most of the time.  Since you need to know it now, your easiest option is to reset it yourself.  You can do this using the command:

sudo passwd

This will ask you for your password which will be used to grant you permission to set the root password, which it will then ask you to type twice.  Please make sure to choose a secure password here, maybe even a random looking string that you’re ok with forgetting as soon as you’re done with this install (you can always reset it again later if needed).

A little ways into the install, the installer will let you know that the install could fail if CD sources are enabled in your package manager.  These aren’t enabled by default in CrunchBang, but this may require your attention if you’re on a distribution that uses these.  You can do this in Synaptic or another package management tool if you like, or edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file to remove or comment out the relevant lines.

With the root password set and CD sources disabled (if needed), you’re ready to run the installer.

Running the Installer

Fire up the installer by executing it in a terminal, in my case (given the version I was using) this was:


When you run the installation, it may tell you that the version of Debian you’re running isn’t supported and will ask if you want to use another version.  In my case, it said 7.4 wasn’t supported and asked if I wanted to use 7.2.  I proceeded using the 7.2 packages without issue.

I chose the automatic installation, which is the default.  This worked in my case.

When it asks how you want to handle the previous version already on your system, make sure to select ‘i’ – remove and install.  This will remove the prior version and install the new.

When it asks, go ahead and let it check for updates, even though it won’t find any if you’ve just downloaded the newest version.  Also let it check for plugin updates, which it probably will find, and which you should download by following the instructions in the installer, which is very straightforward.

Once the installation is complete it will ask you to restart the printer.  If you are connected directly to the printer you should follow its instructions.  If the printer is on the network you should be able to disregard this, you can select ‘i’ to ignore/continue without restarting.

The installer should open a tool that will let you find and set up the printer for use.

I found that the test-page failed to print when sent from the installer’s setup tool.  In my case the printer does work though, and printing a test page from the printer management tool did work.

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