Arch Linux Printer Install

Friday, January 8, 2021


I’m glutton for punishment. A couple months ago I took my stable and user friendly Ubuntu Linux install and replaced it with Arch Linux. Why? Please see the first sentence.

Since then it’s been running really well. There’s a manual step to update things like Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Visual Studio Code because they come from the Arch User Repository (AUR). Today when I was updating Microsoft Edge I lost all my open tabs. I know I shouldn’t keep so many tabs open, but I was really going to get to reading them. I thought if I had a print out of some of the longer articles I could read it when I’m not at the computer.

Neat idea, but to do that I need to get a printer to work on my Arch Linux install. As you may remember from Printer Install installing my printer on Ubuntu was a breeze, and Windows Printer Install installing my printer on Windows 10 is a pain. So how hard could it be to install a printer on Arch Linux? Read on to find out.


First you need to install some software. Arch Linux doesn’t give you anything for free except a rock solid bare OS. Here’s what you need to install: sudo pacman -S cups ghostscript gsfonts libcups

After installing these you’ll want to enable and start the cups.service in systemd.

  • sudo systemctl enable cups.service
  • sudo systemctl start cups.service

Next, because I am running the Gnome Desktop Environment, I went to Settings and selected Printers and clicked the Add a Printer… button. The Add Printer dialog came up, but it didn’t find my printer so I entered the address in the text box at the bottom. As soon as I did that an entry appeared for a JetDirect-Printer at that address. I clicked on that and chose the Add button from the top. A Select Printer Driver dialog appears next and I selected the appropriate one for my printer. That was it.


Although not as easy as installing this printer on Ubuntu, I still think it’s easier than installing the printer on Windows 10.

Additional Information

For my printer, there’s also a command line interface to install. After installing the software specified above type sudo hp-setup -i and follow the on screen prompts to get your printer installed. Both methods work and I’m not sure which is best.

A third method is using the CUPS web interface that you should be able to access at http://localhost:631/ and click Add Printer in the Administration tab.


This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0


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