To get your printer working you will mainly need to install and setup cups.

If you choose the printer support option on the installer you will already have a working cups setup and only need to add your printer.

To start with cups and an usb connected printer:

sudo pacman -S cups cups-filters cups-pdf system-config-printer --needed

To get full cups with support for many different printers per default. Install this packages on top of that:

sudo pacman -S ghostscript gsfonts foomatic-db-engine foomatic-db foomatic-db-ppds foomatic-db-nonfree foomatic-db-nonfree-ppds gutenprint foomatic-db-gutenprint-ppds --needed

For QT environments (like KDE/plasma LXQT):

sudo pacman -S print-manager --needed

enable socket, which will listen if print-job is calling and then enable the service:

sudo systemctl enable --now cups.socket

or using the service, which will be running constantly.

sudo systemctl enable --now cups.service

For network printer support, check if avahi is installed and its daemon is running:

systemctl status avahi-daemon

if you get an error or it shows disabled not running:

sudo pacman -S avahi --needed
sudo systemctl start avahi-daemon
sudo systemctl enable avahi-daemon

Troubleshooting: Network printer not reachable:

It is a common issue that you can not get wifi printers to print, especially some Brother wifi printers.

It can be required to enable local hostname resolution for avahi to be able to connect to your network printer:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Avahi#Hostname_resolution

Avahi provides local hostname resolution using a “hostname.local” naming scheme. To enable it, make sure the nss-mdns package is installed and avahi-daemon.service is running:

pacman -Qs nss-mdns to see if it is installed local:

➜ ~ » pacman -Qs nss-mdns
local/nss-mdns 0.14.1-3
glibc plugin providing host name resolution via mDNS

Make sure avahi-daemon is running:

systemctl status avahi-daemon.service

Then, edit the file /etc/nsswitch.conf and change the hosts line to include mdns_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] before resolve and dns:

Restart avahi-daemon and NetworkManager after this, or reboot machine:

sudo systemctl restart avahi-daemon NetworkManager

Procedure to find the right driver for your printer:

Go to the open printing website and search for whether your printer is supported on Linux at all, and what driver options are available.

This is what the result will look like:

  • On top you will see whether or not there is a working driver for your printer
  • second it will show available driver options, in the example, you see Type: Ghostscript built-in, so go to package search on Archlinux (or use the tool of your choice) you will find GhostScript (already installed if you followed the tutorial from top to bottom)

So install the driver available for your device, and proceed to install and configure the printer. But take a look at these links first, as it could be that your printer needs some extra configuration done to work properly:

Some links to common printers’ information on Archwiki:

Notes on Common ways to install printer drivers:

Mostly all printers will be using cups as a backend to communicate with your system, but different brands will be needing different ways to get printers fully functional:

Hewlett and Packard (HP) printers:

Some of the HP-printers needs a proprietary plugin to work, this can be installed by hplip.

Most drivers for hp-printers come with the HPLIP package you can install this with:

sudo pacman -S hplip

install python-pyqt5 to run GUI and hp-toolbox:

sudo pacman -S python-pyqt5

now run the program to install new printer queue and the possibly needed proprietary plugin for some hp-printers:

sudo hp-setup -i for CLI install without a GUI

or run hp-setup from menu.

hp-setup from terminal CLI

The tool guides you through the installation – simply read the instructions.

Current notes (29.5.2020):

There is currently an issue with getting keys from keyservers, this also seem to effect the hp-plugin. Verify downloaded plugin to see what caused a failed to install. To solve this you need to change the server used by the tool:

sudo nano /usr/share/hplip/base/validation.py
change the server to keyserver.ubuntu.com like this:

def init(self, pgp_site = 'keyserver.ubuntu.com', key = 0x4ABA2F66DBD5A95894910E0673D770CDA59047B9):

Save the file by pressing [Ctrl+X].

Then run sudo hp-setup -i again.

You have your printer added now, so you do not need to set it up again as what follows, but you can use system-config-printer to setup configuration for papersize e.t.c.

Common printer setup (not for most hp-printers):

Use the system-config-printer tool to find and set up your printer:

Under KDE/plasma or LXQT:

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