linux for blondes


I have a lovely HP PSC2355 printer sitting beside my computer. It prints out lovely photos and documents but it has always seemed a shame that I have never had it set up for scanning. It took a while as my normal computer helper was busy but I have proved that it is possible to get something slightly complicated like this set up with minimal linux knowlege.

Step one

What program to use?

I was directed to wards xsane which is a graphical front end for the sane (scanner access now easy) library. It is relatively simple to use but has great potential in the right hands.Unfortuantely when I started it up the only thing it could communicate with was my TV card (which although shows great TV programs cannot scan in my pictures very well)

Step two

How to get my computer to speak to  my printer?

There are two programs which can be used to communicate with HP printers, namel hpoj and hplip.


This one is no longer being developed which I discovered after I tried (and failed) to use it.


Hplip has extensive and very useful installation instructions. I istalled hplip through synaptic and although hplip was there it still could not communicate with my printer so instead I went through the installation instructions letter for letter and it all seems to work nicely now.

Simplified instructions for fellow ubuntu (dapper) users:

1. Check your printer is in supported divices

2. Install the required libraries with this comand

    # sudo apt-get install build-essential python2.4-dev python2.4-qt3 libcupsys2-dev libsnmp9-dev libjpeg62-dev lsb libtool automake1.9 libusb-dev

3. Download the latest hplip from

4. Unzip the file you have downloaded

   # tar -zxvf hplip-1.6.10.tar.gz (or whaterver your file is called)

4. enter the resulting folder

   # cd hplip-1.6.10

5. type #  ./configure --prefix=/usr

6. type # make 

7. type #  sudo make install

8. type #  sudo /etc/init.d/hplip restart

9. type #  sudo /etc/init.d/cupsys restart

10. type #  sudo hp-setup -a

This will take you into hp-setup a grapical set up system which will allow you to identify your printer, select your printer and set up how to speak to it. Hopefully it will detect this all automaticall like mine did.

Step 3

Then you use xsane to scan in your picture.

1. Startup xsane with the comand # xsane

2. If there are multiple divices it can speak to the you need to select which one (hopefully your printer will be in there somewhere)

3. Click on scan in the bottom right of the main window or you can get a preview window by clicking on the window menue and clicking on show preview. Then on the preview window which appears click acquire preview.