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This is a guide to setting up the HP DeskJet 720 on Linux with CUPS. This procedure also works with the HP DeskJet 850C.

Configure the Kernel

Make sure you have Parallel Printer Support in your kernel before you continue. After all this is a Parallel Port printer so I don't know how you would get it working without it ;).

Code: It needs to be configured in two different places in the kernel config
 Device Drivers > Parallel Port Support > Parallel Port Support
 Device Drivers > Character Devices > Parallel Printer Support

Don't forget to enable Device Drivers > Plug and Play support > Plug and Play support, whithout this feature the parallel port gives you this message: "lp: driver loaded but no devices found"

Install Software and Drivers

Emerge the following software if you haven't already.

emerge ghostscript pnm2ppa foomatic cups

Download HP Deskjet 720C PPD file from

Save it to /usr/share/cups/model/

Setup the Printer

All we have to do now is to add the printer and print a test page.


First, enable the CUPS service with "/etc/init.d/cupsd start" as root. Then, bring up the CUPS Admin Interface by typing in your browser: [1]. Enter the username and password for your root account. Next click Add New Printer.

Code: Add information about your printer
 Name: DeskJet720C
 Location: At home
 Description: My printer
  1. Select Device for DeskJet720C which is Parallel Port #1.
  2. Select Model/Driver for DeskJet720C. The model is HP and driver is HP DeskJet 720C Foomatic/pnm2ppa (recommended) (en). Now you should see the text "Printer DeskJet720C has been added successfully."
  3. If you want to know if it works go to Printers up in the menu and print a test page with your added printer.

Add it to the runlevel

We want our printer to be available when we start our computer so we add it to the default runlevel.

rc-update add cupsd default


This document is written by Dennis Höglund (Agne). Please do not hesitate to send feedback!

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Last modified: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 06:44:00 +0000 Hits: 22,455