I cracked down and got a cheap HP printer for the annoying sake of some docs I had to print on paper like in the stone age, for lame bureaucratic reasons.

The printer prints well from my iPad. Now to my Ubuntu:

I have added a printer in the Ubuntu printers application, chosen the "recommended" detected driver (Deskjet 3740) it suggests, and the printer seems successfully added, plus its properties screen seems to see the printer (as it shows its status as idle). But printing to it does nothing... the print job shows briefly in its print queue, but the printer doesn't do anything.

Thing is my printer is a 3788, so I wonder if any driver has better chances of working for it. There's no 37xx driver available to chose on the add printer dialog.

In case you have ideas for a really quick win, thanks in advance!

  • 1
    Collect your lastest cups log sudo journalctl -u cups.service --since="2018-07-03" >cups.txt. grep for errors. If there something like error: Failed to create /var/spool/cups/tmp/.hplip reffer to askubuntu.com/questions/1047354/…
    – Yurij
    Jul 3, 2018 at 8:11
  • 1
    I just remeded my own usb p1005, by reinstalling hplips
    – Yurij
    Jul 3, 2018 at 8:12

1 Answer 1


sorry for the delay in replying; so HP call this a

HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 3789 All-in-one

and it needs hplip 3.17.9 and Ubuntu 16.04 only has 3.16.3 so best delete the existing by paste this command into a terminal

sudo apt purge hplip

then download the new version of hplip by going here https://developers.hp.com/hp-linux-imaging-and-printing/gethplip and click to download and SAVE what will be the 3.18.6 version and if you paste the commands below into the terminal

cd Downloads

sh hplip-3.18.6.run

.. that should install the new version and it should do the config for you; if it does not, do


from a terminal; please note there is no sudo in the install command

  • The answers at askubuntu.com/q/1056077/208696 is more balanced in giving both the way to install the latest apt version and the way to install the latest available version, plus some caveats mentioned in its comments, I'd recommend anyone going through those fuller answers there!
    – matanox
    Sep 12, 2019 at 14:46
  • Had to reinstall it strictly following here, and look up the specific error message showing on the printer itself was the other half of the solution: the default pdf viewer was using the wrong paper size in my case, and nothing in the driver/OS warned about it, only the printer message signal told it, which I could get to by typing it in google: hp 3788 e2 error. It has been initially confusing because the printer only issued this message AFTER printing the first page ...
    – matanox
    Sep 12, 2019 at 14:50

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