I have a printer HP LaserJet 1020 installed locally (USB).

In my environment, I am having to sometimes use another printers of the same type/model on the same machine (i.e. just another HP LaserJet 1020). So printer driver would be 100% the same.

but if I just unplug the first HP LaserJet 1020 and plug another HP LaserJet 1020 (to the same USB port) it wouldn't print.

I am having to either install it as separate printer or modify existing printer to use another connection.

I understand this is rather a "feature" allowing to use multiple printers of the same type simultenously. But I really need to be able to use one connection for the same printer model.

So I could plug the same printers without re configuring them each time I want to use.

I already looked at all possible settings in cupsd.conf and printers.conf and wasn't able to find appropriate setting to achieve this.

  • is it critical you use the same usb port for both? when you use a different port, does it work the way it should?
    – amc
    Feb 19, 2012 at 4:37
  • @amc it's not critical to use the same USB port. And no, it doesn't work when using different USB port. I can use one of other of those 3 USB ports. No problem.
    – bakytn
    Feb 19, 2012 at 4:41
  • Here is the deal! The question is eligible for bounty only in two days. And I am going to provide 100 points to resolve this issue. If you answer right now I would give 150 points (just would start a bounty and then give you 150 points tomorrow)
    – bakytn
    Feb 19, 2012 at 4:43
  • Sorry I wasn't clear: I meant, can you use each printer when they are plugged into different (and separate) ports? I know it's not the answer you want, but why not keep them both plugged into separate USB ports?
    – amc
    Feb 19, 2012 at 4:55
  • 2
    have you tried adding the printer as a class rather than as a printer?
    – amc
    Feb 19, 2012 at 5:03

2 Answers 2


Alright, I found out that it's not possible normally. Because every DeviceURI must contain serial number of the printer. You can't just remove the serial number part from DeviceURI

here you can read official answer to the question: http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.comp.printing.cups.general/29486

This is not supported directly by CUPS, but third-party add-ons may be able to provide this functionality.

But I couldn't find any such add-ons.

Here are the possible solutions from me:

Solution 1

You can create your own backend: http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Using_Your_Own_Backends_to_Print_with_CUPS#A_careless_backend_for_a_single_USB_printer

however this didn't work for me..

Solution 2

Use UDEV rules. So whenever printers connects you would rewrite the printers.conf and the DeviceURI to the newly connected one. This worked for me, but wasn't reliable.

Solution 3 You can try to write your own addon to CUPS. f you are a programmer http://cups.org/documentation.php/api-cups.html


I ran in the same problem and found this post useful, this is the solution I created for my problem, hope it helps.

It basically uses this one liner to get the wanted printer and update CUPS configuration.

lpadmin -p PRINTER_NAME -v $(lpinfo -v | grep usb://PRINTER_MODEL | cut -d ' ' -f 2)

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