I'm trying to install the latest HPLIP following this guide. To summarize you perform the following:

sudo apt-get purge hplip hplip-data hplip-doc hplip-gui hpijs-ppds libsane-hpaio printer-driver-hpcups printer-driver-hpijs

sudo rm -rf /usr/share/hplip/

sudo apt-get autoremove

Then you download the latest HPLIP and install via this guide (ie sh hplip-3.20.2.run and accept all defaults). I'm installing on Ubuntu 20.04 which I believe utilizes Python 3, not Python 2. It appears that for this reason the HPLIP installer errors out with:

checking python2.7m... no
error: cannot find python-devel support

Is the only way out of this issue to switch my 20.04 installation to a Python 2 version? I'd prefer to leave this 20.04 install on Python 3.

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    There's an answer as I type this, but I'd also suggest that you make sure you have python-dev installed. It should be in the default repos. – KGIII Jul 31 '20 at 14:54
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    My 20.04 Kubuntu has hplip 3.20.3+dfsg0-2 and do not have python2 installed. And when I check dependencies in synaptic it says python3. But I did not install hplip, whatever printer drivers my printer needed were installed by default. Ubuntu now uses driverless printing. wiki.debian.org/CUPSDriverlessPrinting – oldfred Jul 31 '20 at 15:17
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    @JasonHunter What was wrong with hplip-gui deb-package? What is your printer model? – N0rbert Jul 31 '20 at 16:21
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    At present time I do not have HP MFP and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS at same time near me, so can't really test how stable it works. It is great that problem got solved. – N0rbert Jul 31 '20 at 18:30
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    My printer has just appeared with recent Ubuntu installs. Even live installer had pop-up notice saying adding my HP printer before I clicked on install. – oldfred Jul 31 '20 at 19:42

You can always install python2 by running

sudo apt install python2

It won't change anything with python3.


Firstly, there are lots of users who appear to regard upgrading to the latest version of HPLIP as some sort of solution. But, with rare exceptions, they never say what the problem is, as is the case here. This then involves lots of other users in seeking a solution to an unknown problem that may not exist in the first place.

With few exceptions, the HPLIP version in Ubuntu 20.04 should be suitable for the vast majority of users who choose to use it.

Secondly, anyone with a modern HP printer doesn't need HPLIP. It is their choice to use it, but HPLIP is redundant. oldfred's contribution points that up.

Thirdly, unless I have missed it, there isn't any mention of the device model. Suggesting alternatives to the present course of action becomes impossible. Legacy printer versus modern printer would determine the advice given.

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    You raise some good points. The issue was that out of the box Ubuntu 20.04 would not recognize my printer. After uninstalling and reinstalling HPLIP the printer was then recognized. – Jason Hunter Aug 6 '20 at 11:10

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