Monday, November 7, 2011

Mint/Ubuntu Update Broke Printing

Today I was suddenly unable to use my home HP ink jet printer with Linux Mint, despite the fact that this morning it was printing fine from Windows (my system is dual-boot).  The error message informed me that /usr/lib/cups/backend/hp had failed for unspecified reasons.  Toggling the printer off and back on did not help, nor did rebooting the system, nor did switching the driver.

A quick web search, however, revealed the fact that some unspecified update had screwed up permissions on the /usr/lib/cups/backend directory (restricting it to root only).  Most of the executables in that directory looked okay, but the permissions for cups-pdf were also root only, so I'm guessing that it was an update to cups-pdf that blew things up.

The solution: sudo chmod -R 755 /usr/lib/cups/backend.

I thought Microsoft had a patent on destructive updates.  Guess not.

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