[conspire] corrected to HP LaserJet4M Plus Re: HP LaserJet4 - CUPS lists printer twice

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Aug 25 10:21:36 PDT 2009

Quoting Darlene Wallach (freepalestin at dslextreme.com):

> I spoke briefly with Daniel on Saturday. He reminded me I don't have a
> router and therefore no way to get an ip for the printer.

Eh?  There's no connection between routers and "getting an IP".  It's
possible that what Daniel is thinking about, however, is DHCP leases.  I
vaguely recall that JetDirect cards are often configured to be DHCP
clients by default -- which I personally don't like and immediately
switch off, in favour of using a static IP of my choosing.

Here's a manual for your printer.  However, it doesn't cover
configuration of network functionality on the JetDirect card, because
those are (I guess) an optional accessory that plugs into the printer's
Modular I/O slot.

Here are two of the many write-ups on the Internet concerning how to
configure a JetDirect card.  (There have been many models of JetDirect 
card, so the instructions are necessarily a little generic.)

I'm guessing your Linux machine has some private-space (RFC1918) static
IP address like  If that's the case, you would assign the
JetDirect interface some static IP on the same network, e.g.,  (Use a subnet mask of, with such addresses.)

You'd also want to put an entry into /etc/hosts for the printer, like   printer 4m lj4m hp

That would associate the hostname "printer" with IP address, and also create alias names "4m", "lj4m", and "hp" for that
IP address.  /etc/hosts entries are sort of the poor man's DNS, being
handy for maintaining a local-to-one's-system static name map.  Be aware
that their contents are your responsibility, i.e., that obsolete
mappings in them don't update themselves.

Running the command "ping printer" and verifying a response will prove
that the printer is correctly IPed, is reachable, is responding to IP
traffic, and can be addressed by name (via the /etc/hosts entry).

Notice what it says on the cited page about pressing printer front-panel
buttons to force the JetDirect firmware to print out a self-test /
configuration page.  You should do that:  The printout's contents will
include the IP configuration and a list of what network printing procols
the card's configured to do.  I vaguely recall that it'll do lpr,
AppleTalk, and IPX/SPX -- any and all.  (Me, I'd go with just lpr.)

If the printer claims to have a 169.254.x.x IP address, then it's
sitting around on its ass sending out DHCP lease requests.  ;->

By the way, once you have a reachable IP address configured in a
JetDirect device (i.e., it responds to ping), then you can use HP
JetAdmin software for Win32, MacOS, or i386 Linux to do the rest of
printer configuration, if you wish.  However, telneting into them
as mentioned in the linked documents accomplishes the same thing without
the need to install proprietary crud.

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