Using HP Color LaserJet CP1217 on Mac (or any non-compatible printer)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Loccy, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Loccy macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2009

    I'm posting this more for the benefit of people who, in the future, might be Googling around for a solution to get this printer working on their Mac. Having bought the printer and made a point of noting that the packaging in no way said "this only works on Windows, we have no Mac drivers", I was furious to get home and find that was the case (despite confusing references on the HP website to troubleshooting the driver installation!).

    So I thought I'd post this so others in the same boat as me can get something working, and don't have quite the same Google trawl as I did.

    You will need:

    1) some kind of Virtualisation software. I used VMWare Fusion, but see no reason why the open source VirtualBox shouldn't work.

    2) some kind of Windows in your virtualisation software. If all you're going to use it for is printing, then XP will probably be best.

    3) The following guide:

    4) The software from the guide, Ghostscript and Redmon. You don't actually need GSView.

    What you do:

    1) Set up your install of XP in your virtualised environment. If, like I, you're going to have an installation solely to use as a print spooler, you can set its hard disk and memory usage to absolutely minimal (128Mb will be enough RAM).

    2) Boot up your VM of XP and install your printer under it.

    3) Follow the guide, inside the Virtual Machine, with the following amendments:

    - when you get to the step where the guide tells you to install a Colour Laserjet 4550 PS, install an Apple Color LaserWriter 12/660 PS instead.

    - you should use Stephanie Hole's arguments for Ghostscript in the redirected port (see the note in the guide).

    Now you can install the printer in OSX:

    4) Go into System Preferences/Printers and Faxes back in OSX.

    5) Add a new printer and select Windows. You should see the Windows "machine" (i.e. your virtualised install of XP), and can select the shared Ghostscript "printer".

    6) You will need to select a driver. Select the Color LaserWriter 12/660 PS.

    Job done. You should now be able to print to the printer from OSX applications. Note that you'll need the XP virtual machine up and running when you do so, though.
  2. Agurri macrumors 6502


    May 8, 2005
    Québec, Canada
    Yup, foo2hp works with alot of HP printers and others. (Samsung i.e) Just need to look on the web :).
  3. RexTraverse macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2008
    Well, you got it working, and that's what matters. I went through a similar exercise with my HP LaserJet 1020 because it was a printer I already owned when I bought my Mac and I print so little that it wouldn't have been cost effective to buy a new printer.

    However, in HP's defense, did it say anywhere on the box that it supported anything other than Windows? The HP website for the CP1217 specifically states that only Windows 2000, Windows XP (Home or Professional), Windows Server 2003 (32-bit only) and Windows Vista are supported. Very rarely do manufacturers list all the systems the equipment doesn't support and Mac users shouldn't feel entitled to preferential treatment over users of other OSes like Ubuntu, Red Hot, Solaris, or Win 98.
  4. Loccy thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Don't quote me on it, but I'm fairly sure the box didn't say ANYTHING about supported OSes - on the basis I specifically looked before buying the thing. And there are confusing references on their website to drivers and installation troubleshooting thus:

    Clearly there IS a driver floating around HP somewhere, but for some odd reason they don't want to share it with the world.

    I'm not sure I buy that to be honest. As much as Linux is on the up for home use, I'd debate whether it has the same takeup as OSX. (Ironically, there ARE Linux drivers for the printer :mad:)

    Incidentally, I did see the Foomatic stuff, but to be brutally honest it prompted something of a wtf? response from me. I might play a bit more and repost (especially as this thread is, as I intended, now one of the top matches for Google searches into this subject)
  5. Loccy thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Right - as I suspected, the Footmatic stuff was a complete and utter nightmare. God forbid that anything that has crossed over from the Linux world actually be simple.

    I ended up having to faff with my cupsd.conf before I could get into the settings and turn on colour, only to find that Ghostscript 8.64 has broken colour anyway. Installing Ghostscript from Darwin Ports gives you 8.63, but not one that is a "shared object" (whatever that is), so Foomatic doesn't install. In the end I had to scratch around the internet to find a copy of Ghostscript 8.63 as an OSX package, which was easier said than done (so am stashing it on some webspace of mine and attaching it here for future reference, both for myself and others).

    Note this is just for the HP CP121x printer I have. The VM approach will work for any non-compatible printer.

    So, you need:

    Ghostscript 8.63 in package format - (don't laugh at the URL :D). Follow the standard OSX installer all the way through.

    Latest version of Foomatic - follow the standard installer all the way through. Download Foomatic and install it. AVOID THEIR INSTALL OF GHOSTSCRIPT LIKE THE PLAGUE. USE THE ONE ABOVE INSTEAD (you should have already installed it from the link above).

    Foo2HP - scroll down to the "download and install" part. The instructions after the part that says "compile and install..." should work find in an OSX terminal, follow them up to the line that says "Now create printer entries for your spooler".

    Add the printer in System Preferences. You should now see a whole raft of new drivers - search for the CP1215 one and use that.

    To turn on colour, you'll have to select it from the printer features when a print dialogue box appears. Otherwise, you need to go into the CUPS web interface - http://localhost:631 and set the printer features from there (which'll set the defaults). The problem I had was that it kept asking for user name and password and the only resolution I found for it was to trash a whole raft of security type bollocks from my cupsd.conf. Probably not recommended because if you get that wrong you break your entire printing subsystem.

    The colour is not perfect, and to be honest I'm not convinced I won't just carry on using the shared printer in the VM, but at least there is a "native" option for those using the HP CP1215/1217.

    Again, am sure there's not a million people currently on the forum who are bothered about this information, but I'm sure people will Google their way here and hope the information is useful on that front.
  6. Hez777 macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2009
    I'm new to a mac. My 18 month old PC laptop died but unfortunately before it did I had bought a new CP1215. So real nuisance to find it doesn't have drivers available so this part is not quite the easy to use mac option I was expecting! I followed the instructions below, even found out how to use terminal but when going on from the compile and install section it says that the make command is not found. After a bit of research I tried to 'sudo apt-get' the make command, but that's not found either.

    Are you able to give any further instructions on how to finish off this install after completing the first two download and installs?
  7. gsahli macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2007

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