Watch me trying to use a printer.

We have a "HP Color LaserJet MFP m277dw" at home. According to HP's linux support site, this printer has "Full" support. To use it, you "only" have to install the HP Linux Imaging and Printing software, or as they often call it, HPLIP. Additionally, my printer requires a plug-in for that software that contains "proprietary software-technologies". Somehow, these technologies broke yesterday, and now I am trying to reinstall HPLIP. You can install the hplip package in Arch Linux, but with that one, it doesn't work:

AttributeError: module 'platform' has no attribute 'dist'
error: Failed to install Plugin.

Because that function was deprecated long enough to be removed. Obviously, it requires Python < 3.7, but doesn't state that anywhere. At the same time, I can not install a different Python version than the current one. So I downloaded the HPLIP tarball from Sourceforge.

First of all, the software doesn't ship with build instructions. That's bad, but I can see a Makefile.am, so I tried

automake
autoconf
./configure --help

which gives me a lot of options. I think the following configuration would be good:

  • --disable-hpijs-only-build: This is "deprecated" but enabled by default.
  • --disable-fax-build: I don't need the fax capabilities.
  • --enable-qt5, --disable-qt4: There is no qt4 for Arch Linux. That configuration gives me:
    checking python3.8/Python.h usability... no
    ...
    configure: error: cannot find python-devel support

    But I definitely have a "/usr/include/python3.8/Python.h".

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