How to... Fix HP printer “filter failed” error in (Ubuntu) Linux

Printer: HP LaserJet M1132 MFP; operating systems tested: Xubuntu 13.10, 14.04, 14.10; theme: Numix. Download as pdf here or here.

Update, 2015-02-06: As of a recent upgrade to Xubuntu 14.10, jumping straight to the third solution still fixes the issue.

My printer suffered a paper jam. After releasing the paper, I found that the printer was unwilling to print anything. The specific error was “filter failed”.


The first step is to open CUPS. In your browser's urlbar, type “localhost:631”. If at any point, CUPS asks for your password, enter it as you would in the terminal. To confirm this error, click on the Jobs tab.

As you can see under State, I'm getting the “filter failed” error.

Solution 1: re-install printer

Now click on the Printers tab, and then click on your printer.

Under the Administration menu, you will see an option to delete the printer:

When asked to confirm, click Delete Printer. In the Administration tab, add the printer.

Once that is complete, try printing your document. (You can also print a test page in the Maintenance menu of your printer's page.)

Alternate solution if this fails: rename your printer with a slightly different name.

Solution 2: re-install CUPS

Some found that this error was caused by a problem with CUPS, either after an update or failed installation.

Although you can do this in the terminal, we're going to use a GUI method. Open Synaptic, and in the Quick filter text field, type “cups”.

Click on the Installed tab, so it will be easier to select all. Although you don't have to re-install everything, this is what I (or we) will be doing.

Select all the packages (CTRL + A). Now mark the packages for re-installation. You can do this either by right-clicking and clicking Mark for Reinstallation or opening the Package menu and clicking Mark for Reinstallation there.

Now click Apply and let Synaptic re-install CUPS. After re-installation, print your document.

Solution 3: Fix HPLIP

Update, 2015-03-02: According to an anonymous commenter, this solution can also fix "cups filter failed", "print service unavailable", and "bad file descriptor" errors.

If you perused the list of packages you marked for re-installation, you may have noticed one called hplip. Formally known as HP Linux Imaging and Printing, HPLIP integrates HP printers with Linux. It is provided by HP; you can learn more here.

Generally, HPLIP will come pre-installed with your distribution; you can confirm that by typing “hplip” in Quick filter again. If it's installed, Synaptic will show it as such.

Let's close Synaptic now and open the terminal. In the terminal, type “hp-check -t”. This will check whether HPLIP is working correctly. In my case, this is what I found:

I was missing two required packages. If you have the same problem, type “hp-doctor” as suggested. You will get a number of prompts throughout, the first of which may be a distribution error:

error: This distro (i.e ubuntu 13.10) is either deprecated or not yet supported.
The diagnosis is limited on unsupported platforms. Do you want to continue?(y=yes, n=no*):

Type “y” and continue.

If you get after it checks for updates:

Newer version of HPLIP-3.13.11 is available.
Press 'y' to continue to upgrade HPLIP-3.13.11 (y=yes*, n=no):

Type “y” and continue. You may be told to install HPLIP manually, but it will continue anyway, and check for dependencies.

Under General Dependencies, hp-doctor found this:

The next prompt will be:

Do you want to update repository and Install missing/incompatible packages. (a=install all*, c=custom_install, s=skip):

Type “a” and continue.

Because my problem was a plug-in version mismatch, I next got this:

Found Plugin version mismatch. Press 'y' to re-install the plugin(y=yes*, n=no):

Type “y” and continue.

When you're asked whether to download, specify a path, or quit, choose the download option by typing “d”.

HP will then ask you to accept the license terms:

Do you accept the license terms for the plug-in (y=yes*, n=no, q=quit) ?

Type "y" if you accept.

hp-doctor will then complete without further prompts. Now try to print your document.

Other solutions

In my case, running hp-check -t was the solution to fix the "filter failed" error. However, that may not be the case with you.

One solution that was a temporary fix was to change my PDF viewer. So, switching from the default Evince to KDE's Okular appeared to solve the problem. (By my own admission, I'm no Linux expert, so don't ask me how.)

There are some useful resources that may help:



  1. Thank you very much, luckily enough for me the 1st solution worked :D

    1. Great to hear that it worked for you. Thanks for reading! :D

  2. Thanks, I selected the first option, function correctly.


    1. Thank you for commenting. I'm happy the first one worked for you.

  3. Solution 3 fixes broken cups printer server after ubuntu / kubuntu update or upgrade in February 2015.
    Error messages: "cups filter failed" "print service unavailable" "bad file descriptor"
    Many thanks for the solution!

    1. Thanks for the comment. I've added those errors to the article.

  4. Excellent article. Fixed my problem installing HP Laserjet 1020 under ubuntu 14.04,

    hp-doctor was the step that made a difference for me. Print queue was emptying, but printer was not actually printing anything.

    Many thanks,

    1. Thanks. The third solution certainly seems to do the trick for most people.

  5. Really a great tutorial. The hp-doctor solved the problem that jobs have been sent to the queue, but nothing happend after it. I also got the "filter failed" info in the queue details. Now, it's gone and the printer HP M127 works fine under Lubuntu 14.04

  6. I had the same issue, but none of these solutions worked. hp-doctor fixed many dependencies, but that didn't solve the problem. When rerun, it said everything was OK was I still got the same error "Filter failed" and error code 48 in the logs.

    Here is what I did, on Linux Mint 17.2 and a Laserjet Pro MFP m125nw:

    1. Removed the installed printer that failed in CUPS Web UI
    2. Uninstalled hplip (apt-get remove hplib)
    3. Download the latest version from (I think the version shipped with my distro was older)
    4. Run the downloaded file (first you need to make it executable with chmod +x filename)
    5. Follow instructions (when prompted, I preferred interactive mode over GUI)

    I think I had to run hp-setup at the end because I decided to use USB instead of Ethernet.

    Hope that helps!


  7. Yes it worked !! Thanks

  8. Thank you, worked for me.
    I did have to change my printer name from hp 1020 to hp 1022, but then everything worked perfectly

  9. Nice blog, thanks a lot. I tried all three things you recommend, and none of them fixed my "Filter failed" error. What did is the following:
    I ran hp-plugin then I deleted the printer (using the CUPS web interface), then I ran hp-setup . Now, it works.
    I have no idea if the order in which I did things matters.

  10. You just saved my life! I was trying to fix my print server for hours. Thank you so much!

  11. Wow,it's really a great post and very easy to understand. I think it's helpful for everyone. Thanks for sharing.

  12. This worked wonderfully! Beginners luck, no just the best solution I've found. I installed Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia "Mate 64 Bit " and really love it. My ERRORS were: missing filters, no imagining file installed and ppd cups errors. My printer: Hp Envy 4510 series all in one. Although I didn't reinstall (all) just the ones needed and no other printer makes and models, HP Linux and imaging packages working Wonderful. Thanks many times over.

  13. Nice blog! Hp provides printers for Home and office any situation. You can find different kind of Hp Printer for as your comfortability.

  14. Whenever you are opposed with some unwanted technical faults into your HP Printer, no need to feel worry, just connect to the technical support team at HP Printer Contact Number USA and rest will be taken care of. They have acquired the best skills for fixing any error you are confronted to.

  15. Brother Printer is said to be the most competent printing device that assures crisp printouts within seconds. On contrary to this, it projects error codes and messages in your path. For correcting such error codes and messages, you can tell the Online Brother Printer support Number UK and everything will be solved.

  16. Excellent Tips. I think it will be very helpful for me.

  17. hiiii

    thanks for sharing information

    we are providing printer repair in gurgaon

  18. I am feeling glad that I land up to this post. We also work for HP Printer users, they can contact us on HP Printer Customer Support Help Number UK if in case they are having any question about the product.

  19. Nice blog! Hurry Up, We offer effective HP support services for your Printer. Call us at our HP printer helpline number for more assistance!

  20. Thank you for sharing the information. For HP printer support please contact +44 800 014 8929.
    hp support uk,hp phone number, hp contact number, hp customer service, contact hp,

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Brother printer creates a lot of technical troubles this blog is very much informative and is best option to resolve them however for more info you can call at brother printer support number uk. More Info Visit Us: Brother Printer Customer Care Number UK

  23. Nice Info on this blog...readable right solutions provider.

    Lucky HP Customer Service a user can seek help for HP Technical Support desktop, laptop, printer driver download related issues solve HP Certified technicians available online 24x7 help for USA and Canada Country.

  24. Hi... i m Amey Jackson

    Nice Inforation....

    I suggest you read this blog very good details provider blogs services

    HP Support Number

  25. Hi, really nice post. Thanks for writhing this informative post. HP Customer Service is a Technical Support Service provider. If you required any support for HP products, Contact HP Toll-Free Number +1-855-505-7815.

  26. "Very Nice Post. your posts always touched my heart. Fix McAfee download and installation problems with McAfee Customer Service We at McAfee Contact Number available 24*7. you can call McAfee Toll-Free Number
    : +1-855-505-7815."

  27. Are you getting print quality issues with your HP Printer? Please make sure that you are using updated version of HP Drivers. An outdated driver can cause various technical issues. To update your HP Driver call at our UK based helpline or visit HP Printer official website. This is the most convenient way to update your printer driver or get another compatible driver for your printer. You can get in touch with us for other HP Printer queries as well on our HP help desk number.

  28. I came across your site and found that very useful information. Thanks for share with us. Now you can get Instant
    Bittrex Support Number
    Bittrex Phone Number
    Just visit our website & call our certified technicians.

  29. Facing problem with Brother Printer Driver Support dial for best technician for Brother Printer at 1-800-608-2315 is our toll-free brother technical support contact number to resolve your all Brother printer troubleshooting issues by VA Phone Support.

  30. Well done to the writer of this blog. We understand people worries that’s why we have also opened a 24/7 helpline for all HP Printer user. You can connect with us on HP Printer Customer Care Number UK to access immediate help.

  31. Yahoo is the best web mail portal. With the help of Yahoo mail you can easily exchange your data with each other. If you have any issues related Yahoo mail just dial Yahoo customer care number and get instant help.
    Yahoo Customer Service Number
    Yahoo Support Phone Number

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. The reading of the blog content posted by you and explaining about ways to correct issues in HP Printer was an eye-opener. Well, before this I could not receive the correct solution and so was ending up with recurring technical glitches.

    The user calling professionals of HP Printer through HP Printer Contact Number UK will benefit a lot. Each time a user does call us then apart from guiding, a user will also receive knowledge about the future developments in HP Printer.

  34. Many users claim that their HP printer is not printing anything and there is a long queue of unprinted tasks. In such case, HP Printer Technical Helpline Number UK is the right option to be trusted. They offer instant support for all the issues you might have come across.

    Canon Printer Technical Support Number UK | Epson Printer Support Number UK

  35. Error connection with Bitfinex exchange has turned as the most going on issues that users are facing these days. For the purpose of getting it determined, users may rapidly dial our Bitfinex Support Phone Number +1-855-206-2326 that is existing at all times. The reason behind the error connection strength is various but the literal detection may only be accepted out by an expert team. The experts are always at their service to help the users. The experts feel delighted to help you.
    For More Info:

  36. Hi everyone I am Andrew Phillips and I have huge experience in Independent Reserve Support area. We provide support for All Independent Reserve related problems to all Customers in the USA. GreenAddress support number more useful and also helpful for All users which are related to Independent Reserve Support. Our technicians have well experience knowledge in IT sector and also available to you for any issue related problems in Independent Reserve. Our Experts' team can solve any types of technical problems related to computer’s display or Bios and kernel related problems or many more related all technical services. We are best-qualified technician team and also available for Independent Reserve support related problems in 24/7. You can also visit at our website for more information:

  37. Are you getting print quality issues with your HP Laptop? Please make sure that you are using updated version of HP Drivers. An outdated driver can cause various technical issues. HP Tech Support Numberservices provider "HP" Technical printer & computer repair problem call 1-800-674-9438
    all time help and any where support.

    Hp laptop Support number in USA | hp laptop service center near me
    laptop service in USA | laptop service center in canada
    HP laptop Customer service Number| laptop service USA
    Hp laptop Technical Support Number| HP laptop Support phone number in USA
    HP laptop service center in USA | laptop service center near me

  38. Nice post ! thank you for sharing this information, i am also want to introduce about a number, If you need of technical help to Set up the Wired Printer? Whenever you are stuck tech issues with HP Printer or whatever the issue it is that is coming on your way you can contact us at 0808-169-3104. You can call us at HP Printer Helpline Number UK any time you need and we are there to serve you the best solution.

  39. I dug some of your post as I cogitated they were handy very beneficial

    hp support usa
    hp printer number
    hp tech support

  40. HP is a recognized brand in the market that is best known for its products if you come across any issue while accessing its products; speak to HP Technical Support NumberUSA team. Technicians at the cUstomer service helpdesk guide you with guaranteed steps to put your system back on track, you jUst need to dial HP support Number USA 1-800-674-9438.

    HP Tech support Number
    HP tech support Number USA
    HP Technical support Number Usa
    HP support Phone Number
    HP customer support Number
    HP contact Number
    HP tollfree Number
    HP customer care Number

  41. Nice blog! It is very informative for Printer users. Hurry Up! Call for HP Printer Support number. If Your Printer creates any technical error in printing. Give us a call at Hp Printer Customer Support Usa or Hp Printer Toll Free Number 1-800-674-9438 and get instant support.

  42. Your Post is very unique and all information is reliable for new readers. Keep it up in future, thanks for sharing such a useful post.
    HP Technical Support

  43. Awesome post. Thanks for sharing very useful blog! Really appreciative your work. Really thankful to provide such an information to us. Keep updating
    EPSON Printer Support Number UK

  44. Awesome post. Thanks for sharing very useful blog! Really appreciative your work. Really thankful to provide such an information to us. Keep updating
    HP Printer Support Number UK
    HP Printer help Number UK

  45. Awesome post. Thanks for sharing very useful blog! Really appreciative your work. Really thankful to provide such an information to us. Keep updating Brother Printer contact Number UK

  46. Thanks for sharing such a great information with us.
    We provide HP Technical Support information which assists users to solve their technical problem.
    HP Tech Support Number

  47. Awesome post. Thanks for sharing very useful blog! Really appreciative your work. Really thankful to provide such an information to us. Keep updating EPSON Printer Helpline Number

  48. The overviewed solution in this blog is really appreciable as well as production. In case, your HP Printer start imposing technical issues affront you, don’t take much time and call at HP Printer Help Number UK And HP Printer Support Number UK to clear of related complications.

  49. If you have Dell laptop and you stuck in trouble because your laptop is not getting open or if it opens shows a blank screen. To fix this issue just ask for help to experts via dell tech support number 1(888)784-9316. This number is open for 24 × 7 for every customer and technical team help to fix issues related to Dell laptop in short duration of time.

    Visit More:-
    dell support
    dell computer support
    dell support computer
    dell support laptop
    dell support printer
    dell support virus
    dell customer support

  50. Thanks for sharing! Solution 1 worked!

  51. If you haven’t done the AOL Gold upgrade yet then you are surely lacking behind the best features and tools to access. This software is easy to use, all in one and users can use their emails, search content, watch movies and much more. There are premium security features and automatic updates that enhance your experience of using such an incredible software. Even the process of download and installation is much convenient. Users can get it on their system after checking the requirements.
    aol gold download for pc
    download aol gold for windows 10
    download aol gold windows 7

  52. Brother Printer Support is a one stop solution for printer services. We are proud of delivering instant and highly effective services at any hour of day and also the issue is being rectified as well as corrected in real time right in front of you. We are available 24x7 at +1-888-621-0339.

    Brother Printer Support

  53. HI, Thank you! Your blog is very helpful and knowledgeable?. Thank you again.

  54. Printers are very complex machine. The most common way HP Printer uses to indicating the user about printer problem is error codes. The user needs to reach the crux of the matter then only he will be able to settle down the issue. HP Printer Help Desk Number UK, is a 24/7 helpline where you can find out the cause and solution of all printer related issues.
    HP Printer Help Number UK

  55. When the HP Envy 4520 printer says offline in windows 10 because printer wireless system is not working properly or there might be computer related issues.

    hp envy 4520 offline

  56. Dial Printer Support is an online service provider which provides the best customer service. It resolves the brother laser printer, brother printer and desktop issues. Once you give a call at +1-888-621-0339 the expertise they will get in touch with you to figure the exact problem. Further the team will guide you on the ways to resolve the issue over the phone.
    Dial Printer Support

  57. Very informative post. I really do hope for this stuff works! 6978