Last week I reported on a bug introduced in Chrome OS 97 causing Chromebooks to not print to HP printers. The main commonality among the affected devices was they used ARM-based processors. Today, Google merged a fix for the Chrome OS 97 printer bug after testing the solution.
Here’s what caused the problem along with an explanation of why this bug made it out to the Chrome OS 97 Stable Channel:
The configure script always adds python to the list of linked libraries even though hpcups doesn’t need it. On x86, the linker removes the unused dependency, but the arm linker doesn’t. This causes the hpcups filter to crash at startup on production arm images. Since neither hpcups nor hpps need python to build, remove it from the build flags entirely. This wasn’t caught during testing because test images have python installed, so the hpcups filter appeared to work correctly.
Essentially, the test devices weren’t configured exactly like a Chromebook in the field, so the Chrome OS 97 printer bug was missed.
I don’t know if Google will immediately push the fix for the Chrome OS 97 HP printer bug. We’re very close to seeing Chrome OS 98 rollout. It’s been nearly four weeks since Chrome OS 97 arrived and we’re on a four-week software update cycle now.
I’d like to think that a small update does get pushed out sooner since I don’t expect Chrome OS 98 to arrive for about a week or so.
The fix has been merged into Chrome OS versions 98 and 99 as of now so this doesn’t happen again over the next two months. Presumably, test devices will be configured to be more like Chromebooks in the wild as well. However, that’s not always easy to do: Testing efforts often require additional software to actually run automated test cases.