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The Scanner HOWTO

Howard Shane

Revision History                                                             
Revision 1.1             2004-05-16            Revised by: jhs               
Libusb and kernel 2.6-series updates, clarifications                         
Revision 1.05            2004-01-15            Revised by: jhs               
Miscellaneous errata and updates                                             
Revision 1.0             2003-08-19            Revised by: tm                
Initial release, reviewed by LDP                                             
Revision 0.04            07-03                 Revised by: jhs               
Clarified, revised and edited after inviting feedback from participants of   
the SANE-devel mailing list                                                  
Revision 0.01            06-03                 Revised by: jhs               
Completed draft.                                                             

This document was written to document the steps necessary for access and use
of a photographic scanner device on a system running Linux.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
    1.1. Copyright Information
    1.2. Disclaimer
    1.3. New Versions
    1.4. Credits
    1.5. Feedback
    1.6. Conventions Used in this Document
2. General Support and Interface Type
    2.1. SCSI Scanners
    2.2. USB Scanners
    2.3. Parallel Port Scanners
    2.4. IEEE 1394 (Firewire??, i.Link??)
    2.5. Operating System Support
    2.6. USB Scanners and Libusb
    2.7. Linux Kernel Support of your Scanner Device
    2.8. Parallel Port Scanners
3. Making and Accessing the Scanner Devices
    3.1. Device Filesystem and Udev
    3.2. Creating Devices Manually
    3.3. Groups and Permissions
    4.1. Getting SANE
    4.2. Configuring SANE
5. Testing Your Scanner
6. SANE Frontends
7. Troubleshooting
    7.1. Help, my scanner cannot be found by scanimage or xsane!
    7.2. Help, I'm not sure my USB hardware is working!
    7.3. Help, scanimage or the frontend I am using identifies the wrong
    7.4. Help, I can only access my parallel-port scanner as root!
    7.5. Help, I have an Acme Whizzbang?? or other model scanner and you
        haven't addressed my particular problem!
8. Gnu Free Documentation License

1. Introduction

This document was written to assist the Linux user in setting up a raster
image scanner device, including flatbed, hand-held, video- and still-cameras,
frame-grabbers and so on. It does not address how to use the available
software tools to achieve a particular photographic result or to utilize your
scanner device's features to the fullest extent. For that information please
consult the application home pages referenced in the text and the
manufacturer's information that accompanied your hardware.

Finally, this document does not answer the question "What type of scanner
should I buy?" The answer varies depending on what you are looking for in a
scanner device. I suggest looking at the supported hardware list link in 
Section 2 and also [] this link
within the SANE-project FAQ.

1.1. Copyright Information

This document is Copyright 2004 Howard Shane.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under
the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later
version published by the Free Software Foundation with no Invariant Sections,
no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license can be
found in Section 8.

1.2. Disclaimer

 No liability for the contents of this document can be accepted. Use the
concepts, examples and other content entirely at your own risk. As this is a
new edition, there may be technical or other inaccuracies that may result in
system failure, destruction of your hardware and the loss of your
irreplaceable data. Proceed with caution and be aware that although errors
are unlikely, the author can nonetheless accept no responsibility whatsoever
for them. 

 All copyrights are held by their by their respective owners, unless
specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be
regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark. 

Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements.

1.3. New Versions

This is the initial release.

The latest version of this document can be found [
docs/HOWTOS/Scanner/] here.

1.4. Credits

I would like to thank Oliver Rauch, Henning Meier-Geinitz, Jonathan Buzzard,
Laurent-jan, Jochen Eisinger and others who participate in SANE development
and/or contribute to the SANE-devel mailing list, without whose input this
project would have been difficult if not impossible to perform with any
measure of quality-control. I would also like to thank the many individuals
who have taken the time to email me new information and corrections.

Also I would like to thank Marla for graciously tolerating all the time I've
spent banging on the keyboard working on projects such as this. You're the

1.5. Feedback

Please send any additions or comments pertaining to this document to the
following email address : <hshane[AT]>. As this is the first
release I am particularly interested in any errata, so don't hesitate to
contact me if you know of something I have wrong or needing updating. Also
let me know if you know of any shortcuts, tools or bits of information that
may help hapless users that you think should be included. I apologize in
advance, but I cannot answer any technical questions or "plz help me" pleas
regarding scanners; any sent my way will be forwarded to /dev/null; for
sources of assistance including live help see Section 7.5 instead, but only
after reading the relevant sections of this document in their entirety. I am
neither an expert on scanners nor do I have every model of scanner ever
manufactured available for testing. My only contribution to scanner support
within Linux is the compiling of my own limited experience with the
exhaustive input of others to produce a succinct but (hopefully)
straightforward HOWTO.

1.6. Conventions Used in this Document

The following conventions are used in this document and are outlined here for
those who may not yet have a complete understanding of how to access and
control the underlying operating system in Linux, which is almost always via
the Bash shell.

First, filenames are referenced in a paragraph like so: /path/file

Commands in Linux are executed (or 'called') at the command prompt, otherwise
known as the 'command line.' If you are in the non-graphical (text-based)
environment you will usually be presented the Bash shell prompt which is a
dollar sign:
|$                                                                          |
...or the hash mark:
|#                                                                          |
...if you have logged in as root or have acquired root, or 'superuser'
privileges. You can also access the Bash shell in the X window system,
otherwise known as X or X11, with an []
xterm or similar X-terminal-emulator. Commands to be performed at the Bash
prompt, but referenced in a paragraph of this document, usually look like
this: do this now

 Commands and/or the resulting output of commands may also be outlined with
screen output in their own paragraph or heading:

|$ date                                                                     |
|Sun Jul 27 22:37:11 CDT 2003                                               |

When a command is written in front of the Bash prompt (e.g. $ date above), it
is assumed the [Return] or [Enter] key has been depressed after the command,
possibly followed by the output (e.g., the date).

2. General Support and Interface Type

There are four predominant types of scanner interfaces available and
discussed in this document: SCSI, USB, parallel port, IEEE 1394. Linux
support exists for most scanners as pioneered by the [http://] SANE project. This is not the same thing as [http://] TWAIN, which you may be familiar with if you have
used a scanner device under another operating system such as Microsoft
Windows??. The latter protocol weds driver and user interface in a way that
does not allow its use outside of that proprietary graphical environment.
Thus SANE, or Scanner Access Now Easy, was conceived for use under (but is by
no means limited to) the Un*x environment. The SANE standard allows for
modularity where driver meets application and allows for much greater
flexibility and portability. With SANE you can scan with your device using
only the command line, you can design your own front-end application to use
the SANE backend(s), access your scanner(s) over a network or even access
your cameras and other [] video4linux devices to
acquire photographs. As such SANE is SANE where TWAIN is not.

NOTE: Before reading any further you should check the SANE homepage at [http:
sane-mfgs.html to see if your scanner device is supported. Alternatively you
can use the [] sane supported
scanners search engine.

If you have an integrated device, i.e., one that functions as a scanner,
printer and/or fax, you can follow the steps below for the scanner functions
using the appropriate interface just like a standard scanner. Those who own
an HP officejet should consult [] the HP
Officejet Linux Driver project site, which goes into excellent detail on how
to get the various functions of this integrated device to work within Linux.

2.1. SCSI Scanners

These scanners are managed by an SCSI controller. In general, just about any
scanner using an SCSI interface should work assuming the SCSI hardware is
supported. You should check the [
scsi.html] SCSI controller list of the Hardware HOWTO if you are unsure if
the SCSI controller is supported. If your SCSI controller came bundled with
your scanner there is a chance your hardware may not be supported or is only
partly supported, as the accompanying SCSI card may not function as a
complete SCSI controller.

You should consult man sane-scsi, if you run into difficulty configuring your
SCSI scanner at any point.

2.2. USB Scanners

You probably already know what a Universal Serial Bus (USB) connector looks
like and where it plugs in. If you have a USB scanner your hardware is likely
to be supported in Linux. Information on enabling the USB subsystem and USB
scanner support is found in Section 2.5.

2.3. Parallel Port Scanners

Parallel-port scanners on the whole can be made to work if there is a backend
that supports them, however if your device also has a USB port (which the
vast majority of new scanners released nowadays do) and a working USB backend
you are strongly encouraged to use that instead, as it may be more easily

If your model has only a parallel-port interface and a proprietary or
non-standard controller you could be out of luck. If you have found there is
a supported backend for the parallel-port interface of your scanner, then you
should see Section 2.8.

2.4. IEEE 1394 (Firewire??, i.Link??)

Some IEEE 1394 scanners are supported as of the time of this writing,
particularly those manufactured by Nikon and Epson. The IEEE 1394 interface
has been supported since the 2.4-series Linux kernel. IEEE 1394 scanners
require your system be equipped with a IEEE 1394 PCI card or a mainboard IEEE
1394 port, as well as have IEEE 1394 support enabled in your kernel or as a
loaded module. You should check the SANE supported devices by manufacturer
link in Section 2 and read the manpage next to your hardware (if any) for any
issues related to your specific hardware.

2.5. Operating System Support

If you don't have a USB scanner you should skip to Section 2.7, and if your
equipment is of the parallel port variety you should go to Section 2.8.

2.6. USB Scanners and Libusb

This section was at one time entitled "USB Scanner Kernel Support," but the
existence of [] libusb promises to make the
need for a USB-scanner enabled kernel unnecessary. Libusb is a project to
create a userspace (i.e., non-kernel) library to access USB devices
regardless of operating system. For more information on the differences
between these consult man sane-usb.

If you would prefer the more conventional kernel support for your USB
Scanner, go on to Section 2.7.2, but be advised that kernel support for USB
scanner devices is dropped in favor of libusb in kernel version 2.6.0 and
higher. Most distributions at this point are offering libusb in their stable
branches (and some install it by default), so if you don't already have
kernel support for USB scanner devices then you may only have to install the
libusb package in order to access your device. You must have USB device
filesystem support enabled in your kernel, which most distributions do. To
find out for sure, issue the following at the command line:

|$ cat /proc/filesystems                                                    |

You should see (among others):

|nodev   usbdevfs                                                           |
|nodev   usbfs                                                              |

You may need to mount usbdevfs to enable it and see the device files, which
you can do at the command line with mount -t usbdevfs none /proc/bus/usb.
Don't try to use libusb while kernel scanner support is enabled either
statically or the module loaded; you can only use one at at time.

You can obtain the libusb package in .rpm, .tgz or .deb format from your
Linux distribution. If you are planning on compiling your own SANE binary
from source with libusb support enabled you will require the libusb-dev
package as well.

2.7. Linux Kernel Support of your Scanner Device

Kernel support is required for SCSI, USB and parallel-port generic interface
support and USB scanner support (if not using libusb). Your stock kernel may
already have support for what you need, and the way to tell is to use the 
dmesg command and look for an acknowledgement that the driver in question
loaded at bootup. If you don't see it, the driver may be present (but not
necessarily loaded) as a module. To find out you can type the following at
the command line:

| $  ls -R /lib/modules/X.XX/kernel/drivers                                 |

Where 'X.XX' is your kernel version number. The following output is an
example of what you would find in a USB scanner-enabled kernel (though all
but the relevant lines have been edited for brevity):

|./usb:                                                                     |
|scanner.o                                                                  |
|usbcore.o                                                                  |

(A hint for newbies: if the info in dmesg or the above module list scrolls by
too fast, you might try piping the output into 'less' (or 'more' if you don't
have less): ls -R /lib/modules/X.XX/kernel/drivers | less or alternatively
catching it in a file: ls -R /lib/modules/X.XX/kernel/drivers > file.txt,
where 'file.txt' will contain the info that can then be accessed with cat
[file] | less.)

The following information is arranged on the basis of scanner interface type.
If your kernel doesn't contain the necessary support, you can always
recompile your kernel. If you are unfamiliar with the process of compiling
your own kernel, I direct you to the [
Kernel-HOWTO.html] Kernel HOWTO for more information.

2.7.1. Kernel SCSI Support

If you have an SCSI-type interface, when invoking make config, make
menuconfig or make xconfig etc., be aware that in addition to the option to
support your particular SCSI adapter, generic SCSI device support is also
required. Such generic devices are usually named /dev/sg0, /dev/sg1.... Since
you probably already know if your card is supported from the [
/HOWTO/Hardware-HOWTO/scsi.html] supported SCSI controllers list, all that is
required after confirming that your kernel supports your hardware and generic
SCSI devices is to load the appropriate module(s):

|# modprobe CARD_MODULE_NAME                                                |

|# modprobe sg                                                              |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+ root. Note there have been reports of ide-scsi emulation support (used
for ATAPI-eide CDRW support) causing problems for scanner access; if you know
your hardware is supported and you can't get things to work try unloading the
ide-scsi module:

|rmmod ide-scsi                                                             |

...though it has been reported to me that this has been fixed as of recent
(2.4.20+) kernels.

2.7.2. Kernel USB and USB Scanner Support

For USB scanner support, you will need USB subsystem support in your kernel,
whether usb-ohci, usb-ehci, or whatever protocol of USB driver your system
prefers. USB support has been present in the Linux kernel since the late
2.2-series. For a more in-depth discussion of USB support in general, I
direct you to the [] linux-usb project site. If you
have a 2.4-series of kernel or earlier and wish to use the kernel USB-scanner
support to access your scanner (instead of libusb outlined in Section 2.6)
you will need to have 'USB scanner support' enabled, which, if present, is
visible within dmesg, or by lsmod if a loaded module. If you want to find out
which modules are loaded, at the command line or in an xterm type the

|# lsmod                                                                    |

As shown by the prompt above you will need to have root privileges to do
this. You should get output including (but not limited to) the following:

|cdrom                  29312   0  (autoclean) [sr_mod]                     |
|usb-ohci               17888   0  (unused)                                 |
|usbcore                56768   0  [scanner ibmcam usbvideo usb-ohci]       |
|scanner                 8704   0                                           |

If you don't have scanner loaded, and you know you have USB scanner support
in your kernel as a module, try loading it directly:

|# modprobe -v scanner                                                      |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+ which point you should see something like the following:

|Using /lib/modules/2.4.20/kernel/drivers/usb/scanner.o                     |

By placing the entry scanner in /etc/modules (note that this varies by
distribution), you can have the module load at boot-time automatically. You
can then confirm the module was loaded by checking the syslog or in the
boot-time record with dmesg | less), where you should see an entry such as
the following:

|May 16 23:17:25 K7 kernel: usb.c: registered new driver usbscanner         |
|May 16 23:17:25 K7 kernel: scanner.c: 0.4.6:USB Scanner Driver             |

2.8. Parallel Port Scanners

By now you've probably figured out that configuration of parallel port
scanners may be problematic. Again, if your device has both a parallel port
interface and a USB interface you should consider selecting USB to make the
setup process easier.

2.8.1. Kernel Parport Support

For 2.2 and 2.4 kernel systems, parallel-port support must be enabled
statically or as a module (stock kernels usually have this enabled by
default). You may want to read [] more
generic info about parallel-port device support under the Linux kernel before
starting this process. To find out for sure if the module parport is loaded
you can check the dmesg file or use lsmod as outlined above. Using dmesg |
less you should see (among many other lines) the following:

|Mar  3 08:00:25 K7 kernel: parport0: PC-style at 0x378 (0x778) [PCSPP,TRISTATE] |
|Mar  3 08:00:25 K7 kernel: parport0: irq 7 detected                             |

If you are compiling your own kernel, enable 'Parallel Port support.' You
should enable 'IEEE 1284 transfer modes,' and if you have x86 type
architecture you should also enable 'PC-style hardware.'

If modprobe returns an error when you attempt to load the module note that
you may need to determine and supply the hardware address when invoking 
modprobe. The most common address is 0x378 for an x86 system; 0x278 and 0x3BC
are other possibilities for integrated or ISA parallel ports. Add-in PCI
parallel ports may have unusual base addresses. One can also arrange multiple
devices with either the parport_pc or parport_arc modules, though that topic
is beyond the scope of this document. WARNING: Be sure you have the correct
address before entering this information at the command line or else your
machine may become unstable, crash or otherwise implode.

Your parallel port should be set to preferably "EPP" mode, or alternatively
ECP/EPP. "Bidirectional" (also known as "BPP" or "PS/2") may work, albeit
much more slowly. "Unidirectional" mode is unsuitable for scanning. The above
setting can usually be accessed through your BIOS menu, at least on x86

Depending on whether your parallel port scanner requires SCSI support, you
may need to patch your kernel for parport-SCSI support. You can find that
suite of tools at []
parport/ppscsi.html. If this is required you will also need to enable the

��*�SCSI support
��*�SCSI generic support
��*�Support for the core module of your ppSCSI controller (t348 for the
    APA-348 and T348, t358 for the APA-358 and T358, epsa2 for the older
    Shuttle EPSA-2, epst for the Shuttle EPST and APA-1350, onscsi for the
    OnSpec 90c26, and sparcsi for the SparCSI and ParaSCSI)

Once these are compiled in, it's simply a matter of loading the appropriate

3. Making and Accessing the Scanner Devices

The following section applies to all hardware types. Some specifics with
regard to scanner interface types are mentioned in the paragraphs at the end
of this section.

3.1. Device Filesystem and Udev

[] Devfs, or 'device
filesystem' has been an option in the Linux kernel since the late 2.2-series.
Devfsd, the device filesystem daemon, creates and removes devices on your
system dynamically without the need to manually create devices. If you are
running devfsd/devfs you can probably skip the following sections as the
process of creating device nodes will be done for you and it's simply a
matter of finding the appropriate device node in /dev.

Devfs does not obviate the need to change permissions of devices for access
by users.

Beginning in the 2.6-series kernel devfs has been deprecated in favor of a
userspace daemon known as udev, though devfs remains as an option. You can
find information on udev [
hotplug/udev-FAQ] here.

3.2. Creating Devices Manually

If you are running a system with correctly configured devfs, udev or libusb,
you can skip this step and go to Section 4. There are two ways to accomplish
the creation of necessary devices manually. One is to use MAKEDEV and the
other is to create the device nodes at the command line.

The MAKEDEV script is the easier of the two methods, the executable of which
may be located in /dev or the usual places for storing binary executables (/
bin,/sbin and so on). I direct you to man MAKEDEV, and would caution you to
pay attention to the device-specific command options so that you can be sure
the major and minor numbers are correct (see the next paragraph for more on
this and why it is important, especially if MAKEDEV doesn't work or you
prefer doing things the hard way).

A device can be created as a block (such as a drive), a fifo
(file-in-file-out or pipe, as in xconsole) or a character device, which
represents other hardware. Each device has a major and a minor number 
"coordinate" to tell the kernel what it is and where to access it. These
numbers are not arbitrary.

3.2.1. SCSI Devices

If you are running a 2.4-series kernel you should consider becoming familiar
with [] SCSI proc interface
access, and whichever kernel you are running, you should read man sane-scsi
before reading further. When the system boots up, generic SCSI device files
are mapped on /dev/sgN, where N is a numeric value starting at zero. The
major and minor numbers for SCSI devices are 21 and 0,1,2,3... respectively.
You can find out what devices are loaded already with ls -l /dev/sg*, which
should yield output similar to this:

|crw-------   1 root   sys     21,  0 Jan 06  2003 /dev/sg0                 |
|crw-------   1 root   sys     21,  0 Jan 06  2003 /dev/sg1                 |
|crw-------   1 root   sys     21,  0 Jan 06  2003 /dev/sg2                 |
|crw-------   1 root   sys     21,  0 Jan 06  2003 /dev/sg3                 |
|crw-------   1 root   sys     21,  0 Jan 06  2003 /dev/sg4                 |
|crw-------   1 root   sys     21,  0 Jan 06  2003 /dev/sg5                 |

You will need to make a /dev/scanner symbolic link to an existing device (for
reasons clarified later). For example, if your scanner is connected to the
first scsi-bus (and lun and target) of your SCSI host device, you should link
it to the corresponding device:

|#  ln -s /dev/sg0 /dev/scanner                                             |

3.2.2. Manually creating USB Devices

Again, you can skip this step if using libusb. USB scanner devices have the
major number 180 and minor 48, 49, etc., up to 63. First, check /dev to see
what directory your distribution lays out its USB directory devices in, as
some distributions might have these devices scanner0, scanner1...etc., within
/dev/usb or as usbscanner0, usbscanner1... and so on, in the base /dev/
directory. If you find that in the /dev/ directory the scanner devices have
already been made for you then your work is done. If not, you will need to
create them yourself. As root, make a character device for your scanner like

|# mknod /dev/usbscanner0 c 180 48                                          |

...or if your distribution has a '/dev/usb' subdirectory:

|# mknod /dev/usb/scanner0 c 180 48                                         |

3.2.3. Manually creating Parallel Port Devices

Follow the example outlined in the above section to create the following
generic parport devices:

|crw-------    1 root     root      99,   0 Jun 24 13:47 parport0           |
|crw-------    1 root     root      99,   1 Jun 24 13:47 parport1           |
|crw-------    1 root     root      99,   2 Jun 24 13:47 parport2           |
|crw-------    1 root     root      99,   3 Jun 24 13:47 parport3           |
|crw-r-----    1 root     root       1,   4 Jan  1  1970 port               |

You may also need to create /dev/port and/or /dev/parport depending on the
backend you will use, so be prepared to return to this step if your
application dictates it.

3.3. Groups and Permissions

It is a good idea to be sure that your user account can access the device
once all modules are loaded and device nodes created. The most
security-conscious way to do that is to add scanner access to a particular
group. On my system, the members of the group 'scanner' are allowed to use
the scanner. The way to accomplish this is to first change the ownership of
the devices in /dev like so (as root):

|# chown root.scanner /dev/usb/scanner*                                     |

...where root.scanner are the owner and group the device will now belong to.
Obviously the specific command will vary by your system and the type of
device, whether /dev/sg* on SCSI scanners, etc. It is important that you
change the ownership of the device node itself and not the symlink; symlinks'
ownerships are affected only by changing the parent devices or files they
point to.

To see if your user account is a member of the group in question, as root
issue the following command: grep -e scanner /etc/group. You should see
something like the following:

|scanner:x:103:                                                             |

...where '103' is the group number. Since no members follow the last colon in
the 'scanner' group we can add them, let's say user 'jhs' with the command

|# adduser jhs scanner                                                      |

After this it's simply a matter of allowing read and write access for the
user in question of the device like so:

|# chmod g+rw /dev/usb/scanner0                                             |

...where g+rw means add read and write access for group. See the
documentation for chmod (man chmod or info chmod) for further info.


The final prerequisite for scanner access is the SANE backend(s) and
optionally, a suitable SANE-frontend. The former are the drivers and
low-level access tools that interface with your scanner, and the latter are
graphical applications for access and use of your scanner within X. Only the
former are required for scanner access, though a frontend is highly
recommended in order to manipulate images and to actually be able to see your
images in a windowed environment without having to print them.

4.1. Getting SANE

You can acquire the suite of SANE backends at [
source.html], where you can obtain
binaries for nearly all Linux distributions as well as source code. If you
are planning on compiling from source, you probably already know what to do,
but the following link is available for those that want a refresher, that of
the [] Software Building
HOWTO. In addition, be sure that if you have a previous sane installation
that it is removed prior to installing your freshly-compiled version, and
that you should acquire the most recently released stable version of the
source code for compiling.

Those who wish to install binaries should download the corresponding file and
then install as usual, i.e. for rpm-based distributions:

|# rpm -iVh sane-backends-VERSION.rpm                                       |

For Debian users there is a SANE package in stable (Woody), testing (Sarge)
and unstable (Sid) package repositories, so a simple apt-get install sane is
all that is required, whatever version you are using.

Those who prefer compiling the latest version of SANE from source can acquire
it from [] There is
a more in-depth (though rather pessimistic) write-up of how to compile SANE
from source and get a SCSI scanner working from scratch, at [http://] Laurent-jan's HOWTO page originally
written by Steve Sheriff (the graphics are interesting, too).

4.2. Configuring SANE

4.2.1. SANE Backends

Whether you obtained your distribution's official SANE package, obtained a
binary from the SANE homepage or compiled your own SANE binary from source,
SANE should identify the appropriate backend to use for your hardware when
you call scanimage or any other frontend. If no device is found when you run 
scanimage -L or your chosen frontend, see Section 7 for more info.

4.2.2. Across a Network

If you are interested in making scanner services available across a network
from or to a remote machine, you will need to edit the saned.conf file in the
configuration directory of the server (the computer with the scanner),
whether /etc/sane.d or /usr/local/etc/sane.d. It usually consists of an entry
'scan-client.somedomain.firm' that will need to be replaced with the hostname
of the client you want to be able to use the server's scanner. If you prefer
an IP address this can be used instead.

The saned daemon will need to be run as well as inetd or xined on the server.
See man saned for the exact changes required to inetd.conf or xined.conf. In
addition port 6566 will need to be added to the /etc/services file:

|sane 6566/tcp                                                              |

The client computer (without the scanner) will need net.conf edited to
include the server machine name, i.e., 'scan-server.somedomain.firm.'

Also for the client(s), be sure the entry "net" isn't commented out in the
dll.conf file.

4.2.3. Using SANE with a Video4linux Device

Video4linux devices include webcams, still cameras and video capture devices.
SANE is capable of accessing these. To do this, locate the file in the
configuration directory (/etc/sane.d or /usr/local/etc/sane.d) named
v4l.conf. Opening this file yields something similar to the following

|# In order to use the v4linux backend you have to give the device          |
|# You can enable multiple lines if                                         |
|# you really have multible [sic] v4l devices.                              |
|#                                                                          |
|/dev/bttv0                                                                 |
|/dev/video0                                                                |
|/dev/video1                                                                |
|/dev/video2                                                                |
|/dev/video3                                                                |

The initial line of this file really tells you all you need to know, so
remember this when we get to the sections on testing the scanner hardware.
Just be sure that whatever device your kernel identifies your camera or other
v4l device as is uncommented (i.e., has the # removed from in front of it as
above). You will obviously need to do this as root. In addition, be sure the
line 'v4l' isn't commented out in the dll.conf file.

5. Testing Your Scanner

Once you've completed all of the above, you're ready to test your scanner
equipment. This section assumes your scanner is turned on and has been
attached through the appropriate interface. If you have a SCSI or a USB
scanner, at the command line you can issue the following command:

|$ sane-find-scanner                                                        |

...which should find and identify your scanner from a list of possible
devices. (Note to Debian users: starting with Sarge, or unstable,
sane-find-scanner is available in the 'sane-utils' package. In Woody it is
available in the 'libsane' package.) If your scanner is a type not looked for
by sane-find-scanner, you can try as root scanimage --list-devices which
should yield information about attached devices. For example, this is the
output on my system:
|device `v4l:/dev/video0' is a Noname BT878 video (Hauppauge (bt878)) virtual device |
|device `epson:/dev/scanner0' is a Epson Perfection1240 flatbed scanner              |
whereas when using libusb it registers as
|device `v4l:/dev/video0' is a Noname BT878 video (Hauppauge (bt878)) virtual device |
|device `epson:libusb:001:003' is a Epson Perfection1240 flatbed scanner             |
Make note of the 'backend:device' information obtained; this will be our
device name to specifically access the scanner from the command line. Also,
be aware that sane-find-scanner is a separate utility that does not guarantee
support under SANE, it only looks for devices that claim to be scanners.  

Next you should test the scanner's image grabbing ability. You can use either
one of the frontends listed in Section 6 or at the command line if you wish
with the following:

|$ scanimage -d backend:/dev/scanner --format pnm > outfile.pnm             |

Thus if you use the Epson backend, for example, the command would be as

|$ scanimage -d epson:/dev/scanner --format pnm > outfile.pnm               |

You only need the -d option if you have more than one scanner and want to
select which one to use. For example, if you have an Epson and a Mustek
scanner, using "-d epson" or "-d mustek" should be enough. The complete path
is only needed if you have more that one scanner supported by the same
backend. Obviously /dev/scanner should be substituted with whatever scanner
device you've configured (e.g., /dev/video0 in the case of a v4l device, and
libusb as seen in the sane-find-scanner example above). The --format switch
can be either pnm or tiff, but if left out will default to pnm. See man
scanimage for more obscure but useful options. The '.pnm' format stands for
'portable anymap,' a common image format for graphical files in Linux that
can be converted to nearly any other image format with [http://] Imagemagick or [] netpbm.

6. SANE Frontends

Now that you've got the hardware working, you should probably acquire a
suitable frontend if you plan on using your scanner device in X11, which is
probably a good idea to look at what you've scanned. My personal favorite is
as elegant and functional as any proprietary solution I've seen, [http://] xsane. It has an attractive GTK+ based GUI, can save the image
to a variety of formats, send an image to the printer, and interface easily
with the [] GIMP. It makes accessing the full color and
other potential of your hardware quite easy.

The GIMP, or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is an outstanding application
for image editing if you are interested in scanning from within a Photoshop
??-like application. The xsane module may be available as a separate package
depending on your Linux distribution. After starting GIMP, click 'File,' then
'Acquire' followed by 'Xsane:device dialog' to access your scanner.

Another highly recommended frontend is [] Kooka
of the [] KDE desktop environment. It has an intuitive
interface that integrates easily with other KDE applications and can greatly
simplify management of large image collections.

Xscanimage is a somewhat simpler (but still powerful) scanner application for
X11 to acquire images from your scanner. It may or may not come bundled with
the SANE backends depending on your distribution. See man xscanimage for more

You can find a more complete list of SANE frontends at [http://] the SANE frontends page.

7. Troubleshooting

7.1. Help, my scanner cannot be found by scanimage or xsane!

First, don't despair. If you're sure you've done everything correctly up to
this point, all the right modules are loaded and all the configuration files
tweaked as outlined and you know you're hardware is supported, check your
permissions. In order to access scanner hardware you must have read and write
access. See Section 3.3 for more info. If this isn't the problem, go to /etc/
sane.d/ (or /usr/local/etc/sane.d) and edit the file dll.conf, commenting out
any backend or other (i.e. v4l) protocol that you don't need.

If none of the above work, from within the directory containing the SANE
configuration files, open the one named after the backend for your particular
scanner. There are (among others) two important entries in the file:
interface type (scsi vs. usb), and the device name. If you have a usb
scanner, you will usually need to comment out (make a # mark in front of) the
'scsi' line, and uncomment the line containing 'usb.' In addition the device
name may need to be changed, depending on your distribution (i.e., /dev/
usbscanner0 may become /dev/usb/usbscanner0). As you may have noted, there
may be several other options available to your scanner in this file depending
on the model, so if your scanner doesn't operate as planned, you may want to
take a look at this file and the accompanying model-specific documentation if
any; see man sane-scsi or sane-usb, or whichever manufacturer made your
scanner (including sane-plustek, sane-qcam, sane-ricoh, sane-sharp, 
sane-snapscan, sane-umax and so on. For a full list try apropos sane. The
exact protocols and manufacturers available may depend on your version of

If none of the above work, see Section 7.5. Also, if you're particularly
daring you should check the []
sane-troubleshoot Homepage, still in an early development stage at the time
of this writing.

7.2. Help, I'm not sure my USB hardware is working!

Assuming you have usbdevfs and /proc filesystem support, you should issue the
following command: cat /proc/bus/usb/devices. It should give you an output of
the USB bus status and the connected devices and troubleshoot your hardware.
If your scanner is supported and you can see your hardware you'll know your
problem lies elsewhere.

7.3. Help, scanimage or the frontend I am using identifies the wrong device!

First, locate your configuration files, located in one of the usual places: /
etc/sane.d or /usr/local/etc/sane.d. In general, if you obtained a
precompiled package from your distribution or a binary from the SANE homepage
it is in /etc, while if you compiled it from source it is in /usr/local/etc/
sane.d. Change (cd) to that particular directory. In Section 2 you were
referred to the [] SANE list of
supported and not-yet-supported hardware. There you will find among the
charts of individual manufacturers listed the "Backend," or SANE driver for
each model in addition to the support status. Within /etc/sane.d or /usr/
local/etc/sane.d there are similarly named files for each backend. You should
select the file named dll.conf. This will list the backend protocols one by
one. Check to be sure your scanner's backend is not commented out (i.e., has
a hash mark in front of it). If it is you will need to (as root, and using
your editor program) remove the '#.' If you still can't get things to work,
see Section 7.5

7.4. Help, I can only access my parallel-port scanner as root!

The SANE driver for your scanner accesses the parallel port directly (via /
dev/port). This only works for root for security reasons. See [http://
Scanning-as-Normal-User-on-Wierd-Scanner-Mini-HOWTO.txt] this mini-HOWTO by
Till Kamppeter for instructions on how to approach this problem.

7.5. Help, I have an Acme Whizzbang?? or other model scanner and you haven't
addressed my particular problem!

Go to [] the mailing list and
irc channel at the SANE website. Check the link for instructions on how to
subscribe, etc. Also, you should read the [
SANE-faq.html] SANE FAQ which has several hardware-specific questions,
answers and links to relevant documentation.

8. Gnu Free Documentation License

Version 1.2, November 2002

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