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Revision as of 09:21, 1 September 2013 by Rpeters (talk | contribs) (added sections for Apps & Troubleshooting plus minor mods)

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For General Users

New users of Linux may find that their scanner (and printer) is apparently neither supported nor supportable. Be aware of the following factors, before outlaying on a replacement scanner

  • Linux uses the SANE scanner technology rather than TWAIN, which is used in other OS
  • SANE depends on the *chip* used in the scanner, which might not be related to the scanner brand or model
    • check the database under "Selection Guideance" below, before concluding that a scanner is not supported
  • most Linux distributions use the same scanning software
    • XSane is the most capable
    • scanner driver packages for Linux usually do not include scanning software apps

Selection Guideance

  1. check the database at against existing/proposed scanner model
  2. download and install relevant driver from the manufacturers web site or sane-project
    • this can usually be done without the scanner physically present
  • seek assistance in a Linux forum if the drivers are not available or don't install

Scanner Recommendations

The following factors might assist preparation of a "short-list"

  • Brother multi-functions all support scanning via network
  • HP & Epson also actively support Linux drivers for their scanners
    • most Epson devices support scanning via USB only (not via network)


Many Distro install only basic scanner apps by default. The following can be installed to provide greater functionality

  • XSane
    • can also be used via GIMP
  • SimpleScan

Colour/Grayscale scans will produce files about 30 times the size of B&W/Lineart scans

  • B&W/Lineart might be a better choice for backing up or transmitting documents


If a scanner app fails to complete loading that indicates the scanner is "not found". Check:

  • scanner/multi-function powered UP
  • connection via USB or LAN made
  • relevant driver installed

--Rpeters 09:21, 1 September 2013 (EST) --