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Revision as of 14:03, 25 July 2017 by Rpeters (talk | contribs) (added section Scanning via Network)

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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 via network

Scanning via Network


Adjustments are needed to scan documents for archives or images for emailing. 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
  • Vuescan (free version) also works well
    • no installation instructions
    • good user manual
    • not open source and might be difficult to support

Note that many of these apps default to high-resolution, full colour settings, aimed at photos.

  • Colour/Grayscale scans will produce files about 30 times the size of B&W/Lineart scans
  • B&W/Lineart settings 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 11:35, 18 December 2013 (EST)