Posts Tagged ‘scanner’

Scanner Support

27, May 2009

First the bad news, although some scanners are supported in ubuntu/linux many are either not supported at all or only basic scanning is supported, in my case my Visioneer 4800u is not supported at all! As I wanted to move completely over to ubuntu I decided to buy a second hand scanner from eBay. I checked for compatible scanners on the SANE [Scanner Access Now Easy] project page here by checking out the Supported Devices listed my Manufacturer page. I then bid on a Canon CanoScan N650U Flatbed Scanner and got is for £12.31 including postage [result!]

If your scanner is supported then you may need to add the SANE front and back ends to your system as follows: Open the [Synaptic Package Manager] and add the the following packages;

sane, sane-utls, xsane & xsane-common

You can now plug in your scanner and open the [XSane Image Scanner] from the [Applications], [Graphics] menu and if all goes well your scanner name should show in the dialogue title bar and if you press Scan you should be up and running.

Ubuntu Gusty v7.10 and possibly older versions may need to have scanbuttond (yes there is a d at the end) running for the scanner operation to be detected. To add the scanbuttond type the following in a [Terminal];

sudo apt-get install scanbuttoned

To run the program manually type the following after the prompt;


To make this program run at start-up so you don’t have to do this each time you want to scan open [System], [Preferences], [Sessions] click on the [Start-up Programs] Tab then click the [+ Add] button. A new window will appear, add [Scanbutton] in the [Name] field and scanbuttond in the [Command] field [remember the “d” at the end of scanbuttond, then [OK] that and [Close] when you re start the PC scanbuttond will be running.

Some command line scanner options to try, type or copy and paste the following into the [Terminal] after the prompt;

This will produce a scan without using the XScane graphical interface

scanimage -x 210 -y 290 –resolution 400 –mode Color > /home/yourname/output.jpg

change [yourname] for the name of your [Home] folder and this should produce a scan called output.jpg.

These command line options will help identify your scanner for problem solving;

sane-find-scanner -v -v

scanimage -L

cat /proc/bus/usb/devices

redirect their output to a text file to make things easier by adding >> scanner_test.txt to the end of each line. The >> part appends the text to the end of the last so you will not overwrite the output from the last command.

sane-find-scanner -v -v >> scanner_test.txt

or use this script, create the script file using;


open the file with;


then copy and paste the text below into it.

## created by Martin Cooper 27 May, 2009 ##
echo “Scanner test script” >> scanner_test.txt
echo “sane-find-scanner -v -v output” >> scanner_test.txt
echo “*********************************************” >> scanner_test.txt
sane-find-scanner -v -v >> scanner_test.txt
echo “scanimage -L output” >> scanner_test.txt
echo “*********************************************” >> scanner_test.txt
scanimage -L >> scanner_test.txt
echo “cat /proc/bus/usb/devices” >> scanner_test.txt
echo “*********************************************” >> scanner_test.txt
cat /proc/bus/usb/devices >> scanner_test.txt

now save the file and make it executable with;

chmod +x ~/

and now run it by running this command


or double click on the file. The result will now be in the file scanner_test.txt in your home Directory.

Notes: Feisty v 7.04 onwards Gnome Desktop