Sane (Scanner Access Now Easy) is the program to get the scanner support in linux. gives the list of supported devices.


There is a user group scanner, so add yourself to the usergroup otherwise just root might be able to scan. Without permission no scanner will appear.

For Gentoo Linux: Consider to set the usb and scanner useflag.

Sane has a back end dealing with the hardware so emerge sane-backends.

For usb scanners check what has been detected lsusb or usbview and then to have sane find the scanner sane-find-scanner. To see what you have:

scanimage -L

device `hp3500:libusb:005:003' is a Hewlett-Packard ScanJet 3500 scanner

Important to know is `hp3500:libusb:005:003' the name of the scanner.

scanimage -d hp3500:libusb:005:003 > image.pnm will scan.

Now get a sane frontend as xsane or the simple sane-frontends providing xscanimage.

For HP usb devices install the hplip (HP Linux Imaging Printing) support package. Type hp-toolbox

The frontends have options as enable ocr or gimp integration.

TMA (Transparent Materials Adapter) is used to scan negatives and slides.

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) can convert picture to text there are GOCR, KADMOS, OCRAD. Under gentoo emerge gocr however a human can still read much better than a OCR program. For OCR use grey pictures and make test with the resolution, too high resolution does not give the best results. 800DPI is a good value.

To get good scanning results for something as you would photocopy use: 150 dpi gray

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