When sane does not automatically detect your scanner, it doesn't always mean that your scanner isn't going to work. Sometimes (especially with some older scanners) it just means that you will have to configure your scanner manually.

Enabling a Backend

Sometimes a scanner will be supported by a sane backend that isn't enabled by default. Enabling it can often make things work.

Step 1: Look to see if your scanner is supported

Open the supported scanners page on the sane-project website. Now look up your manufacturer and model. It will look something like this:




USB id










example-backend (1.0-10)


NOTE: Make sure to use the correct values for your scanner. If you use the example values from this tutorial, your scanner won't work.

NOTE: Your scanner may be listed on the supported scanners page as "Not supported" with a link to a site from which you can download drivers that will allow xsane to work. In that case, simply installing those drivers may be all you need to do.

Step 2: Enable the proper backend

1. Edit the file /etc/sane.d/dll.conf by running the following command:

gksudo gedit /etc/sane.d/dll.conf

2. Within that file, change the line that reads:


to read:


3. Save the file and close gedit.

Using sane-find-scanner

With the backend enabled, run the command:


the output of that command will look something like this:

  # sane-find-scanner will now attempt to detect your scanner. If the
  # result is different from what you expected, first make sure your
  # scanner is powered up and properly connected to your computer.

  # No SCSI scanners found. If you expected something different, make sure that
  # you have loaded a kernel SCSI driver for your SCSI adapter.

found USB scanner (vendor=0x01aa [EXAMPLE], product=0x0001 [EXAMPLE SCANNER]) at libusb:001:003

  # Your USB scanner was (probably) detected. It may or may not be supported by
  # SANE. Try scanimage -L and read the backend's manpage.

  # Not checking for parallel port scanners.

  # Most Scanners connected to the parallel port or other proprietary ports
  # can't be detected by this program.

Adding the scanner to the backend configuration file

Each sane backend has its own configuration file.

1. We need the results of sane-find-scanner for this next step. You can ignore everything that starts with a hash tag, but the important part is this line:

found USB scanner (vendor=0x01aa [EXAMPLE], product=0x0001 [EXAMPLE SCANNER]) at libusb:001:003

2. We need to add those two values to the back end of our scanner, in this case the example backend. To do that, fire up gedit as root using this command:

 gksudo gedit /etc/sane.d/example.conf

3. Find the line that reads:


and after it we need to add a line with the word "usb" followed by the vendor number and the product number we got with the scanimage -L command. That line should look like this:

 usb 0x01aa 0x0001

4. After you have added that line, save the file and close gedit.

SANE - Installing a scanner that isn't auto-detected (last edited 2016-09-02 05:25:24 by penalvch)