Scanning on Linux is generally a quick and easy process that just works.
SANE ("Scanner Access Now Easy") is the open source software that powers scanning on most Linux devices. This software allows linux devices to use various image scanner hardware (flatbed scanner, auto document feed scanners, hand-held scanners, video- and still-cameras, frame-grabbers, etc.).
The SANE software is comprised of three parts -
First is the standard API (Application Programming Interface) that is designed to allow various components of scanning hardware and software to work together. This allows programmers a stable interface to write scanning software to.
Second part is the SANE back end. This is the actual software that communicates directly with the scanner to produce the images. A few manufacturers have even produced scanners with a SANE back-end built in to them.
The third part is the SANE front end. Their are a number of front ends that allow you to interface with the scanner. These programs communicate with the back end to communicate with the scanner. SANE back ends include command line programs, Windows programs, Mac programs, php programs, Android apps and many, many more.
Setting up SANE
SANE is generally installed by default on Ubuntu desktops. By and large, when you plug in your scanner and fire up a SANE front end, it will just work.
If you need general help setting up SANE on your computer, see the SANE Tutorial.
If you need help with setting up a specific scanner, see the SANE Scanners page.
Setting up Network Scanning
Network scanning allows you to set up your scanner on a server, then share that scanner or scanners out to your entire network. This is very useful in office and educational environments where you have to share a scanner among many computers, or where a single workstation needs to access several scanners.
If you need to set up network scanning with SANE, see the Sane Daemon Tutorial
While SANE just works in the vast majority of cases, sometimes issues can arise. The following resources can help you troubleshoot your SANE problems.
Ubuntu SANE Troubleshooting guide. This guide contains basic troubleshooting commands and tools, the known issues and workarounds for sane problems on Ubuntu and other useful information on troubleshooting sane issues. This guide also includes how to install the SANE Project's PPA, giving you the most up-to-date version of SANE.
Compile SANE from source - ADVANCED. This how to takes you through the process of downloading, compiling and installing the latest sane code from the git repository.
- Supported Scanner Lists (note: These lists are currently outdated)
* SANE Project Supported Scanners - The official SANE Project database of supported scanners.
* Scanners in Ubuntu - Scanner functionality reported by the Ubuntu Community.
HP All-in-One Printers - Setup HP Print/Scan/Copy printers using HP tools.
Epson Scanners - Linux Drivers for many Epson scanners.
Brother scanners - Linux drivers for Brother scanners. Please note that which scanner populates in the support search box is dependent on which "Country (Language)" is currently selected. For example, if one searches for model DCP-J715W while "United States(English)" is selected, it won't be found. However, if one has "Deutschland(Deutsch)" it is found.
Kodak Scanners - Linux drivers for several Kodak scanners.
Basic setup of sane
Basic set-up instructions for SANE can be found on the sane page.
While the Sane Project does a remarkable job of making most scanners "just work", some scanners may still need additional steps to get working.
For help setting up networking scanning on a server and clients, please see the sane.d tutorial.
Setup and Troubleshooting
Update to Latest Sane - ADVANCED. How to download and install the latest sane code from the git repository.
Permissions - If you can scan as root, but not user, read this.
ScanningHowTo - Tips on setting up your scanner.
Scanner Clone Check - ADVANCED. A small percentage of the unsupported scanners may actually be clones of a scanner that is already supported. If this is the case, adding support should be relatively easy.
SimpleScanHardwareIssues - Information what to do when your scanner does not work (perfectly) using the default "Simple Scan" scanning application.