Sunday, November 15, 2009

Scanning Problems in Ubuntu Karmic 9.10

I went to scan in some pictures today with my new Karmic install and ran into problems.  When I went to scan I would get "Failed to start scanner: Invalid argument"  Some Googling revealed that many people are experiencing broken scanning after upgrading to Karmic with various printers.  A little more searching revealed the solution.  I think that there is probably an even better solution, but this is how I got scanning to work.
First I installed libsane-extras:
sudo aptitude install libsane-extras
Next I edited saned.conf to enable the epson driver.
gksudo gedit /etc/init.d/sane.d/dll.conf
In this file I removed the # at the line that read #epson
To get the parameters for me scanner I ran:

$ sane-find-scanner

  # 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=0x04b8, product=0x0839) at libusb:001:003
found USB scanner (vendor=0x0bc7 [X10 Wireless Technology Inc], product=0x0004 [USB Receiver]) at libusb:007:002
  # 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.

  # You may want to run this program as root to find all devices. Once you
  # found the scanner devices, be sure to adjust access permissions as
  # necessary.

Here the line that read "found USB scanner (vendor=0x04b8, product=0x0839) at libusb:001:003" was the key.  These parameters needed to go in the epson drivers file.
gksudo gedit /etc/init.d/sane.d/epson.conf
I replaced the line that read "usb" to read "usb 0x4b8 0x0839"  Finally I just needed to restart the sane daemon.
sudo /etc/init.d/saned restart
After this scanning finally worked.


  1. hi, I am trying to solve my Epson 4990 problem and found your solution
    however, when I type in terminal as per your suggestion
    gksudo gedit /etc/init.d/sane.d/dll.conf

    I get a screen without any content, the tab says "dll" would you tell me what i am doing wrong ?

    highly appreciate your help

  2. replaced gksudo by sudo

    it works ! great, thanks a million !!

  3. Glad to know that this was able to get you going.

  4. Worked as a charm. My old Epson scanner suddenly stopped working and following your simple steps I was happily scanning pdfs in no time.