Epson USB Scanner

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Many recent scanners from Epson are not currently supported by the sane project. However at the Avasys site you can find both a stand alone program (ImageScan) and a sane back-end that provides a fairly good support for many of them.

Below I will shortly describe how to install this software and how to make it working for an Epson USB scanner under kernel 2.6.


First of all you have to check that the USB interface is supported in your kernel. For details on how to do it refer to USB Scanner. For recent versions of the kernel the interface is provided by the dev-libs/libusb library, so add the flag usb to to the USE variable in your /etc/make.conf or /etc/portage/package.use and do:
emerge --ask libusb usblibs
Now plug your scanner and see if it is recognized by your kernel:

You should see something like:

Code: lsusb
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 04b8:0122 Seiko Epson Corp

Notice the two column-separated numbers after the string ID. These are the manufacturer and model numbers. You might need them to properly set the ownership and permissions of the device (see below).

If the scanner is not found, try to re-emerge coldplug and hotplug packages:

emerge --ask --verbose coldplug hotplug

and re-start them:

/etc/init.d/coldplug restart && /etc/init.d/hotplug restart

As a second step, install the iscan program:

emerge --ask --verbose iscan

This will also automatically install the sane backend. At the moment the iscan package is marked ~x86 so you probably have to explicitly set this keyword for it:

echo "media-gfx/iscan ~x86" >> /etc/portage/package.keywords

For all AMD64 users: The iscan utility is working fine now on 64-bit machines.

You may encounter the following issue on amd64 with the epkowa driver and the xsane program. Some scanners are however partially supported by the "snapscan" back-end. To use it, simply edit /etc/sane.d/snapscan.conf. At the beginning of the file there is a list of commented "firmware" lines. Uncomment the one relevent to your hardware. Check that a single "firmware" line is uncommented. Notice that several firmware files are installed by the older version of iscan package, so you may still need to use e.g. iscan-2.11.0. The wanted firmware file can be also found in the cab-archive "ESCAN/LIB/" on the original Epson Scanner Software CD-Rom (delivered with the scanner). In order to retrieve the *.bin from the *.cab file run in a terminal


The cabextract command is avaliabe in the packages cabextract and corefonts. Next, the fimware file, e.g. esfw52.bin, must be placed in the path mentioned in /etc/sane.d/snapscan.conf. Moreover, check that snapscan is among the drivers loaded by sane

File: /etc/sane.d/dll.conf

For the Epson Perfection V30 you must also install iscan-plugin-gt-f720. This will install an additional firmware file.

emerge media-gfx/iscan-plugin-gt-f720

Manual Configuration

If after installing iscan xsane still accuses no scanner found (or that it cannot send a command to the scanner), eventhough you see your scanner with "sane-find-scanner", it may be necessary to point the epkowa back-end to the "right direction".

First get the necessary info by typing "sane-find-scanner -q". You will probably get something like:

found USB scanner (vendor=0x04b8 [EPSON], product=0x085c [EPSON Epson Stylus TX125 Series]) at libusb:006:004

Open the /etc/sane.d/epkowa.conf file, and add a line:

usb 0x04b8 0x085c

Substituting the data after "usb" by the data resulted from your "sane-find-scanner -q" command.


To verify that your scanner is found by sane try the following:


you should see a rather verbose output with something similar to:

Code: sane-find-scanner
found USB scanner (vendor=0x04b8 [EPSON], product=0x0122 [EPSON Scanner]) at libusb:004:004

Now you can start the ImageScan program:


or, if you have installed it, the sane X front-end:


If you can start these programs as root but not as normal user you have problem with privileges settings. You can instruct hotplug to allow the access to the scanner device to all the users in group scanner. and add the relevant users to this group. To do this, edit the file /etc/hotplug/usb/libsane.usermap and insert a libusbscanner line with the manufacturer and model numbers obtained from lsusb. Detailed instructions on how to do it are provided inside the file. For instance, if the output of lsusb were the one shown above, you have to add the following line

File: /etc/hotplug/usb/libsane.usermap
libusbscanner      0x0003      0x4b8   0x122    0x0000       0x0000       0x00         0x00            0x00            0x00            0x00               0x00               0x00000000

Finally, you can add user username to group scanner with:

gpasswd -a user scanner

If you still have problems with using the scanner, try adding user username to group usb:

gpasswd -a user usb

Using iscan with GIMP

If you want to use iscan directly with GIMP 2.x you should first set the gimp Use flag and emerge it again:

echo "media-gfx/iscan gimp" >> /etc/portage/package.use emerge -a iscan

If iscan doesn't appear in GIMP's Xtns menu, you just have to make a symbolic link from iscan to your GIMP-Plugin directory:

ln -s /usr/bin/iscan ~/.gimp-2.0/plug-ins/iscan

The next time you open Gimp, the plugin will be available.