Testing scanners under Linux


The availability of Linux drivers for scanners and multifunction devices under Linux is far better today than it used to be. SANE has established itself as a back end for controlling the devices. For this reason, most front ends, but also drivers developed by the manufacturer, integrate into the Linux ecosystem.

Nevertheless, some stumbling blocks still await you. Before purchasing a multifunction device or scanner, it makes sense to put large devices in particular through a functional test and carefully read the technical specifications. These devices often support Linux, but only in certain application scenarios. Scanners may only work in groupware solutions under Linux, or they may only provide support for certain interfaces such as Ethernet.

It is still the case that brand new appliances on the market generally still need a few weeks to mature. Only then can it be assumed that the available Linux drivers cover all functions required in everyday life.

However, it is gratifying that all manufacturers contacted by Linux (Pro) Magazine have adapted their Linux support to reflect the real world. When we pointed out weaknesses in their drivers, the manufacturers assured us that they would remedy the weaknesses quickly.


  1. TWAIN 2.0 specification: http://www.twain.org/specification/archive/twain-2-0/
  2. SANE: http://www.sane-project.org
  3. XSane: http://xsane.org
  4. xscanimage: http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/yakkety/man1/xscanimage.1.html
  5. Simple Scan: https://launchpad.net/simple-scan
  6. Skanlite: https://www.kde.org/applications/graphics/skanlite/
  7. VueScan: https://www.hamrick.com
  8. VueScan prices and versions: https://www.hamrick.com/de/reg.html
  9. Brother DS-820W: http://www.brother-usa.com/scanners/modeldetail/24/ds820w/overview?gclid=Cj0KCQjwh7zWBRCiARIsAId9b4oZXukvELS-7FIiZmSSTdbboQXRtoEH15eKEI7QPZ7ZaZ9wKO_8IgAaAvejEALw_wcB&ef_id=C9NO8rJvY3MAAE5x:20180412205633:s
  10. Brother driver: http://support.brother.com/g/b/downloadtop.aspx?c=us&lang=en&prod=ds820w_all
  11. Brother DS-920DW: http://www.brother-usa.com/scanners/modeldetail/24/ds920dw/overview?gclid=Cj0KCQjwh7zWBRCiARIsAId9b4rWcSXpPBamlS_iSi7yTVKrhaw85Bgc4C1oWitCnHk3-KCzflwhIFIaAo76EALw_wcB&ef_id=C9NO8rJvY3MAAE5x:20180412205834:s
  12. Brother support page: http://support.brother.com/g/s/id/linux/en/instruction_scn1c.html?c=us&lang=en&prod=ds920dw_us&redirect=on
  13. HPLIP: https://developers.hp.com/hp-linux-imaging-and-printing
  14. HP's product page: https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-color-laserjet-pro-mfp-m477fdw
  15. Samsung MultiXpress X4300LX: https://www.samsung.com/us/business/KCDA_Cooperative_Contract/BLI%20Reports/Samsung%20MultiXpress%20X4300LX%20BLI%20Award.pdf
  16. Samsung MultiXpress K4350LX: https://www.samsung.com/us/business/KCDA_Cooperative_Contract/BLI%20Reports/Samsung%20MultiXpress%20K4350LX%20BLI%20Award.pdf
  17. Samsung driver: https://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers
  18. VueScan and Samsung: https://www.hamrick.com/vuescan/samsung_sl_x4300.html#technical-information

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