Section: SANE Scanner Access Now Easy (5)
Updated: 14 Jul 2008Index
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sane-scsi - SCSI adapter tips for scanners
This manual page contains various operating-system specific tips and
tricks on how to get scanners with a SCSI interface working.
For scanners with a SCSI interface, it may be necessary to edit the
appropriate backend configuration file before using SANE for the first
time. For most systems, the configuration file should list the name
of the generic SCSI device that the scanner is connected to (e.g., under
is such a generic SCSI device). It is customary to create a symlink
to the generic SCSI device that the scanner is connected to. In this
case, the configuration file simply lists the line
For a detailed description of each backend's configuration file,
please refer to the relevant backend manual page (e.g.,
for Epson scanners,
for HP scanners, etc.).
For some operating systems (e.g. Linux and OS/2), there is an alternate way of
specifying scanner devices. This alternate way allows one to identify scanners by
the SCSI vendor and model string and/or by the SCSI device address (consisting
of bus number, channel number, id, and logical unit number). The syntax for
specifying a scanner in this way is:
VENDOR MODEL TYPE BUS CHANNEL ID LUN
is the SCSI vendor string,
is the SCSI model string,
is type SCSI device type string,
is the SCSI bus number (named "host" in /proc/scsi/scsi),
is the SCSI channel number,
is the SCSI id, and
is the logical unit number of the scanner device. The first two fields are
strings which must be enclosed in double-quotes if they contain any
whitespace. The remaining four fields are non-negative integer numbers. The
correct values for these fields can be found by using operating system
specific tools, e.g. for Linux by looking at the output of the command "cat
/proc/scsi/scsi". To simplify configuration, a field's value can be replaced
with an asterisk symbol (``*''). An asterisk has the effect that any value is
allowed for that particular field. This can have the effect that a single
scsi-line matches multiple devices. When this happens, each matching device
will be probed by the backend one by one and registered if the backend thinks
it is a compatible device. For example, the line
scsi MUSTEK MFS-06000CX Scanner 0 00 03 00
would attach the Mustek SCSI scanner with the following /proc/scsi/scsi entry:
Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 03 Lun: 00
Vendor: MUSTEK Model: MFS-06000CX Rev: 4.04
Type: Scanner ANSI SCSI revision: 0
Usually it's sufficient to use vendor and model strings only or even only the
vendor string. The following example
scsi MUSTEK * * * * * *
would have the effect that all SCSI devices in the system with a
vendor string of MUSTEK would be probed and recognized by the backend.
If the remainder of a scsi-string consists of asterisks only, the
asterisks can be omitted. For example, the following line is
equivalent to the one specified previously:
On some platforms (e.g., OpenStep), SANE device names take a special
form. This is explained below in the relevant platform-specific section.
When using a SCSI scanner, ensure that the access permission for the
generic SCSI device is set appropriately. We recommend to add a group
"scanner" to /etc/group which contains all users that should have
access to the scanner. The permission of the device should then be
set to allow group read and write access. For example, if the scanner
is at generic SCSI device
then the following two commands would set the permission correctly:
$ chgrp scanner /dev/sg0
$ chmod 660 /dev/sg0
When your system uses the device filesystem (devfs), you have to edit
There you should search the line
REGISTER ^sg[^/]* PERMISSIONS root.root 0600
and add a new line (eg. for changing permissions of sg4):
REGISTER ^sg4 PERMISSIONS root.scanner 0660
Auto-configuration using the "scsi *" lines in the config files only works if
the user running the frontend has read/write access to /dev/xpt0. Instead, you
can also set a link
to the appropriate /dev/uk device.
- Adaptec AHA1542CF
Reported to work fine under FreeBSD 2.2.2R with the
- Adaptec 2940
Reported to work fine under FreeBSD 2.2.2.
- Adaptec 1522
The scanner probes ok but any attempt to
the entire system. It looks like something is disabling interrupts and
then not re-enabling them, so it looks like a bug in the FreeBSD
- Adaptec 1505
Works on FreeBSD 2.2.5R and 3.0 using the
driver, provided that Plug-and-Play support is disabled on the card.
If there are no
devices, just do a ``sh MAKEDEV uk0'' in the
directory. The scanner should then be accessible as
/dev/uk0 if it was probed
- Tekram DC390
Reported to work fine under FreeBSD 2.2.2R with the
First, make sure your kernel has SCSI generic support enabled. In
``make xconfig'', this shows up under ``SCSI support->SCSI generic
To keep scanning times to a minimum, it is strongly recommended to use a large
buffer size for the generic SCSI driver. From SG driver version 2.0 on, the
maximum buffer size can be changed at program run time, and there is no restriction in size. This driver version is part of the Linux kernels from
version 2.2.7 on. If the new SG driver is available some backends
(e.g. sane-umax, sane-mustek, sane-sharp) automatically request larger scsi
buffers. If a backend does not automatically request a larger scsi buffer, set
the environment variable
to the desired buffer size in bytes. It is not recommended to use more
than 1 MB, because for large values the probability increases that the
SG driver cannot allocate the necessary buffer(s). For ISA cards, even
1 MB might be a too large value. For a detailed discussion of memory
issues of the SG driver, see http://www.torque.net/sg.
For Linux kernels before version 2.2.7 the size of the buffer is only 32KB.
This works, but for many cheaper scanners this causes scanning to be slower by
about a factor of four than when using a size of 127KB. Linux defines the
size of this buffer by macro
in header file
Unless a system is seriously short on memory, it is recommended to increase
this value to the maximum legal value of 128*1024-512=130560 bytes. After
changing this value, it is necessary to recompile both the kernel (or the SCSI
generic module) and the SCSI backends. Keep in mind that this is only
necessary with older Linux kernels.
A common issue with SCSI scanners is what to do when you booted
the system while the scanner was turned off? In such a case, the
scanner won't be recognized by the kernel and SANE won't be able
to access it. Fortunately, Linux provides a simple mechanism to
probe a SCSI device on demand. Suppose you have a scanner connected
to SCSI bus 2 and the scanner has a SCSI id of 5. When the system
is up and running and the scanner is turned on, you can issue
echo "scsi add-single-device 2 0 5 0" > /proc/scsi/scsi
and the kernel will probe and recognize your scanner (this needs to be
done as root). It's also possible to dynamically remove a SCSI device
by using the ``remove-single-device'' command. For details, please
refer to to the SCSI-2.4-HOWTO.
Scanners are known to work with the following SCSI adapters under Linux. This
list isn't complete, usually any SCSI adapter supported by Linux should work.
- Acard/Advance SCSI adapters
Some old versions of the kernel driver (atp870u.c) cut the inquiry information.
Therefore the scanner couldn't be detected correctly. Use a current kernel.
- Adaptec AHA-1505/AHA-1542/AHA-2940
Reported to work fine with Linux since v2.0. If you encounter kernel freezes
or other unexpected behaviour get the latest Linux kernel (2.2.17 seems to
work) or reduce SCSI buffer size to 32 kB.
- ASUS SC200
Reported to work fine with Linux v2.0.
- BusLogic BT958
To configure the BusLogic card, you may need to follow
these instructions (contributed by Jeremy <email@example.com>):
During boot, when your BusLogic adapter is being initialized, press
Ctrl-B to enter your BusLogic adapter setup. Choose the address which
your BusLogic containing your scanner is located. Choose ``SCSI Device
Configuration''. Choose ``Scan SCSI Bus''. Choose whatever SCSI id
that contains your scanner and then choose ``View/Modify SCSI
configuration''. Change ``Negotiation'' to ``async'' and change
``Disconnect'' to ``off''. Press Esc, save, and Esc again until you
are asked to reboot.
- NCR/Symbios 53c400/53c400a or Domex DTC3181E/L/LE (DTCT436/436P) ISA SCSI card
This card is supplied by Mustek (and other vendors). It's supported since
Linux 2.2. The SCSI cards are supported by the module g_NCR5380. It's
necessary to tell the kernel the io port and type of card. Example for a
53c400a: ``modprobe g_NCR5380 ncr_addr=0x280 ncr_53c400a=1''. Once the kernel
detects the card, it should work all right. However, while it should work, do
not expect good performance out of this card---it has no interrupt line and
therefore while a scan is in progress, the system becomes almost unusable.
You may change the values of the USLEEP macros in drivers/scsi/g_NCR5380.c.
Some documentation is in this file and NCR5380.c.
- NCR/Symbios 810
For some scanners it may be necessary to disable disconnect/reconnect. To
achieve this use the option ncr53c8xx="disc:n". Some people reported that
their scanner only worked with the 53c7,8xx driver, not the ncr53c8xx. Try
both if you have trouble.
For Linux kernels before 2.0.33 it may be necessary to increase the SCSI
timeout. The default timeout for the Linux kernels before 2.0.33 is 10
seconds, which is way too low when scanning large area. If you get messages
of the form ``restart (ncr dead ?)'' in your /var/log/messages file or on the
system console, it's an indication that the timeout is too short. In this
case, find the line ``if (np->latetime>10)'' in file ncr53c8xx.c (normally in
directory /usr/src/linux/drivers/scsi) and change the constant 10 to, say, 60
(one minute). Then rebuild the kernel/module and try again.
- Tekram DC315
The driver can be downloaded from http://www.garloff.de/kurt/linux/dc395/.
For some older scanners it may be necessary to disable all the more advanced
features by using e.g. modprobe dc395x_trm dc395x_trm=7,5,1,32.
- Tekram DC390
Version 1.11 of the Tekram driver seems to work fine mostly, except
that the scan does not terminate properly (it causes a SCSI timeout
after 10 minutes). The generic AM53C974 also seems to work fine
and does not suffer from the timeout problems.
SOLARIS, OPENSTEP AND NEXTSTEP INFO
Under Solaris, OpenStep and NeXTStep, the generic SCSI device name
refers to a SCSI bus, not to an individual device. For example,
refers to the first SCSI bus. To tell SANE which device to use,
append the character 'a'+target-id to the special device name. For
example, the SCSI device connected to the first SCSI controller
and with target-id 0 would be called
and the device with target-id 1 on that same bus would be
and so on.
If the library was compiled with debug support enabled, this environment
variable controls the debug level for the generic SCSI I/O subsystem. E.g., a
value of 128 requests all debug output to be printed by the backend. A value
of 255 also prints kernel messages from the SCSI subsystem (where available).
Smaller levels reduce verbosity.
sets the timeout value for SCSI commands in seconds. Overriding the default
value of 120 seconds should only be necessary for very slow scanners.
- GENERAL INFO
- FREEBSD INFO
- LINUX INFO
- SOLARIS, OPENSTEP AND NEXTSTEP INFO
- SEE ALSO