Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ubuntu - Scanners

In the digital world it seems like we’re always having to convert paper documents into a digital format. Whether it’s scanning old pictures to save as digital images or scanning important documents to save in PDF format, a scanner has almost become a necessity for any home workstation. Ubuntu provides the XSane application to interface with most of the scanners available. This section walks through the things you’ll need to know to get the most out of your scanner and Ubuntu.

Detecting the Scanner
Before you can start using your scanner you need to ensure that XSane can work with it. Here are the steps to do that:

1. Connect your scanner to your Ubuntu workstation, then turn on the scanner.

2. After starting Ubuntu and logging in to your desktop, start XSane by selecting
Applications -> Graphics -> XSane Image Scanner. The XSane splash screen appears, allowing you to select the scanner.

The opening splash screen displays a list of the scanners XSane detects that are connected to the system, along with a default scanner.

3. Select your scanner, if it has been automatically detected.

4. The XSane workspace opens, with four separate windows We’ll talk more about each of the windows in the XSane workspace a little later.

5. Click the Acquire Preview button in the Preview window. Your scanner should automatically start up and begin scanning the document. When the scanner finishes scanning, the document should appear in the Preview window display area.

If you can see the scanned document in the Preview window display area, you’re ready to start using XSane..

Detecting the scanner is often the hardest part of using XSane. The XSane program is a graphical front end for the SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) commandline utility, which detects and interacts with scanners based on a standard interface protocol. Many scanners have interfaces written to interact with SANE, but there are still those that won’t work. Although there are many types of scanners available, they break down into five basic categories, based on how they connect to the workstation:

• Parallel port scanners: Parallel port scanners connect to the LPT1 printer port on a workstation. These scanners are notoriously slow and often use low-resolution scans.

• SCSI scanners: The small computer system interface (SCSI) is a popular interface for older scanners. Some scanners come with their own SCSI card that you must install in the workstation to connect the scanner. The key to using SCSI scanners is that Ubuntu must detect the installed SCSI card. For the more-popular SCSI cards this isn’t a problem, but SCSI cards that often come with older scanners can be an issue.

• IDE scanners: Some older scanners require an integrated device electronics (IDE) connection on the workstation. This is the same type of connection that most hard drives and CD drives use. If your scanner connects directly to the IDE port on your workstation, you may have to purchase a separate IDE card to support it.

• USB scanners: Most modern scanners connect to the workstation using a standard universal serial bus (USB) port. Ubuntu automatically attempts to detect USB devices connected to the workstation, and it often configures the scanner as a USB device before SANE even starts.

• Network scanners: Network scanners use proprietary software on Windows workstations to detect and connect to a scanner across the network. The Windows software used for this connection usually doesn’t have a Linux counterpart. SANE has its own network protocol for sharing a scanner connected to a workstation on the network with other workstations, but it can’t connect to network scanners that use a proprietary protocol.

The best source for SANE scanner information is the SANE Project web site at Select the Supported Devices link to search for supported scanners.

Source of Information : Wiley Ubuntu Linux Secrets

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