How SANE works

SANE (simplified) consists of 2 Parts. The frontends and the backends.
The frontends are the same for all scanners.
Frontends are for example: scanimage.exe, xscanimage.exe, xcam.exe or xsane.exe
The scanner-model-specific backends are all in libsane.dll.
To make SANE work you need a backend.conf file that works for your hardware.
And this backend.conf file has to be in the right place!

The steps needed to make SANE work on OS/2

  1. Which backend.conf file do you need?
    To find out which backend.conf file you need, enter your Scanner-Model to the SANE-Search-Engine and see whether your scanner is supported at all and (if it is) which backend is responsable for your scanner.
    Be aware that scanner-name and backend-name do not match in all cases!
  2. If your scanner is supported create a directory for your sane-configuration-file(s) SANE comes from the unix-world and so the natural place for this directory would be x:\home\.sane where HOME is the value of an environement-variable set in config.sys.
    So normally you need in config.sys the following lines:
    SET HOME=x:\home
    SET SANE_CONFIG_DIR=x:\home\.sane
    where x: has to be replaced with your real drive-letter and x: should be the same letter to which you unpacked your sane-package and where eventually your other gnu-unix-software lives.
  3. If you have a SCSI-scanner you additionally need the ASPIROUT.SYS - device-driver from Paul Ratcliffe and the lines
    in your config.sys
  4. Now it's time to reboot.
  5. Then run sane-findscanner.exe and see what it reports.
    I have two scanners, both connected to differnt SCSI-adapters. And in my case sane-findscanner.exe reports:
         found SCSI processor "EPSON SCANNER GT-9500 1.12" at b0t6l0
         found SCSI scanner "SCANNER  2.03" at b1t6l0
    If your SCSI scanner is not found check if your scsi-driver finds the scanner (cabling may be wrong, termination is critical or something else does not work).

    Example: In my case I had an adaptec-scsi-card installed and connected my mustek-scanner to this adapter. I knew that configuration once worked but after installing eCS or some device-driver-fixpack sane-find-scanner did not find the scanner. So I added the /V switch after the relevant BASEDEV=AIC7870.ADD in my config.sys and rebooted. I could see that AIC7870.ADD did not detect my scanner and was not loaded in consequence. I replaced the AIC7870.ADD file in \OS2\BOOT with an older version an BINGO now the scanner was found and sane-find-scanner.exe worked again

  6. Now copy the *.conf file for your specific scanner(s) from
    to your
    You eventually have to edit your backend.conf file in your SANE_CONFIG_DIR.
    • If your backend-code supports auto-detection your probably won't have to edit your backend.conf file. The important line (for example):
      scsi EPSON
      will enable that your scanner will be found by the frontends.
      (But in my case I you could also put
      into the epson.conf file instead of
      scsi EPSON
      and the scanner is also would be detected)
    • If your backend-code does not support auto-detection you have to place the devicename (the six characters after 'at') that was reported by sane-find-scanner.exe into your backend.conf file.
      Example: In case of my mustek-scanner I have to place a line containing
      into the file mustek.conf
      That's normally all what your backend.conf file needs. Lines starting with # are comments. For the extra options that could be placed into your backend.conf file you have to study the man-page for your scanner.
    • If you have a parallel-port scanner sane-find-scanner won't report the device-name where your scanner is connected to. You have to read the man-pages for the value you have to place to backend.conf

      (That's the theory, but I personally don't know of any parallelport-scanner that has been reported to work with SANE for OS/2, but in theory it could work.)

  7. The next thing you have to check is whether
    scanimage -L
    finds your scanner.
    If everything is OK you will get something like:
        D:\>scanimage.exe -L
        [epson] Requesting extended status
        [epson] No error
        [epson] Checking for ADF: (00)
        [epson] Checking for TPU: (00)
        [epson] Device name = GT-9500
        device `epson:b0t6l0' is a Epson GT-9500 flatbed scanner
        device `test:0' is a Noname frontend-tester virtual device
        device `test:1' is a Noname frontend-tester virtual device
        device `mustek:b1t6l0' is a Mustek 600S/600 II CD flatbed scanner
    and you will find those device lines reporting your scanner-model. If not, something is wrong. Probably your backend.conf file doesn't contain the right devicename or is not found by scanimage.exe
  8. If you get something like
    SYS1804: File JPEG can not be found
    jpeg.dll is missing in your LIBPATH.
  9. Be shure that the correct version of jpeg.dll is found! Newer Java versions install their own version of jpeg.dll somewhere in front in the LIBPATH. This results in scanimage.exe leaving an entry in POPUPLOG.OS2 instead of scanning images.
  10. With the help of the examples in the table below you now should get a file image.pnm with
    scanimage ...needed parameters... 1>image.pnm from your scanner.
  11. If it doesn't work you could enable DEBUG-Messages. For details look into the files in /usr/man/man5/
        set SANE_DEBUG_EPSON=3
        scanimage --device=epson 1>image.pnm 2>errors.txt
  12. If it still doesn't work, there is a OS/2 SANE Mailing-List, where you can ask for help. You also can drop me a note.
  13. Run
    scanimage --help >scanimage-command-line-parameters.txt
    to get a list of supported commandline-parameters for your scanner.

Sample configuration files and examples from scanners known to work with SANE for OS/2

Scanner SANE-Version(s) known to work Name of configuration-file The important line(s) you need in the configuration-file
See below!
Example for how to call scanimage
Agfa SnapScan 1236 SCSI 1.06 hp.conf
scanimage -d snapscan:bxtdl0 >image.pnm
Epson ES-1000c 1.0.7 epson.conf
scsi epson
scanimage 1>image.pnm 2>errors.txt
Epson GT-9500 1.0.5 - 1.0.13 epson.conf
scsi epson
scanimage 1>image.pnm 2>errors.txt
HP ScanJet IIC (HP C1750A) revision 3125 0.74 hp.conf
scsi HP
scanimage -d hp bxtdl0 --mode lineart -l 0 -t 0 -x 190 -y 260 --resolution 300 > image.pnm
HP ScanJet 4p 0.66.1 hp.conf
scanimage -d hp -l 0 -t 0 -x 215.8 -y 279.4 --mode Lineart --brightness 19 --contrast 0 --resolution 300 > image.pnm
Medion MD9890 (OEM-version of Mustek 1200CP) 1.0.11 - 1.0.12 mustek_pp.conf
scanner MD9890 0x378 cis1200
option bw 127
scanimage --device=mustek_pp 1>image.pnm 2>errors.txt
Microtek ScanMaker E6 1.0.9, 1.0.12 microtek.conf
scanimage -d microtek -l0 -t0 -x 102 -y 102 --resolution 100 --format tiff >Image.tif
Microtek Scanmaker 330 1.0.9 microtek2.conf
Microtek Scanmaker 630 1.0.5 - 1.0.13 microtek2.conf
scanimage -d microtek2:bxtdl0 -l2 -t2 -x60 -y60 --resolution 150 --format tiff 1>image.tif
Microtek Scanmaker V6USL 1.0.7 microtek2.conf
scanimage -d microtek2:bxtdl0 1>image.pnm 2>errors.txt
Mustek 600 II CD 1.0.3 - 1.0.13 mustek.conf
scanimage --device=mustek 1>image.pnm 2>errors.txt
Nikon Coolscan LS-1000 1.0.15 coolscan.conf
scsi Nikon
scanimage -d coolscan:scsi:bxtdl0 1>image.pnm
Nikon Coolscan LS-2000 1.0.9 coolscan2.conf
scanimage -d coolscan2:scsi:bxtdl0 --ae --autofocus --format=tiff 1>image.tif
Nikon LS-30 1.0.13 coolscan2.conf
scanimage -d coolscan2:scsi:bxtdl0 --ae --autofocus --format=tiff 1>image.tif
Pie Devcom9636Pro 1.0.13 pie.conf
scanimage --device=pie 1>image.pnm
Sharp Jx250 1.0.11 sharp.conf
UMAX Astra 610S 1.0.5 umax.conf
scsi UMAX*
scanimage.exe -d umax --resolution 300 1>image.pnm
UMAX Astra 1220S umax.conf
scsi UMAX*

You have to replace x with the logical bus-number of the scsi-adapter and d with scsi-device-ID of your scanner.
sane-find-scanner.exe should report the correct value. For example:
b0t6l0 means scanner is connected to the 1. logical scsi-card (0) and has scsi-device-ID 6
b1t3l0 means scanner is connected to the 2. logical scsi-card (1) and has scsi-device-ID 3

If you use wrong digits here, you might leave your hard-disk unusable!

For comments and additions to the table drop me a note.

Last modified 7 December 2006, Franz Bakan

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