Rek Bell

Growing up with a variety of scanners, and having to deal with shitty software and compability issues, I assumed that getting an older scanner to work with Linux would be impossible- I was wrong.

I have a used CanoScanLiDE20, obi run Manjaro, and scan my art using Xsane.

Required Software

To scan images with linux you'll need:

To make sure that your chosen scanner will work with SANE, check this list. My scanner was part of that list.

So, it is time to install both:

sudo pacman -S xsane
sudo pacman -S sane

If you're running ubuntu(installs both xsane and sane):

apt-get install sane sane-utils libsane-extras xsane

Then voila, you can plug in your scanner, launch Xsane and voila!

Xsane saves images in PNM format (PBM for black-and-white images, PGM for grayscale images, and PPM for color images) or converts the image to JPEG, PNG, PS or TIFF. In the latter case, the images are directly passed to The GIMP for further processing.

Using Gimp? Every tutorial I've read that mentions scanning documents on Linux mentions a Gimp plugin that permits the import of images from a scanning device directly by way of selecting File>Acquire>SANE.
In the Gimp file menu, "Acquire" was replaced with "Create", and no matter what I install I cannot get SANE to appear in that submenu. They refuse to play together. For those interested in trying, see the section named Running Under the Gimp.
I've found that launching Xsane, scanning the document, saving the file and opening it in Gimp afterward works just fine.