Scanning with Canon N1220U on Fedora 18

I needed to scan a document today. Scanning is something I do very rarely, so I don’t need to buy a fancy scanner. I have a Canon N1220U that I got from my father over 6 years ago. I don’t know how long he had it for before passing it on, but it works well. It has decent quality image, and it is not bulky, so I can easily put it away in a little box. I used it a few times back when I was using ubuntu on my Dell laptop. It just worked out of the box, or at least that is what I remember.

However, today, when I tried to used it it would not work. Fedora comes with simple scan, which is the same applications I used in Ubuntu, but simple scan was not detecting the device. I decided to open the console and fire up a search for scan utilities:

yum search scanner

I got back a bunch of results. The promising one was sane-backends-drivers-scanners.x86_64, so I did a sudo yum install, but that reported that the package was already installed, and up to date. There was nothing to do.

I decided to do a quick search, and I found this: https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-hardware-18/fedora-18-x64-xsane-won%27t-detect-scanner-even-though-sane-find-scanner-does-4175452309/ but I didn’t think it would help so I skipped it and went back to the terminal. I decided to see what packages were available by the sane package, so I typed san and then hit tab twice. I got this list:

sanbox saned sane-find-scanner

I decided to give sane-find-scanner a try. sane was detecting the scanner, so the problem should be somewhere else. I decided to install another package from the list I got when I did the yum search.

sudo yum install xsane.x86_64

This installs the xsane package and the dependency xsane-common. I had tried xsane before, although at the moment I didn’t remember it. xsane is insane. It has lots of options, and getting the document to scan cleanly can be hard, you may need to play around with the contrast, and light settings. Heck, xsane even has histograms!

xsane is great if you are doing some high quality scanning, but if you just want to scan a document to email it, xsane is a bit of an overkill. I decided to give simple scan another try. I opened it again, hit scan, and it worked. Why? I don’t know. It thought maybe something to do with xsane, but it continued working even after xsane and its dependency were uninstalled, so I don’t know what made it work, but I’m glad that it works now.