Using iscan for linux with a networked Epson

Date: 02 Jan, 2016
Posted by: admin
In: computer support|hints & tips|linux, open source & software|printer

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iscan for linux can’t find my printer (originally published 2014-02-11, updated 2017-01-02)

Epson’s iscan scanner app

Fixing the config files

iscan error dialogIt’s been a couple of years now that I’ve had iscan installed. Today I wanted to do some high-resolution scanning so I thought I’d try and get it to work as I imagine it might be the best tool to interface between my Kubuntu 13.10 GNU/Linux distro install and my Epson Stylus SX535WD [update: still using same printer-scanner-copier with Kubuntu 16.04, this method still working]. That W in the model number shows I have a wireless connectable Epson. Over wifi I have no problem printing or scanning using the default tools and with the “epkowa” drivers from Epson but attempting to use iscan (“Image Scan! for Linux”) would give an error:

“Could not send command to scanner. Check the scanner’s status.”

In essence I did “sudo nano /etc/sane.d/dll.conf” and made the file there read:

# /etc/sane.d/dll.conf – Configuration file for the SANE dynamic backend loader

with no other (uncommented) entries. Previously it had an epson2 entry which I think may have been confusing things.

Then I made sure that the /etc/sane.d/epkowa.conf file new where on the network to find my printer. I gave the printer a fixed IP when I installed it, X.X.X.10 [use the proper network address for your printer, not this placeholder].

# epkowa.conf — sample configuration for the EPKOWA SANE backend
net X.X.X.10
# net autodiscovery

I’m not sure if the autodiscovery option works or not. If you don’t have a fixed printer IP then perhaps you want to try that?

FWIW sane-find-scanner still doesn’t work even after this fix is applied. The same error window will still be shown by iscan when the printer is turned off.

iscan with GIMP2

Lastly if you’re using GIMP2 then iscan works as a plugin provided you have a link in place in the plug-ins folder:

ln -s /usr/bin/iscan /usr/lib/gimp/2.0/plug-ins/iscan

Alternative scanning options

Before I got iscan working I used Xsane (multi-window), Skanlite, scanimage and AcquireImages with varying degrees of success.

As usual if anything in this post has helped you fix a problem with your own system then please add a comment to make the page more useful to others, thanks.


January 2017

This method is still working for me. The link for the Epson printer file downloads has changed and in particular the iscan 1.0.4 bundle is the current one. Despite the UK Epson site initially telling me that my printer doesn’t work for Linux and doesn’t have available drivers a little digging leads to this install instruction for “Image Scan” page which some may find useful.

My Kubuntu install gave an error:

(iscan:24091): Gtk-WARNING **: Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: “adwaita”

Which was removed by doing sudo apt install gnome-themes-standard.

32 Responses to "Using iscan for linux with a networked Epson"

Roger Marcus says:

Still having problems with epson wf-6590 scanner and iscan:
# /etc/sane.d/dll.conf — Configuration file for the SANE dynamic backend loader
# epkowa.conf — sample configuration for the EPKOWA SANE backend
strace of iscan:
connect(9, {sa_family=AF_INET, sin_port=htons(6566), sin_addr=inet_addr(“”)}, 16) = -1 ECONNREFUSED (Connection refused)
(this is some sort of sane port that the printer rejects)
this proves that there is communication between printer and linux:
select(14, [13], NULL, NULL, {0, 300000}) = 1 (in [13], left {0, 194448})
recvfrom(13, “\0\0\204\0\0\0\0\1\0\0\0\3\10_scanner\4_tcp\5local\0\0\f\0\1\0\0\21\224\0\27\24EPSON WF-6590 Series\300\f\vEPSON259793\300\32\0\1\200\1\0\0\0x\0\4\300\250\2l\300+\0!\200\1\0\0\0x\0\10\0\0\0\0\7I\300B\300+\0\20\200\1\0\0\21\224\0\275\ttxtvers=1\27ty=EPSON WF-6590 Series:adminurl=http://EPSON259793.local.:80/PRESENTATION/BONJOUR\tmfg=EPSON\22mdl=WF-6590 Series)UUID=cf”…, 2048, 0, {sa_family=AF_INET, sin_port=htons(5353), sin_addr=inet_addr(“”)}, [16]) = 315

So I am baffled – something is missing and I still get the “cannot communicate with the scanner” although, there is communication that works. It is as if something else is trying to talk to sane on port 6566 with the printer and the printer refuses that.
If you know what is going on, please let me know – love the clarity of your article.

Manuel says:

Really?!! It was THAT simple to fix that? Thanks man…search a fix since 2 years!

John says:

Thanks man, I love you now!!

Christopher says:

Fantastic, this was the change I needed.

Guzman says:

Hello! I tried this method and worked with Epson L575 and Ubuntu Mate 16.04 until I rebooted the system. Now is like epkowa is not being seen by sane.

I don’t know what could have happened with that.

Jop says:


I ‘ve done all the steps, but still I get the error message:“Could not send command to scanner. Check the scanner’s status.” I use Xubuntu 18.04. In past (Xubuntu 14.04) it was working and on my windows 10 computer the scanner is also working. Any other idea´s?


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