Getting my HP ScanJet 7400C scanner working in Ubuntu 8.10


HP Scanjet Scanner – There is a bug in on one of the Linux libraries which prevents this from working with SANE. It’s not a new bug, having been around since Ubuntu 8.04 and to be fair effects all Debian distros. I have a potential fix, just a case of applying and testing!

Well as it was on my “To Do” list I though it was about time I did something!

I was intending to downgrade the libsane library back to a known working library, as suggested in a post on Launchpad. However, previously when I looked into this problem http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1003557, there were a lot of people having the same problems be it with different scanners and as a result a lot of bug reports on Launchpad for apparently the same root cause.

Now, prior to this problem I had never considered Launchpad as a resource for resolving software problems, but as it happens it is more than excellent, it’s superb!

Of all the bug reports on Launchpad, this report was the most useful https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xsane/+bug/234841.

Debian have a superb library of up to date deb packages to download and whilst you do need to be careful as Ubuntu is only based on Debian, the chances are that most packages will be 100% compatible and in this case as XSANE was severely broken I had nothing to lose!

Debian’s packages are held at http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages. Debian have three package categories Stable, Testing and Unstable. So not being brave when it comes to computers I opted for the Stable packages which are currently for “Lenny”. For those of you who like trivial, Debian releases are named after the characters from the Disney movie Toy Story.

Having downloaded the packages to my Desktop, I then installed them in the order below so as to meet the package dependencies

  1. http://packages.debian.org/sid/update-inetd
  2. http://packages.debian.org/sid/libs/libsane-extras
  3. http://packages.debian.org/sid/sane-utils
  4. http://packages.debian.org/sid/libsane

Scanning works beautifully and the quality is superb.

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