Getting a SCSI scanner to work in Ubuntu

ubuntu-logo-transparent-shineI’ve got a 15+ year old HP ScanJet 4c flatbed scanner that still works wonderfully. Trouble is, try finding SCSI drivers for Windows 7. So, it’s hooked up to my Ubuntu box. The new problem is that the permissions on that type of hardware is set to root:root and if you have any experience with Linux, you know that you never run as root.

So hunted and hunted online for a solution. One solution is to write a UDEV rule. Another is to use the Scanner Access Enabler program. Implementing either of these were a little bit beyond by skill set.

So, what I ended up doing was this: I created scanner.sh which has two lines of code:

#!/bin/sh
sudo chmod 777 /dev/sg6 && xsane

Then I created a launcher for scanner.sh. When run a terminal window appears, requests my su credentials, sets the device permissions accordingly (you’ll need to edit that line to point to the location of your device which you can find using sudo sane-find-scanner) and then launches xsane. When I close xsane, the terminal window also closes.

It maybe isn’t all that elegant but it’s simple.

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