xsane - scanner frontend for SANE
xsane [--help|-h] [--version|-v] [--license|-l] [--device-settings file |-d file]
[--viewer|-V] [--save|-s] [--copy|-c] [--multipage|-m] [--fax|-f] [--email|-e] [--no-mode-
selection|-n] [--Fixed|-F] [--Resizable|-R] [--print-filenames|-p] [--force-filename name
|-N name] [--display d] [--no-xshm] [--sync] [devicename]
xsane provides a graphical user-interface to control an image acquisition device such as a
flatbed scanner. It allows previewing and scanning individual images and can be invoked
either directly from the command-line or through The GIMP image manipulation program. In
the former case, xsane acts as a stand-alone program that saves acquired images in a suit-
able 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.
xsane accesses image acquisition devices through the SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) inter-
face. The list of available devices depends on installed hardware and configuration.
When invoked without an explicit devicename argument, xsane presents a dialog listing all
known and available devices. To access an available device that is not known to the sys-
tem, the devicename must be specified explicitly. The format of devicename is backend-
name:devicefile (eg: umax:/dev/sga).
RUNNING UNDER THE GIMP
To run xsane under the gimp(1), you should at first make sure that xsane is compiled with
gimp support by entering "xsane -v" on a shell. If xsane is compiled with gimp support
then simply set a symbolic link from the xsane-binary to one of the gimp(1) plug-ins
directories. For example, for gimp-1.0.x the command
ln -s /usr/bin/xsane ~/.gimp/plug-ins/
for gimp 1.2.x the command:
ln -s /usr/bin/xsane ~/.gimp-1.2/plug-ins/
and for gimp 2.0.x the command:
ln -s /usr/bin/xsane ~/.gimp-2.0/plug-ins/
adds a symlink for the xsane binary to the user's plug-ins directory. After creating this
symlink, xsane will be queried by gimp(1) the next time it's invoked. From then on, xsane
can be invoked through "Xtns->XSane->Device dialog..." (gimp-1.0.x) or through
"File->Acquire->XSane->Device dialog..." (gimp-1.2.x and 2.0.x) menu entry.
You'll also find that the "Xtns->XSane" or "File->Acquire->XSane" menu contains short-cuts
to the SANE devices that were available at the time the xsane was queried. Note that
gimp(1) caches these short-cuts in ~/.gimp/pluginrc. Thus, when the list of available
devices changes (e.g., a new scanner is installed or the device of the scanner has
changed), then it is typically desirable to rebuild this cache. To do this, you can
either touch(1) the xsane binary (e.g., "touch /usr/bin/xsane") or delete the plugin cache
(e.g., "rm ~/.gimp/pluginrc"). Either way, invoking gimp(1) afterwards will cause the
pluginrc to be rebuilt.
When xsane is started from the gimp then it is not possible to add a devicename explic-
itly. You have to make the devices known to the system by configuring sane-dll, sane-net
If the --help or -h flag is given xsane displays a short help message and exits.
If the --version or -v flag is given xsane prints a version information, some information
about gtk+ and gimp version it is compiled against and lists the supported file formats,
then it exits.
If the --license or -l flag is given xsane prints license information and exits.
The --device-settings or -d flag reads the next option as default filename for device set-
tings. The extension ".drc" must not be included.
The --viewer or -V flag forces xsane to start in viewer mode.
The --save or -s flag forces xsane to start in save mode.
The --copy or -c flag forces xsane to start in copy mode.
The --multipage or -m flag forces xsane to start in multipage mode.
The --fax or -f flag forces xsane to start in fax mode.
The --email or -e flag forces xsane to start in e-mail mode.
The --no-mode-selection or -n flag disables the menu for xsane mode selection (viewer,
save, copy, fax, mail).
If the --Fixed or -F flag is given then xsane uses a fixed, non resizable main window.
The flag overwrites the preferences value.
If the --Resizable or -R flag is given then xsane uses a scrolled and resizable main win-
dow. The flag overwrites the preferences value.
If --print-filenames or -p flag is given then xsane prints the names of created files to
the standard output.
When the flag --force-filename or -N is given then xsane reads the next option as default
image filename. The name should be of the format "name-###.ext". The selection box for
filenames is disabled. This option normally should be used with the option --no-mode-
selection and --save.
The --display flag selects the X11 display used to present the graphical user-interface
(see X(1) for details).
The --no-xshm flag forces xsane not to use shared memory images.
The --sync flag requests a synchronous connection with the X11 server. This is for debug-
ging purposes only.
is used to preselect the device in the device dialog. This way you only have to
accept the device (<ENTER> or OK-Button).
This files holds the user preferences. Normally, this file should not be manipu-
lated directly. Instead, the user should customize the program through the "Pref-
For each device, there is one rc-file that holds the saved settings for that par-
ticular device. Normally, this file should not be manipulated directly. Instead,
the user should use the xsane interface to select appropriate values and then save
the device settings using the "Preferences->Save Device Settings" menubar entry.
This system-wide file controls the aspects of the user-interface such as colors and
fonts. It is a GTK style file and provides fine control over the visual aspects of
This file serves the same purpose as the system-wide style file. If present, it
takes precedence over the system wide style file.
gimp(1), xscanimage(1), scanimage(1), sane-dll(5), sane-net(5), saned(1), sane-scsi(5),
Oliver Rauch <Oliver.Rauch@rauch-domain.de>
15 Jun 2002 xsane(1)