sane-test - SANE backend for testing frontends
The sane-test library implements a SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) backend that allows
testing the SANE installation and SANE frontends. It provides access to a (nearly) unlim-
ited number of virtual devices. There is no support for real scanners or cameras. How-
ever, the backend simulates scanning and setting options.
The idea is not only to find bugs in frontends but also to show all capabilities of SANE.
Therefore sane-test implements functions and options that are not (or seldomly) found in
The backend is commented out in /etc/sane.d/dll.conf, so either the comment character must
be removed or the backend must be called explicitely. E.g. `scanimage -d test' or
SCAN MODE OPTIONS
Option mode selects the scan mode (Gray or Color).
Option depth determines the number of bits per sample (1. 8, or 16). Keep in mind, that
this value refers to the sample, not the pixel. So depth=16 results in 48 bits per pixel
in color mode. The most usual combinations are mode=Gray, depth=1 for lineart, mode=Gray,
depth=8 for gray and mode=Color, depth=8 for color mode. The combination of color and
1-bit mode is quite obscure (8 colors) but allowed in the SANE standard. However, the
meaning of bits is not defined. Currently 1 = high intensity and 0 = low intensity is
Setting option hand-scanner results in the test-backend behaving like a hand-scanner.
Hand-scanners do not know the image height a priori. Instead, they return a height of -1.
Setting this option allows to test whether a frontend can handle this correctly. This
option also enables a fixed width of 11 cm.
Setting option three-pass simulates a three-pass scanner. Older color scanners needed to
scan the image once per color (reg/green/blue) to get the full image. Therefore, in this
mode three single frames are transmitted in color mode.
Option three-pass-order provides support for changing the order of the three frames (see
option three-pass above). A frontend should support all orders.
Option resolution sets the resolution of the image in dots per inch.
Option test-picture allows to set the image that's returned to the frontend. While "Solid
white" and "Solid black" are quite obvious, the other options need some more explanation.
Color patterns are used to determine if all modes and their colors are reprented correctly
by the frontend. The grid should look like the same in every mode and resolution. A ta-
ble of all the test pictures can be found at: http://www.meier-geinitz.de/sane/test-back-
If option invert-endianess is set, the upper and lower bytes of image data in 16 bit modes
are exchanged. This option can be used to test the 16 bit modes of frontends, e.g. if the
frontend uses the correct endianess.
If option read-limit is set, the maximum amount of data tranferred with each call to
sane_read() is limited.
Option read-limit-size sets the limit for option read-limit. A low limit slows down scan-
ning. It can be used to detect errors in frontend that occur because of wrong assumptions
on the size of the buffer or timing problems.
Option read-delay enables delaying data to the frontend.
Option read-delay-duration selects the number of microseconds the backends waits after
each transfer of a buffer. This option is useful to find timing-related bugs, especially
if used over the network.
If option read-return-value is different from "Default", the selected status will be
returned by every call to sane_read(). This is useful to test the frontend's handling of
the SANE statii.
If option ppl-loss is different from 0, it determines the number of pixels that are "lost"
at the end of each line. That means, lines are padded with unused data.
Option fuzzy-parameters selects that fuzzy (inexact) parameters are returned as long as
the scan hasn't been started. This option can be used to test if the frontend uses the
parameters it got before the start of the scan (which it shouldn't).
Option non-blocking determines if non-blocking IO for sane_read() should be used if sup-
ported by the frontend.
If option select-fd is set, the backend offers a select filedescriptor for detecting if
sane_read() will return data.
If option enable-test-options is set, a fairly big list of options for testing the various
SANE option types is enabled.
Option print-options can be used to print a list of all options to standard error.
Option tl-x determines the top-left x position of the scan area.
Option tl-y determines the top-left y position of the scan area.
Option br-x determines the bottom-right x position of the scan area.
Option br-y determines the bottom-right y position of the scan area.
BOOL TEST OPTIONS
There are 6 bool test options in total. Each option is numbered. (3/6) means: this is
option 3 of 6. The numbering scheme is inetended for easier detection of options not dis-
played by the frontend (bevause of missing support or bugs).
Option bool-soft-select-soft-detect (1/6) is a bool test option that has soft select and
soft detect (and advanced) capabilities. That's just a normal bool option.
Option bool-hard-select-soft-detect (2/6) is a bool test option that has hard select and
soft detect (and advanced) capabilities. That means the option can't be set by the fron-
tend but by the user (e.g. by pressing a button at the device).
Option bool-hard-select (3/6) is a bool test option that has hard select (and advanced)
capabilities. That means the option can't be set by the frontend but by the user (e.g. by
pressing a button at the device) and can't be read by the frontend.
Option bool-soft-detect (4/6) is a bool test option that has soft detect (and advanced)
capabilities. That means the option is read-only.
Option bool-soft-select-soft-detect-emulated (5/6) is a Bool test option that has soft
select, soft detect, and emulated (and advanced) capabilities.
Option bool-soft-select-soft-detect-auto (6/6) is a Bool test option that has soft select,
soft detect, and automatic (and advanced) capabilities. This option can be automatically
set by the backend.
INT TEST OPTIONS
There are 6 int test options in total.
Option int (1/6) is an int test option with no unit and no constraint set.
Option int-constraint-range (2/6) is an int test option with unit pixel and constraint
range set. Minimum is 4, maximum 192, and quant is 2.
Option int-constraint-word-list (3/6) is an int test option with unit bits and constraint
word list set.
Option int-constraint-array (4/6) is an int test option with unit mm and using an array
Option int-constraint-array-constraint-range (5/6) is an int test option with unit mm and
using an array with a range constraint. Minimum is 4, maximum 192, and quant is 2.
Option int-constraint-array-constraint-word-list (6/6) is an int test option with unit
percent and using an array a word list constraint.
FIXED TEST OPTIONS
There are 3 fixed test options in total.
Option fixed (1/3) is a fixed test option with no unit and no constraint set.
Option fixed-constraint-range (2/3) is a fixed test option with unit microsecond and con-
straint range set. Minimum is -42.17, maximum 32767.9999, and quant is 2.0.
Option fixed-constraint-word-list (3/3) is a Fixed test option with no unit and constraint
word list set.
STRING TEST OPTIONS
There are 3 string test options in total.
Option string (1/3) is a string test option without constraint.
Option string-constraint-string-list (2/3) is a string test option with string list con-
Option string-constraint-long-string-list (3/3) is a string test option with string list
constraint. Contains some more entries...
BUTTON TEST OPTION
Option button (1/1) is a Button test option. Prints some text...
The backend configuration file (see also description of SANE_CONFIG_DIR below). The
initial values of most of the basic SANE options can be configured in this file. A
template containing all the default values is provided together with this backend.
One of the more interesting values may be number_of_devices. It can be used to
check the frontend's ability to show a long list of devices. The config values
concerning resolution and geometry can be useful to test the handling of big file
The static library implementing this backend.
The shared library implementing this backend (present on systems that support
This environment variable specifies the list of directories that may contain the
configuration file. Under UNIX, the directories are separated by a colon (`:'),
under OS/2, they are separated by a semi-colon (`;'). If this variable is not set,
the configuration file is searched in two default directories: first, the current
working directory (".") and then in /etc/sane.d. If the value of the environment
variable ends with the directory separator character, then the default directories
are searched after the explicitly specified directories. For example, setting
SANE_CONFIG_DIR to "/tmp/config:" would result in directories "tmp/config", ".",
and "/etc/sane.d" being searched (in this order).
If the library was compiled with debug support enabled, this environment variable
controls the debug level for this backend. Higher debug levels increase the ver-
bosity of the output.
Example: export SANE_DEBUG_TEST=4
Henning Meier-Geinitz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- config file values aren't tested for correctness
24 Jul 2002 sane-test(5)