Install drivers for Epson scanners

Sometimes your Epson scanner might work out of the box, and sometimes it might not. First, make sure you have SANE installed on your machine1. Second look through the website, most scanners are supported out of the box, but about 15% of them either aren’t supported or are untested.

Complete or Good


If your scanner falls into the first category, labeled “Complete” or “Good”, you probably have an issue with SANE. Make sure the saned service is running without errors2:

systemctl status saned.service

and make sure the sane-epson2 (or sane-epson) back-end is enabled, you should have epson2 (or epson) without a leading # inside /etc/sane.d/dll.conf.

epkowa plus non-free interpreter


If it’s unsupported and there is a note

supported by the epkowa backend plus non-free interpreter

you can still make it work. You’ll have to get the non-free (free as in publicly available source code, you don’t have to pay for anything) Epson Scan 2 software.

It can be downloaded from the support site as a deb or rpm package. If your system doesn’t natively work with any of those (i.e. it isn’t listed under “Distribution” and isn’t some sort of derivative of those), you can still try the rpm package.

  1. Install rpm with your package manager

  2. Download the 32 or 64 bit [ rpm ] package

  3. Extract it

    tar -xf epsonscan2-bundle-SOMETHING.rpm.tar.gz
  4. Install the core application and non-free plugins with rpm

    sudo rpm -Uvh --nodeps ./epsonscan2-bundle-SOMETHING.rpm/core/epsonscan2-SOMETHING.rpm ./epsonscan2-bundle-SOMETHING.rpm/plugins/epsonscan2-non-free-plugin-SOMETHING.rpm

Alternatively, you can install the deb package with dpkg or build and install it from source (source file is available at the bottom of the support site).

You will need3 to install iscan, which usually provides the aforementioned epkowa backend. Also make sure you have epkowa inside /etc/sane.d/dll.conf without a leading #.

Finally, only for the very first time after connecting your powered-on scanner, start “Epson Scan 2”, select it and press “Next”. The drivers should automatically be installed and you can close the window and use your own scanning software of choice afterwards.

  1. On Gentoo the package is sane-backends, as per the wiki

  2. For OpenRC: rc-service saned status 

  3. Surprisingly enough, on my Gentoo installation everything works fine without the package. Either something else is helping me or something is in the “more magic” position…