[sane-devel] Announcing AirSane, an Apple AirScan compatible server frontend

Till Kamppeter till.kamppeter at gmail.com
Thu Dec 26 13:37:53 GMT 2019

On 05/10/2018 12:51, Jürgen Mellinger wrote:
> AirSane is a SANE WebScan frontend that supports Apple's AirScan protocol, allowing Apple iphone and Macintosh devices to scan from SANE scanners, using Apple provided software components on the client side only.

As the leader of the OpenPrinting project I am working on driverless printing 
(all known variants, including AirPrint are working on Linux for some years now) 
and also driverless scanning (to fully support printer/scanner multi-function 

Driverless printing works all via IPP: Printer discovered by DNS-SD, then the 
client queries the printer's capabilities via IPP and after that prints in 
standard data formats (PDF, Apple/PWG Raster, PCLm).

For driverless scanning the Printer Working Group (creators of IPP, www.pwg.org) 
has created an IPP driverless scanning standard, but only very recently, after 
AirScan was created by Apple.

There are thousands of printers supporting AirPrint and most probably all 
multi-function devices under them support AirScan, so a working AirScan backend 
is expected to support thousands of scanners, practically all scanners in modern 
multi-function devices.

So, Jürgen, thank you very much for contributing this backend, and also thanks 
to Touboul Nathane and Thierry Huchard with their approach contributed earlier, 
as reported in this thread:


As it turned out in the discussion of the second thread this is not the open IPP 
scanning standard of the Printer Working Group, but nevertheless very valuable 
to be supported SANE.

Here I also have found out that one can use eSCL also on USB multi-function 
devices through the IPP-over-USB daemon ippusbxd 
(https://github.com/OpenPrinting/ippusbxd). eSCL is not actually IPP but 
ippusbxd is more an HTTP-over-USB or perhaps even IP-over-USB daemon than 
strictly IPP. ippusbxd does not advertise the scan function via DNS-SD, here I 
would need a reliable way to find out through USB whether the device has a 
scanner or not. Tests and contributions in this direction are very welcome.

> Scanners are detected automatically, and published through mDNS. Though images may be acquired and transferred in JPEG, PNG, and PDF/raster format through a simple web interface, AirSane's intended purpose is to be used with AirScan/eSCL clients such as Apple's Image Capture.

Are your SANE backend for AirScan/eSCL and your web scanning frontend 
independent? So could I scan with your package using X-Sane or simple-scan, or 
could I use your web frontend with any SANE-supported scanner, even if it is not 

Did you already compare with the eSCL backend from Touboul Nathane and Thierry 
Huchard? Which is more complete?


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