[sane-devel] need help to understand which of THESE scanner/printers is supported

Ralph Little skelband at gmail.com
Sat Oct 15 20:45:22 BST 2022


On 2022-10-15 10:38, M. Fioretti wrote:
> Greetings,
> (my apologies for the partially off topic request of help, but this
> is really messing up a deadline of mine...)
> For work reasons, I badly need to replace as soon as possible the
> Epson XP-4100 printer that one hour ago died under my desk (something
> snapped inside), with another all-in-one device that is
> - 100% supported under Linux, **especially** the scanner, because on
>    avg I print ~ 15/20 pages/month, mostly B/W, but for THIS and future
>    projects I need to scan hundreds of photographs with the highest
>    possible resolution, that's why I'm posting here
> - about as big as the one that broke (Epson XP-4100) because otherwise
>    it would not physically in the shelf below my desk
> - as reliable as possible, but budget is < 150 EUR, 100 would be great
> Since I need this asap AND I happen to have a gift card for the
> Mediaworld stores here in Italy, the ideal solution would be one of
> the models in their shop. However AFAICT several of them are not
> listed at all in the "supported devices" page on the SANE website.
> Hence the question for you experts: could any of you please give a quick
> look at the models available in Mediaworld stores:
> https://www.mediaworld.it/it/search.html?sort=currentprice%2Basc&query=stampanti-multifunzione
> and tell me which of those models WOULD be supported without problems
> by SANE in Ubuntu 22.04??? The page is in italian, but all you need to
> look at is the model names...
> TIA for any help, I really hope I can solve this quickly. In other
> moments, I could even enjoy testing, hacking drivers etc.. but this
> time I just cannot afford it.
> Marco

I can give some general advice.

The Brother devices tend to be well supported for printing and scanning 
by Brother's proprietary devices, but you should check on their website.
My experience is that they are of good quality but tend to be a bit more 
expensive. On the flip side, my understanding is that they do not 
chip-lock their toner/ink so consumables tend to be more reasonable. A 
SANE Brother MFP driver is in-progress but will take a little while 
before it is mature enough for mainstream use but their recent 
proprietary Linux SANE drivers seem pretty reliable.

Most Canon devices are supported by Canon proprietary drivers for 
printing but they do not generally support scanning. That is generally 
done via the SANE pixma drivers and the ESCL backend for some of their 
more recent machines. I have an older Canon imageClass MF4770n MFP which 
is a pretty good workhorse and while the toner cartridges have a chip in 
them, third party replacements are very affordable. I would certainly 
get another one of these imageClass/i-SENSYS machines: they are tough 
and reliable although always checkout reviews for specific models. There 
are always lemons in every range.

I find a lot of their lower-end machines tend to be a cheap and poorly 
constructed. They are very cheap to buy but ink and toner has a 
reputation for being chip-locked and insanely expensive. Linux is not 
well supported for scanning although they do contribute to the epson 
SANE backends from time to time for scanning.

Machines from HP tend to be of the same class as Epson. Some are fairly 
well made but they have a reputation for chip locking their consumables 
which, like Epson, are insanely expensive. Been in the news of late 
regarding shenanigans over firmware updates locking out the use of 3rd 
party cartridges. In the main, I would avoid them.
On the other hand, HP do support their MFP machines very well with open 
source drivers that they regularly keep up-to-date via the HPLIP 
project. If they would just improve the quality of their machines a bit, 
not overcharge for their ink and toner (and not be asshats to their 
customers in the firmware update department), then I would buy them out 
of principle for their support of the Linux platform.

Others might be better able to direct you to devices that are definitely 

Cheers and good luck!

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