Scanner install bomb

I intended to call this post Installing a scanner on Linux, but I hit a dead end.  The details of my attempt are first, followed by some ponderings.  I wrote the bulk of this article back in February of this year.


I just purchased a used HP scanjet 2400 color scanner and brought it home to hook it up to my Mandriva 2009.0 Linux box.

The Installation Attempt

Let’s see how it goes (I have the driver CD from HP, but I’m going to just hack around first and see if that’s quicker):

  1. I went to “Configure your Computer” and on the Scanners page it said to configure scanners the SANE (drivers?) needed to be installed.  I consented, and a quick 1.5MB download ensued.
  2. I ran XSane in case no setup was needed, but got this message: xsane-no-devices-available-message
  3. I tried again (just in case), but got the same message. :)
  4. I also notice that the scanner does not show up in the “Devices recently plugged in” window in the corner of my screen…
  5. I pressed Help on the XSane No Devices Available message box, and got this message: xsane-reasons-no-device
  6. Back at the Mandriva Configure Your Computer -> Scanners area, I decided to try Add a scanner manually… but the HP 2400c was marked UNSUPPORTED (and said so when I selected it and tried to go on).
  7. A web search turned up a post on the Ubuntu forums pointing to a driver and instructions at elcot.in.
  8. But, hmm, that download says there’s HP software in it, and I’m not sure if it would be legal.  (Can elcot.in transfer their license to unlimited numbers of others?)

Bigger Questions

I think next time I’d check the SANE project list of supported scanners before I purchased a scanner.

But……this experience has me asking questions.  In some senses, running Linux is about supporting the ability to have choices.  But then in other ways, running Linux limits my choices.   What does it mean?  Hmm.

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