Configuring Late Model Epson Printers for PCLinuxOS

Introduction

I have written an article published in the February 2019 issue of PCLinuxOS Magazine on this topic. Since then, the official ImageScan Version 3 utility from Epson's website is now in the PCLinuxOS repository.

While it does work on PCLinuxOS (I have tested this myself), it will not work with the GIMP as the utsushi driver does not work as a GIMP plugin. This can be installed alongside the epkowa driver supplied with the iscan package. My thanks to AnalogueMan for requesting the driver to be included in the PCLinuxOS repository.


About Version 2 of Epson's Image Scan! for Linux

What I was getting at was that Version 2 of Epson's Image Scan! for Linux (which actually works with the GIMP) includes an epkowa driver that is newer than the version supplied with the iscan package (which does not include the Epson created scanning utility.

This package is a compressed tarball (.tar.gz) file that should be unpacked in an empty directory. Once unpacked, there are three directories and a ./install.sh script (obviously for installation of the RPM files).

This script will not work with PCLinuxOS unless you do not have the iscan package from the repository installed because some of the files in the RPM packages cause a conflict with some of the files in the iscan package that is in the repository.

The bottom line here is this: If you have no real need for Image Scan! Version 2, then it is better to install the iscan package from the repository instead of downloading Image Scan! Version 2 from Epson, and get your epkowa driver that way.


Setup Your Hardware First

Before you configure your new Epson printer, you should setup the printer itself according to the directions supplied by the Quick Start guide, until you get to the part where the software is to be installed from the supplied CD (if there is one).

For PCLinuxOS (and Slackware as well), you will not need the supplied CD.

Usually, this means removing any packing tape used to secure delicate parts when the printer was in transit from the factory to the store where you purchased your printer. This is followed then by plugging in the power cord, then powering up the printer, followed by insertion of the supplied ink cartridges.

Newer Epson printers have Wi-Fi capability built in to the device. Before you connect the printer to a Wi-Fi router, make sure that the security on that router has not been compromised. For best results, connect to a Wi-Fi network that is protected with WPA2-PSK encription (with the AES option enabled). This is currently the most secure form of network encryption available for home use.

Once you have the printer powered up and (optionally) connected, you may then setup the printer according to the instructions in my article at PCLinuxOS Magazine.


VueScan does it better

The people at hamrick.com developed a complete scanning solution called VueScan.

While SANE supports many scanners, there are just as many scanners, including ones that scan slides and negatives using a specially designed webcam contained in the scanning unit, that are simply not supported by SANE, and worse, some of those devices work only with Windows.

The Hamrick brothers reversed engineered the drivers for these scanners and have created a complete and comprehensive scanning package (with its own scanner drivers instead of using the drivers that come with the SANE package) that works with Linux, including PCLinuxOS.

Yes, this is commercial software, but the cost is well worth it if you want to get that film scanner from Sharper Image to work with PCLinuxOS.

Also, VueScan comes with its own OCR engine, for rendering text files from scanned pages, as well as the ability to scan in 64-bit color resolution. (SANE drivers can only scan at 24-bit color resolution).

On my Epson XP-6000, VueScan scans much quieter than ImageScan at 2400dpi!

You can install VueScan from a tarball (downloadable from the Hamrick website), or as a FlatPak (from Flathub).