I recently installed ubuntu 18.04. I installed the Seiko scanner program per their instructions. I checked it using terminal and the Bash command "lsusb" and the hardware detects the scanner. I use "Classic menu indicator" and it sees the scanner program; however, when I click on the program name, "image scan!for Linux" I get a message "could not send command to scanner. Check the scanners status". Does anyone have a solution for this problem?

  • can you tell us the name and model number of your scanner please: Seiko seems also to be Epson;
    – pdc
    May 21, 2018 at 18:49
  • My scanner is an Epson Perfection V500 Photo. model J251A. SN K5ZW013161
    – user78638
    May 22, 2018 at 23:33

3 Answers 3


Add a link & a file

The problem stems from missing symbolic links in the /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/sane (or, more generically, /usr/lib/$(uname -m)-linux-gnu/sane) to the Epson driver directory.

$ sudo ln -sfr /usr/lib/sane/libsane-epkowa* /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/sane

Furthermore, a 55-epson-libsane.rules file needs to be added to the /etc/udev/rules.d/ directory with the following contents:

    SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ENV{DEVTYPE}=="usb_device", MODE=="0666"
    SUBSYSTEM=="usb_device", MODE=="0666"

    ATTRS{manufacturer}=="EPSON", DRIVERS=="usb", SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="04b8", ATTRS{idProduct}=="*", MODE="0666"

    ATTRS{idVendor}=="04b8", ATTRS{idProduct}=="0137", MODE="0666", GROUP="scanner", ENV{libsane_matched}="yes"

After power cycling the scanner, the following command should now properly list the connected scanner:

$ scanimage -L

device `epkowa:interpreter:003:002' is a Epson GT-S50 flatbed scanner

Use xsane or the proprietary Epson iscan to operate the scanner.

  • This also helped me with my Brother MFC-7340 scanner. The same issue with links. askubuntu.com/a/1054065/54548 <= This answer has the details for that scanner brand.
    – fbicknel
    Mar 14, 2019 at 19:47
  • 2
    Just want to say thanks for this. After spending a few days on google searching for an answer this worked! I have an ubuntu 18.04 machine with an epson v370 photo scanner. This got it to work! thank you!
    – Walter
    Jun 6, 2019 at 17:22

This recent thread seems to provide the answer:

Epson GT-S50 scanner not working after upgrade to 18.04 from 16.04

Two parts:

  1. Create symbolic links
  2. Add a 55-epson-libsane.rules file to /etc/udev/rules.d/

The symbolic link is:

sudo ln -sfr /usr/lib/sane/libsane-epkowa* /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/sane

and the above thread gives more details on part 2.


For the 32-bit system use this symbolic links:

sudo ln -sfr /usr/lib/sane/libsane-epkowa* /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/sane

and rest like previous answers

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