Running Kodak Scanmate i940 with Linux

I just want to share some insights about using the Scanmate i940 scanner using a linux distribution.  Kodak is claiming Linux support for that scanner and is providing a driver here.On its website Kodak states that specifically Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is supported. But this is only partially true. Here is what I found out about this driver:

  • The drivers is x86 32-bit only! This is a major drawback. You can run the scanner with a 64-bit system, but you have to install sane and all applications which are supposed to access the scanner in 32-bit. There is not much hope of being able to run the scanner using an ARM based Raspberry Pi too.
  • The driver actually contains a setup script, which supports far more than just Ubuntu. Judging from the code It is able to handle Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora (and RedHat-Clones) and OpenSuse out of the box
  • BUT it requires the existence of a libudev.so.0 and aborts when it cannot be installed. This causes the setup script to break on ALL RECENT linux distributions. The livudev.so.0 has been phased out for libudev.so.1 from Ubuntu 13.04 and Fedora 18 upwards

So far, so bad. The linux driver is outdated. At last judging from the look of the windows installer, this is true for the windows driver too (still, that one works).

I managed to get the scanner running with Fedora 20 64-bit. This are the steps which resulted in success.

  • Install a libudev.so.0 in the system. I forced in a package from a previous Fedora version. A similar step should work on other operating systems too.
  • Modify the setup script in a way that it does not break because of a missing libudev.so.0 and does not try to install it. Make sure it runs through.
  • Make sure the sane binaries and all applications which should be able to see the scanner are installed in 32-bit and have dependencies fullfilled

After that the scanner worked for me. I tested it under Windows too and the image quality looks like the same. So at least no drawback here. But I see another bigger bug with the linux driver: full duplex scanning does not work. The scanner is able to scan both sides of a page – but that does not work with linux driver. Duplex scanning works only in xsane, but not in more user-friendly apps like simple-scan.

I contacted the Kodak support about the problems of their linux driver. On the positive side they were quick to respond and supportive. A updated linux driver for Ubuntu 14.04 is in the works but there is not date when it can be expected.

As long as there is no updated driver available (I update this article as soon as I get it), I cannot recommend buying this scanner if you want to run it with linux. Not as long as you are not comfortable with the steps outlined above to make it work.

 

Update 25.1.2015:

I just found the updated driver 3.1 for the kodak i940 on the kodak webpage. It says it supports Ubuntu 14.04 and there is a 64-bit driver. So this driver finally comes out of the stoneage.

I was able to run the setup script on Fedora 21 flawlessly. The scanner now finally is able to scan several pages in one run. Unfortunatly the full-duplex scanning is still only working in xsane where you can choose the (driver specific) mode for that.

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4 thoughts on “Running Kodak Scanmate i940 with Linux

  1. Luana P. A. Jordão

    When you say “you have to install sane and all applications which are supposed to access the scanner in 32-bit. ” what really did you do?
    I’m trying following your steps, but i’m not having sucess.
    Could you explain with more details?

    Tks all

    Reply
    1. btux1984 Post author

      I installed the 32-bit version of xsane and simple-scan – of course 32-bit sane was installed too. How to do that is distribution specific. On RH/Fedora based distribution you have to install simple-scan.i686 to get the 32-bit version.

      Reply
  2. esteban

    I installed Software i900_v4.0.x86_64.deb.tar.gz 64 bits on Linux openSUSE 13.2 x64 , but when the installation goes the legend “the instalation is compliant Not with your operating system.”
    Time ago I had the scanner installed via USB without problem , I do not remember if it was the same driver version.
    Could anyone help?
    thank you
    Esteban

    Reply

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