Problem: iscan / Linux scanner generates start error

With the recent Ubuntu 21.10 upgrade, I experienced an error when starting iscan that I used to run my outdated old Epson legacy flatbed scanner. Because, hey, old hardware.

Running ‘sane-find-scanner' would cause a 'could not fetch string descriptor: Pipe error' error.

The iscan application would not start, whereas xsane worked perfectly.

The solution seems to be a bug in the system upgrade whereas symbolic links need to be added by the user themselves.

Directly from [] as posted by user patanjali :

The crucial difference was that the newer system was not looking in /usr/lib/sane, but the older system was. Maybe this is a bug, but in any case the problem was solved simply by adding symbolic links to the /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/sane/ directory. (I like using the -v flag to see whether the system did what was expected):

Code (what I did was run the command highlighted blue as root):

root@ganaka:~# ln -sv /usr/lib/sane/* /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/sane/

'/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/sane/' -> '/usr/lib/sane/'
'/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/sane/' -> '/usr/lib/sane/'
'/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/sane/' -> '/usr/lib/sane/' 

And with that, iscan was back.

Disclaimer – there are zero guarantee this works elsewhere ; ) there are zero guarantees anyways.

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: - Problem: iscan / Linux scanner generates start error; published 25/10/2021, 14:09; URL:

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1643154087, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{ - Problem: iscan / Linux scanner generates start error}}, month = {October}, year = {2021}, url = {} }