Scanning & OCR with Epson GT-S50 on Linux Mint

I’m a bit anal when it comes to digitizing all of my important paperwork. Back when I was using Windows, I used to use Adobe Acrobat to scan all my documents into PDF. It was simple and easy. Turn scanner on, load document, click scan in Acrobat – out pops a nice optimized OCRd PDF.

In Mint, it can be just as easy. It just took me a little bit to get my workflow setup with a different set of software.

Install Scanner Drivers

This thread helped me out the most when I was trying to get this working. I’ve outlined the steps below.

Epson provides a linux driver for the scanner that you need to install. Search GT-S50 and download the “core package & data package” first. From there, accept the agreement and download and run the following in order:

  • iscan-data_1.26.0-1_all.deb
  • iscan_2.29.3-1~usb0.1.ltdl7_amd64.deb

The FAQ (link at bottom of that page) states you need to install the data package first and then the core package (libltdl7 for Ubuntu >= 8.10).

If you try to run the packaged scanner software, Image Scan!, now, it will give you the error:

Could not send command to scanner. Check scanner’s status.

This was the part I missed on my first go around. Go back to the original search results page and download the “iscan plugin package.” Accept the agreement and download and run the esci-interpreter-gt-s80_0.2.1-1_amd64.deb package.

After that, you should be able to use any scanner application with your scanner. If the scanner still doesn’t show up, you may have to reboot.

Post Processing Scans

I’ve been using gscan2pdf to replace my Acrobat workflow. The process is very similar. Under the covers, it uses unpaper and tesseract for cleaning up and OCRing the scans respectively.


In order to get past this bug, I had to make sure I was using gscan2pdf’s PPA in order to get the latest version. Run the following to get the app installed with its dependencies:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:jeffreyratcliffe/ppa
sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install gscan2pdf
sudo apt-get install tesseract-ocr
sudo apt-get install unpaper


After opening gscan2pdf, click the Scan button which opens a scan dialog very similar to the one Adobe Acrobat uses. In order to get duplex scanning working properly, I had to make sure the following settings were set under Page Options:


Then navigate to Optional Equipment and set ADF Mode to Duplex and make sure ADF Auto Scan is checked:


After that, it has some nice post-processing options provided via unpaper and tesseract:


You might want to play with the white and black threshold filters depending on what you are scanning:


Once you tweak your settings to your liking, click Scan and you will have all your pages loaded in the app. From there, you can crop and/or clean up the pages more before you save it to PDF.

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