Scanning to the Cloud: Fujitsu Scansnap S1500 + Raspberry Pi

Process Flow

  • Get Input to Initiate Scan
  • Scan Using Auto-Document Feed
  • Post Processing
  • Import to Evernote (via email)

Install Scanning Driver & Utilities

Typically, using:

sudo apt-get install sane

You may need to adjust permissions for the scanners. I found as a non-root user I could not see any scanners when using:

scanadf -L


scanimage -L

I solved this by adding the current user to the “scanner” group:

usermod -a [current user] -G scanner

The SANE package installs two tools for scanning that we have seen above: scanadf and scanimage. As the Fujitsu Scansnap S1500 has an automatic document feed, the scanadf tool is better suited.

Install Image Processing Tools

I love Imagemagick. It has hugely powerful command line options for image and document processing. In this case we can use the “convert” command line tool to convert any scanned images into a PDF. It can be installed via:

sudo apt-get install imagemagick

Install Email Program (Mail User Agent – MUA)

A simple program called Mutt allows us to send an email with an attachment from the Linux command line. It can be installed using:

sudo apt-get install mutt

In my case I decided to create a new gmail account for scanning. I picked gmail as there were more online guides for these mail accounts.

After Mutt has been installed you need to configure it. I followed the guide here. In this case the important bit is setting up the SMTP configuration.

Writing a Script

Tying these programs together requires a little script:

#Feed documents and scan
scanadf --source "ADF Duplex" --resolution 300dpi --y-resolution 300dpi

#Store a date variable with time in hours and minutes - this is used as a file name
DATE=`date +%d-%m-%y_%H-%M`

#Convert any pnm images produced by the scan into a PDF with the date as a name
convert image* $DATE.pdf

#remove temporary pnm images
rm --verbose image*

#Send an email to your Evernote import address with the PDF attached - this is delivered to notebook "Inbox" with the tag "ToBeProcessed"
mutt -s "$DATE - From Scanner @inbox #ToBeProcessed" [import address] -a $DATE.pdf -- < /dev/null

Further Developments

Additional features I am working on:

  • Using scanbuttond to initiate script on button press – at present the program is not detecting the scanner (may be a permissions issue?).
  • Process the scanned images using imagemagick – there may be an opportunity to remove blank pages by either looking at an intensity metric or comparing with a blank image.

3 thoughts on “Scanning to the Cloud: Fujitsu Scansnap S1500 + Raspberry Pi

  1. Hey Ben, did you drive this project any further in the meantime? I especially wonder whether and how you integrated the Scansnap’s button to work together with the Raspberry?? Thanks for any insights! Best J.

  2. Hey Ben, luckily I found your site via Google while I was searching for a way to get my RPI working with the ScanSnap. Thanks for that! But did You get scanbutton to work? That would be a huge benefit – ScanToMail without GUI.

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