I have a Brother MFC-J630W all-in-one printer-scanner-fax. I have the sane software installed, along with the sane driver provided by Brother. The scanner has a document feeder.

I'm using this command:

 scanimage --device-name "$device" --resolution 300 > $output_file

Everything was working well until I used the document feeder to scan a legal-sized page. Now, if I put any letter-sized page into the document feeder, I end up with a legal-sized scan.

The biggest problem is, I don't (yet) know if this is a problem on the scanner side, or on the software side. All I know for certain is that the pnm file created by scanimage is legal-sized.

Does anybody have any ideas for troubleshooting and/or fixing this problem?

  • You might want to try opening Xsane and changing the default scan settings for sane in there then trying a test scan. (It also supports batch mode).
    – virtualxtc
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


I have Brother A3 (MFC 6490CW) scanner and to scan A4 on that I use:

scanimage -x 209.981 -y 296.973 -l 43.496 --format=tiff \
    --batch=xx_00%03d.tif --batch-start=0

I had to experiment a bit to get the '-l' value right, my feeder is centered.

It takes a while before scanimage connect to the scanner and starts.

  • I think you're right. I just found that scanimage tells me that the default value for -y is 355.6 mm, which is 14 inches. So maybe it always worked that way and I just didn't notice.
    – hymie
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 3:47
  • This is not using the feeder for me. It's trying to scan multiple pages from the flatbed
    – Marcel
    Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 21:43
  • @Marcel have you tried scanning/copyting/faxing using the built-in interface of the MFC-6490CW? Maybe the device doesn't detect that there is paper in the feeder.
    – Anthon
    Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 5:38
  • I am able to scan from the feeder using python-sane or simple-scan.
    – Marcel
    Commented Mar 17, 2022 at 15:42

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