I'm trying to get my scanner/printer Canon PIXMA MG3550 to work over the network with XSane. The driver is installed and almost everything works (printing over USB & network, scanning over USB).

The scanner is recognized, XSane's info panel shows correct information about the device, so does scanimage -L which returns

device `pixma:MG3500_192.168.xx.yy' is a CANON Canon PIXMA MG3500 Series multi-function peripheral

But when I hit the scan button in XSane I get the following error :

Error during read: Error during device I/O

Yet the scanner seems to respond when I click on scan or preview since I can hear the hardware briefly move before I get the error.

I'm running Debian Jessie. (I don't know where to look for XSane error log...)

Any suggestions ?

Edit 1 : I installed scangearmp which is the soft provided by Canon and it works flawlessly.
I don't know why but previewing with XSane worked 2 or 3 times in an unpredictable way although I'm totally unable to reproduce this on purpose. At first I thought that deleting ~/.sane was the trick but after checking again several times I can confirm it is not.

3 Answers 3


Exactly the same in my case (including what edit 1 reports) on Ubuntu 18.10, amd64 machine, Pixma MG3650.



[... blah blah...] 
[pixma] pixma_read_image() failed ETIMEDOUT
[pixma] Reader task terminated: ETIMEDOUT
[pixma] read_image():reader task closed the pipe:195228 bytes received, 1678578 bytes expected
sane_read= 9 = Error during device I/O
[pixma] pixma_close(): Canon PIXMA MG3600 Series

Therefore I increased the timeout setting in the configuration file:

  1. As a precaution so you can reverse the following if it doesn't work, make a backup copy of /etc/sane.d/pixma.conf:

    $ sudo cp /etc/sane.d/pixma.conf  /etc/sane.d/BACKUPpixma.conf 
  2. To increase the timeout, open /etc/sane.d/pixma.conf and uncomment line 21; i.e., delete the leading hash ('#') sign so as to change #bjnp-timeout=5000 to: bjnp-timeout=5000.

  3. Save the modified file.

  4. Test with Skanlite, gscan2pdf, XSane or other sane-based programme(s) of your choice.

Not sure this is the only solution or the best – better ideas welcome. If it didn't work, you can undo it by:

$ sudo cp /etc/sane.d/BACKUPpixma.conf  /etc/sane.d/pixma.conf
  • I'm on Ubuntu 18.04 right now. I used Simple Scan until now because it works for me :). I've just installed XSane and it worked without modifying pixma.conf. I can't reproduce the error... Sometimes just wait for updates I guess :). But your solution is interesting, plus you got the error on Ubuntu 18.10, strange... I'm glad it worked for you and hope it will be useful for others facing this error.
    – McQuack
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 17:41
  • In case someone is trying to debug Epson, one of these should do the trick: export SANE_DEBUG_EPSON=128 or export SANE_DEBUG_EPSON2=128
    – xdevs23
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 17:59

I would like to add an alternate answer to this similar symptoms: when everything is installed correctly and nevertheless the "Error during read: Error during device I/O error" or "Device is busy" came.

To me it happened with a network all in one Canon MF8200C and the answer is that the machine is not getting automatically in scan mode. One need to enter the scan menu and to select Remote scan. Than the scan waits for computer request to scan and everything should work. For the life of me I could not understand why this cannot be done automatically, but probably there are sound reasons.

  • 1
    I doubt it (at least for the PIXMA MG3550) because it seems very time related. I'm still using Simple Scan on Ubuntu 20 and it works fine (very good out of the box profile for black & white text documents which makes cristal clear pdf files by the way). But often on the first (or first two) scan action the software throws a "communication error" message, most likely because the device is not ready yet. But then it works fine and I never have to set anything manually on the printer. I just tested XSane again (v 0.999) without any error. Great !
    – McQuack
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 18:29
  • my printer, the Canon MF8200C is a network printer. probably that is why I get this message. I just lost 30 minutes with something so stupid simple with this error and wanted to share my experience. I post it here as this was the post that matched the closest my problem while searching on the internet.
    – Vlad
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 18:06
  • I have such a canon scanner and the odd thing is that simplescan sometimes works, and sometimes not. I have a windows machine too and this one does some initialize-movement which I can hear, so I think there is some code on linux NOT sent or used, which may explain why I can SOMETIMES scan and sometimes not.
    – shevy
    Commented Feb 12, 2021 at 20:42

My printer is a CANON PIXMA MG6450 and XSane work fine, if it was previously powered on.

If not on power, XSane finds the scanner device `pixma:MG6400_192.168.178.24' is a CANON Canon PIXMA MG6400 Series multi-function peripheral

XSane poweres the device on, does nothing else, but later gets Error during read. The printer display shows: working, wait.

  • Are you answering the original question, or trying to post your own (possibly related) question? If asking your own question, please delete this post and start your own question (and... read the community guidelines about how to ask a good question, and what information to provide to help us help you faster!)
    – C. M.
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 20:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .