[NOTE: As of Ubuntu/Kubuntu 20.04, the drivers from Epson work fine without this workaround. Download the driver, then follow the directions to install it.]

As of Kubuntu 17.10, my Epson V33 Perfection scanner stopped working with Linux. I bought this scanner specifically because it did work with Linux. That it stopped working was a serious disappointment as I have been using the same scanner for years and regularly need it for a variety of things.

I tried installing older versions of the software (I’ve kept the downloads from Epson for years) but that didn’t work. I tried it on a different computer with the same OS and that didn’t work. I tried a lot of troubleshooting and came up empty. After hours of trying various solutions, I gave up (that was a few months ago).

However, when my CPU died on my desktop computer forcing me to reformat it again about a month after I had previously tried, I figured it was time to try to solve this again. This time, however, I quickly came across the answer online (see here). It turns out, this is a bug in the latest version of the scanning software that ships with Linux, which confirmed that it wasn’t a problem with my scanner or with Epson’s software. Here’s what I did to fix the problem.

First, go ahead and install the latest version of Epson’s software from their website (start here – or just here – lots of clicks to get to where you need to go).

Untar the file you download and read the directions for how to install the software. (Basically, navigate to the directory you just untarred in a terminal then run ./install.sh).

Before this bug, that was all you needed to do and the scanner would work. Now, there are two more steps.

The second step, also at the terminal, is to type in:

sudo ln -sfr /usr/lib/sane/libsane-epkowa* /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/sane

I’m not exactly sure what this command does but the “ln” command creates symbolic links, so I’m guessing it’s linking two files or commands that help correct the bug in the latest iteration of the software.

Then, open a text editing program and create a new, blank file. In that file, you’re going to add the following content:

# chmod device EPSON group
ATTRS{manufacturer}=="EPSON", DRIVERS=="usb", SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="04b8", ATTRS{idProduct}=="*", MODE="0777"

The first line of this file is just a comment. The second adds information about Epson scanners.

Save the file as “79-udev-epson.rules”.

Now, move that file from wherever you created it to the following directory:


Like this:

Now, restart your computer. This worked for me. Hopefully, it will work for you too.

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27 Replies to “Linux – Fixing the Epson (V33 Perfection) Scanner Issue in Kubuntu 18.04”

  1. 20180829
    I implemented your fix under Ubuntu 18.04 LTS running the Gnome Flashback desktop. It worked: my V33 started working just as it had under 16.04 and Debian 9. Thanks for the post.

  2. I’ve followed all the steps to resurrect my Epson V330, but I’m stuck near the end – trying to move the file to the new directory, all I’m getting is:

    mv: cannot move ‘/home/stasia/Desktop/79-udev-epson.rules’ to ‘/etc/undev.rules.d/’: Not a directory

    Incidentally, I do vaguely remember an etc folder in Home before the upgrade to 18.04, but it ain’t there anymore (and I do see all the hidden files/folders there).

    I regret upgrading to 18.04, its screwy in general.

    1. I’m glad you found an answer.

      However, I saw two problems in the command you posted. First, you need to use “sudo mv” for the command. Second, you misspelled “undev.rules.d”. It should be “udev.rules.d”. Those alterations would probably have worked for you.

  3. damn.

    I get this .

    “E: Repository ‘http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb stable Release’ changed its ‘Origin’ value from ‘Google, Inc.’ to ‘Google LLC’
    N: This must be accepted explicitly before updates for this repository can be applied. See apt-secure(8) manpage for details.”

    and now I’m stuck.

    1. That’s actually a problem I can help you with.


      “sudo apt update” and/or “sudo apt upgrade” (without the “-get”)

      You’ll then get a prompt to accept the new repository from Google. Say “Y” and you should be good to go.

  4. Thanks a lot. I have a V550 scanner. Found a fix that mentioned the rules file but not the symbolic link for the sane drivers. That got me working. This really needs to be widely documented.

  5. Dear Ryan,
    I implemented the suggested symbolic link and my Epson perfection V33 works again.
    Thank you,

  6. Jesus Christ.

    You, sir, are a life-saver. An hour of searching before stumbling upon this page. :/

  7. Dear Ryan,

    thank you very much for publishing this solution. It worked exactly as you described on my Kubuntu 18.04 but I would never have gotten this on my own.
    You da Man!


  8. For X86 Computer make this unique modification in The second step :
    sudo ln -sfr /usr/lib/sane/libsane-epkowa* /usr/lib/X11

  9. Thanks! This works for my Ubuntu 18.04 while using xsane, however, curiously, does not work for the imageScan! software that was packed in the driver from Epson. Hmmmm.

  10. Thanks a million, worked for me. Such a pain they broke the scanning for the Epson 330 and others – it’s a good scanner. I actually had to do this before, but this time it was easier and actually works better. Thanks again

  11. Grazie mille, la patch funziona perfettamente con Kubuntu 19.10 e PerfectScan V37, altrimenti inservibile.
    Ottimo lavoro.

  12. Worked. Big annoying problem solved. Thank you for the effort and info. … I will not lose my sanity.

  13. Still using Epson Perfection V30 with Ubuntu 22.04, I first needed the fix somewhere back in 17 or 18 after an upgrade, it is still needed. Now I am trying to port the driver to Manjaro Gnome by copying the files manually, after I make it work I will try to compile a pacman package which will do the installation automatically.

  14. The reason all these scanners are not automatically detected by CUPS is that they use the ESCI (Extended Serial Control Interface) so you need a driver (the esci-interpreter) to talk to the ESCI via the USB, as far as I have researched this is an open-source interface found on many devices but maybe the exact commands recognised by the scanners are closed-source, I will do a further research on this, maybe a universal Epson scanner driver for all ESCI models is possible.

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