sane-v4l(5)              SANE Scanner Access Now Easy              sane-v4l(5)


       sane-v4l - SANE interface for Video for Linux API


       The  sane-v4l library implements a SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) back‐
       end that provides generic access to video cameras and similar equipment
       using the V4L (Video for Linux) API.

       This  is  ALPHA  software.  Really!  Important features are missing and
       there are lots of bugs. The code is currently only tested  on  a  Linux
       2.4 system with a Hauppauge WinTV video card.


       This backend expects device names of the form:


       Where  special is the UNIX path-name for the special device that corre‐
       sponds to the v4l device.  The special device name must be a v4l device
       or  a  symlink to such a device.  For example, such a device name could
       be /dev/video0 or /dev/bttv0.


       The contents of the v4l.conf file is a list of device names that corre‐
       spond  to v4l devices.  Empty lines and lines starting with a hash mark
       (#) are ignored.  A sample configuration file is shown below:

              # this is a comment


              The  backend  configuration  file  (see  also   description   of
              SANE_CONFIG_DIR below).

              The static library implementing this backend.

              The shared library implementing this backend (present on systems
              that support dynamic loading).


              This environment variable specifies the list of directories that
              may contain the configuration file.  Under UNIX, the directories
              are separated by a colon (`:'), under OS/2, they  are  separated
              by a semi-colon (`;').  If this variable is not set, the config‐
              uration file is searched in two default directories: first,  the
              current working directory (".") and then in /etc/sane.d.  If the
              value of the environment variable ends with the directory  sepa‐
              rator character, then the default directories are searched after
              the explicitly  specified  directories.   For  example,  setting
              SANE_CONFIG_DIR  to  "/tmp/config:"  would result in directories
              "tmp/config", ".", and "/etc/sane.d"  being  searched  (in  this

              If  the  library  was  compiled with debug support enabled, this
              environment variable controls the debug level for this  backend.
              E.g.,  a  value  of 128 requests all debug output to be printed.
              Smaller levels reduce verbosity.


       Juergen G. Schimmer, Henning Meier-Geinitz


       If more than one video card is present, a crash  may  occur.  Frequency
       and geometry selection is missing.
       Send      bug     reports     to     the     SANE     mailing     list:  You must be subscribed to the list
       to  send  mail.  See for


       sane(7), xcam(1).

                                  14 Jul 2008                      sane-v4l(5)

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