What is scansreader

Scansreader is a "do the right thing" lean and mean unix/linux X C program to read a set of images scanned from printed documents, such as comics book, as confortably as possible. This page is at


Scansreader was done to:


When reading a book, I do not want to be bothered having to get to the mouse or touchpad, especially when potato-couching with my notebook, and have to aim for menus, scrollbars, buttons. Thus scansreader do not use any of this interaction method, and is always fullscreen.

It also do not provide things that belong to generic image manipulation programs like the gimp: no thumbnails, no 2-page mode, no dialog box to open files (you just run scansreader via your favorite desktop program).

Why the "S" in Scan*s*reader instead of the more english sounding Scanreader? Well, there was no google hit with scansreader, but scanreader was already the name of many products... so I went with the less common name.


I could not find a program satisfying these criteria. All involved too much interaction or option-setting to really read scans as painlessly as a real book.

I stumbled on a nice and fast linux image viewer QIV by Adam Kopacz, and decided to use it as the base for scansreader, removing a lot of its code and adding functionalities. It makes use of the X, gdk and imlib libraries.


Pure Open source: GPL

More details

See the README text file, the HISTORY of versions, and the Manual page.

New versions announcements

New releases and important issues will be annonced on the Scansreader blog, so I strongly suggest you monitor it, either

Download & Installation

Download the last version via the ink at the top left. Included in the distrib is also a precompiled executable, in normal (scansreader) and statically linked (scansreader-static) versions. Just copy it in your path, e.g. in /usr/local/bin.

User manual

Just run scansreader. it will read all the images in the current directory, (or the directory or zip, cbz, rar or cbr archive given as argument), and open the first one full screen, resized to the full width of the screen. Then, you can read your document with the following commands:

Other scans and comics readers

Scansreader can be used to read digitized comics. You may want to look at similar programs:



"Astor" wrote (in French) on some forum after finding scansreader:
fr.png Français: scansreader est absolument génial et totalement parfait, c'est exactement ce qu'il me fallait !

C'est léger, rapide, puissant, ergonomique, accessible, pratique, efficace, et en plus çà marche bien. Rien que çà. J'ai essayé sous Linux une tonne d'autres softs, mais aucun ne m'a jamais convenu, certains sont écrits en Java avec les pieds et mettent 20 secondes sur ma machine à afficher la première page d'un .cbz (scanreader est instantané), d'autres ont une interface envahissante et discutable (scansreader est plein écran, comme CDisplay, et pour moi c'est l'idéal), certains sont compliqués à installer (bon c'est bien le java mais livrer juste les .class et vas y pour la commande de lancement trouve tout seul les .jar en librairies qu'il faut, non merci).

Bref, un must. Merci beaucoup à l'auteur.

Merci aussi pour la version compilée en static, çà m'a bien aidé.
Here is my translation in English:
us.png English: scansreader is absolutely awesome and totally perfect, it is exactly what I needed!

It is light, fast, powerful, usable, accessible, handy, efficient, and moreover it works well. Nothing less. I tried many other programs, but I was satisfied by none, some are written in bad Java and take 20 seconds to show the first page of a .cbz (scansreader is instantaneous), other have a bulky and dubious interface (scansreader, like CDisplay, is fullscreen, and for me it is the ideal choice), some are complex to install (java is great, but providing only the .class files and let the user figure the magic command to launch to find the relevant .jar libraries, no thanks).

In a nutshell, a must have. Thanks to the author.

Thanks also for the statically compiled version, it helped me a lot.

To be honest, "Astor" later found a shortcoming of scansreader: it uses the QIV image scaling functions that are fast but of low quality and can make noticeable artifacts (jagged lines) on some kind of pages.