19 March 2005

Debian GNU/Linux and Webcams

I had heard bad experiences about getting USB webcams to work on Linux. However, my own experience wasn't that bad. I had recently got an old machine from a friend who was going to throwing it away. It had a lot of paraphernalia along with it, e.g. microphone, a 1-to-4 USB hub, wireless keyboard and mouse (sans the reciever!), and a cheap USB camera.

The machine my friend game me is now happily running Debian Sarge. And while going through the other things before throwing them away, I noticed the webcam. Out of curiosity I sat down last night to see if I could make it work or not. After about a couple of hours of searching/reading on how to make USB webcams work on Linux I started compiling the qc-usb-source package which would give me the module for the logitech webcam, installed xawtv and loaded up the videodev module. And after a little bit of additional chnages, I was running the webcam on my Debian Sid box.

The most helpful web pages in making the webcam work in Linux were:

In the first link, the author advises to chown the qc-usb-source directory. I instead added myself to the src group and did the compilation of the module.

The first link is more helpful for Debian users like me. After getting the webcam working on my Sid box (tested with xawtv), I installed the packages webcam. The webcam packages allows one to take pictures every n seconds and send them to a pre-defined directory of your webserver which can be either local or remote (via FTP).

Once again, I can say: Linux Rocks!TM


marine_haizhen said...

Does it mean that i can see you now??!!!! ouh ouh!!! no more hiding...

KDS said...

Sorry. It's intended for home surveillance project :). And anyway the access is protected by password.

But why do you need a webcam to see/meet me. Call me when you want :)