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  • Writer's pictureMehul Ved

Hurray! Got my webcam working on linux

I was sitting at night browsing some friend’s blogs and adding RSS feeds to Akregator, after my new found fondness for KDE 4(more on that in a later post). Then Gaurish Sharma asked how to get webcam and fingerprint scanner to work on linux. I didn’t really have much clue but asked him to dig around with /var/log/dmesg and /var/log/messages to get more info on the webcam to start with. While he was looking around, I decided to dig up my own webcam from the closet.

I connected the webcam to the PC just to see a bunch of errors being spewed out by /var/log/messages. Then I installed gspcav1 kernel module and loaded it

pacman -S gspcav1 modprobe gspca

Still, no go. I still got errors on reconnecting the webcam. Then, I peeked around the Arch Linux wiki and found some other drivers that may be needed by device. Then ran


It showed up a microdia webcam but still /var/log/messages spewed out errors. Then I went for verbose option of lsusb to see if there’s anything worthwhile.

Here’s the lsusb -v output for those interested

Still nothing. 🙁

Then I decided to remove bluetooth from the other port and insert the webcam there. And voila! there it works. The webcam was detected, no errors this time and the required device was created.

Now, to test if it works or not. I tried kopete but alas! it doesn’t support all the webcams and mine is in one of those unsupported ones. I started looking at other apps which support more webcams. I started with cheese and ekiga but both looked to install evolution-data-server, why would I want that? Then I installed skype

pacman -S skype

Then add the user to video group and execute

chown :video /dev/video0

Now, logout and log back in for group settings to take effect. Then I ran skype.

Hurray! My webcam worked! Though the picture was hardly visible, I would place the blame on the webcam rather since it hasn’t been used in years now and it has always been throwing out grainy pictures since the beginning.

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