Difference between revisions of "Webcam devices"

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Revision as of 23:24, 7 August 2007


  • The Webcam HowTo
  • Ekiga -- Ekiga is a free Voice over IP phone allowing you to do free calls over the Internet. Ekiga is the first Open Source application to support both H.323 and SIP, as well as audio and video. Ekiga was formerly known as GnomeMeeting.
  • fswebcam -- fswebcam is a neat and simple webcam app for Linux. It captures images from a V4L1/V4L2 compatible device or file, averages them to reduce noise and draws a caption using the GD Graphics Library which also handles compressing the image to PNG or JPEG. The resulting image is saved to a file or sent to stdio where it can be piped to something like ncftpput or scp.
  • motion -- motion-detection using a webcam
  • sonic-snap -- webcam application specifically suited for the Sonix sn9c10x chip
  • spook -- capture live video and audio and stream it over an IP network
  • telak -- display remote or local pictures on your desktop
  • vgrabbj -- grabs a image from a camera and puts it in jpg/png format
  • Videoview & Device Debugger -- applications suited for some drivers present in the Linux kernel. Videoview supports the USB Video Class standard.
  • webcam -- captures images and uploads them to a Web-Server via ftp or ssh in a endless loop


UVC webcams

Do you have USB 2.0 controllers on your notebook and desktop? If so, you could benefit from higher resolutions with the Logitech Quickam for Notebooks Pro, Quickcam Fusion and Quickcam Orbit MP. All those webcams are 1.3MP devices and are supported by the linux-uvc driver. Note that the Quickcam for Notebooks Deluxe doesn't fall in that category; it's supported by the spca5xx driver.

Those 3 webcams also work in USB 1.1 mode, but are then limited to 640x480. In that case, you could go for the Quickcam Pro 5000, which is a 640x480 device supported by the linux-uvc driver.

UVC webcams are well supported, but you must be aware of a few issues.

  • The linux-uvc driver is V4L2-only. This means applications which support V4L1 only will not work. V4L1 is officially deprecated, and have been removed from the kernel recently, so most drivers have or will switch to V4L2 anyway.
  • The 4 webcams mentioned above compress images in MJPEG for resolutions up to 960x720. This means that applications must be able to decompress MJPEG streams to use the webcam at lower resolutions. Ekiga supports MJPEG compression.

Webcam drivers

(alphabetize by driver)

Many of these are out-of-tree kernel drivers.

  • cpia -- first generation of STM's Color Processor Interface (ASIC) Cpia
    • Included in mainline kernel
    • Supports a large number of USB devices by Aiptek, Creative, Digicom, Dynalink, Ezonics, Intel, Microtek, Pace, SuperCam, TCE, Terracom, Trust, Utobia, ZoomCam
    • Supports some parallel port devices by Creative, CVideo, CU-SeeMe, Digicom, and ZoomCam
  • cpia2 -- second generation of STM's Color Processor Interface (ASIC)
    • Included in mainline kernel from 2.6.18
    • Supports the QX5 USB microscope, the Swann Versacam MINI webcam, and other devices using the second generation of STM's Color Processor Interface (ASIC)
  • em2880
  • et61x251
    • Supports Etoms ET61X151 or ET61X251-based USB cameras
    • Included in mainline kernel
  • icm532
  • linux-uvc -- the USB Video Class Linux device driver
    • Not included in the kernel (as of 2.6.18), but several distros have ready packages
    • Supports several USB2.0 Logitech Quickcams, such as the Orbit MP, the Pro for Notebooks, the Pro 5000, the Dell Notebook, and the Cisco VT Camera II
  • meye -- the Sony Vaio PictureBook Motion Eye Camera Driver
    • Included in 2.4 and 2.6 kernels -- see documentation
    • Supports the second version of the MotionEye camera (PCI vendor/device 0x136b/0xff01)
    • A driver for the third version is being written, see r-engine below
  • nw802
  • ov511
  • pwc -- the new driver
  • qce-ga/qc-usb
    • Kernel module package available in
    • Supports Logitech Quickcam Express, LegoCam, Dexxa Webcam, Labtec Webcam (old model), Logitech QuickCam Notebook (some models)
  • quickcam
  • r-engine
    • Aims to support Sony Vaio Picturebooks (model PCG-C1M* and newer, PCI vendor/device 0x10cf/0x2011)
  • se401
  • sqcam
    • Supports webcams based on the sq905 chip, such as Volcano DG640E, Nexxtech Micro Digital Camera, Umax (Yamada) Astranugget; may work with Mito DG640E, Mitek CD10, Mitek 30P, GTW Electronics/ ShuoYing, Industrial(ShenZhen)Co.,Ltd SY-2102, Condord Eye-Q Easy / Eye Q Easy Too, Che-ez Snap, Hercules DualPix, Argus DC-1512, DC-1510, Gear to go, Magpix B350, Jenoptik JD 350, Concord Eye-Q Easy, PockCam
  • Sonix SN9C10x
    • Available in the latest kernels as sn9c102
    • Supports webcams based on the sn9c102 chip, such as the Genius VideoCam NB
    • Another driver was in development here sonix
    • sn9c101 -- patch for Trust Spacec@m
  • spca5xx
    • Supports webcams based on Sunplus Sonix Transvision Z-star/Vimicro Conexant Etoms chips
    • Supports webcams such as Aiptek Pencam and Digital Dream l'espion
    • See the long list of devices
  • stk11xx
    • Aims to support Syntek DC-1125/1135 cams
  • stv680 -- SANE backend
  • sty0680
  • tv8532
  • uvcvideo
    • USB Video Class driver
  • w9968cf -- included in the kernel
  • zr364xx
    • Supports the webcam mode of cameras based on the ZR364xx chips from wendors like Aiptek, Concord, Creative, Genius, Maxell, Fujifilm, Ricoh, Pentacon, Mustek, Konica, Umax etc.
  • zc0301 -- included in the kernel
    • Supports Z-Start/Vimicro ZC0301-based USB cameras
  • zc0302