How to: Linux Setup and configure Webcam or Digital Camera

by on September 7, 2007 · 14 comments· LAST UPDATED July 27, 2008

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Following document was written to assist the reader in setting up and configuring a webcam, digital camera, or other video device in the Linux operating system. It outlines how to enable the necessary kernel and/or software support and various frame-grabber applications that can be used to access your device. It does not discuss the differences in graphic and video formats, the features and/or capabilities of particular devices, or the encoding or conversion of video formats.

My Experience with Logitech USB webcam

My experience is that many cameras work out-of-the-box :D . I have a Logitech USB webcam. I'm using xawtv and camorama software application to view, alter and save images from a webcam. Simply run the following command to configure web camera under Linux:
$ sudo apt-get install camorama xawtv

Linux.com has published an interesting but small how to:

If you want the old-time GNU/Linux experience, try configuring a Web camera. Unlike most peripherals, webcams are generally not configured during installation. Moreover, where printers have the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) and its interfaces, with webcams you are generally thrown back on whatever resources you can find on the Internet and your own knowledge of kernel modules and drivers. These obstacles means that configuring webcams can be a challenge -- but with determination and thoroughness, and maybe a little luck, you can get your webcam running in less than an afternoon.

Also don't forget to check out:

Wireless network camera

I also recommend AXIS wireless network camera. It is perfect for monitoring various activities such as monitoring puppy, cat or babies at home, while you are at work or in your home-office. It offers excllent clear image quality. I’m also planning to install one more Axis camera outdoor for securing and monitoring outside activity. :)

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 fedelio July 27, 2008 at 8:52 am

Day by Day i am falling more and more in love with Ubuntu. Its so cool..I have Ubuntu 8.04.1 release. The above configuration works smooth..The final app is much better than what we see on Windows..Keep up the good work.

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2 sumant June 16, 2009 at 12:10 pm

i hav microsoft vx500 live web cam , & Os redhat5 ent. on laptop
plz tell me how to use it for skype2.0
& how to configure it or install it

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3 Standing Bear July 8, 2009 at 2:31 am

I have a speed S8850i web cam and would love to be able to use it in Ubuntu. i am running the latest version of Ubuntu and have tried camorama etc. any ideas?
Thank you in advance

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4 abhishek ujjain July 25, 2009 at 11:01 am

hi
can any one help me to cofigure dell webcam on my ubuntu 8.10. i want to know the steps involved…

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5 Umeed July 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Hello friends ….
i am new on ubuntu .. its excelent OS .. but
the problem i am facing is i am not able to use my Kodak EZ 200 cam on it …
i tried to find solution but not able to … please help me …

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6 defender October 24, 2009 at 6:35 am

Thanks for your contributions, its ok now

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7 tertius June 23, 2010 at 7:11 am

Can xawtv’s streamer program would work fine with axis camera.?I want to implement its functionalities to capture from axis IP camera.Any help would be greatly acknowledged.

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8 Sway November 10, 2010 at 11:52 pm

If you need a high quality network webcam, why not go for something a bit more expensive that will give you crystal clear images? I recommend looking into Axis or Panasonic ip cameras, some of which are very affordable for highly detailed images.

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9 ChrissyMae April 12, 2011 at 12:55 am

This tutorial was perfect!!! I was skeptical at first that simply installing a program would make the webcam usable, but it really worked. It downloaded the libraries necessary to make the internal webcam on my HP G6 notebook work without a hitch. Now in addition to the cool new camorama program, the other camera programs such as Cheese now work too. This was the best and most simple information for setting up a hardware device I have ever found. Too bad setting up an unsupported wireless USB card is not this simple. Love this author!!!

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10 evie May 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm

well im on linux and i have a built in webcam but it wont switch on ! wot can i do!!!!x

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11 Kaido May 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Yes It was helpful hint ! Thank’s for work! My Logitech camra is working now.

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12 sijo December 10, 2011 at 5:29 am

Nice ….tip….i installed and configured succefullyy….thanks..ubuntu Rockz…..

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13 Lorena Curiel September 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm

So i have a Ubuntu version 3.1.4 and a c310 logitech HD webcam. i need HELP installing it. can anyone help me?

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14 anirban naskar January 13, 2014 at 11:29 am

my problem is wabcam not working in ubuntu. i am a new ubuntu users . plzz help me how to do this

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