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xawtv

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. :)