How To Install Logitech Quickcam Messenger And Microdia Webcams On Ubuntu 8 04

I tried to get the Logitech Quickcam Messenger to work first. A few clicks led me to qc-usb, a Linux driver for Quickcam USB cameras. As it turns out though, this driver doesn’t support my particular webcam model. But it did tell me that there was another driver that could possibly work with my webcam.

Logitech Quickcam Messenger

The Quickcam Messenger and Communicate driver for Linux was said to be tested with Ubuntu Feisty (7.04). I’m using Ubuntu Hardy (8.04 LTS) with the latest kernel. No harm in trying. So I downloaded the latest build, made sure that I had all the requirements the instructions stated, compiled as per instructions and tried out the camera. Yes! It worked! But I didn’t like how it took video. Apparently, I wasn’t alone. The camera doesn’t do well in dim lighting and tends to take “white” shots.

Yahoo PC Camera ZIV H4 (398)

I decided to see now if I could make my cheaper but newer second webcam to work. The brand name of this is Yahoo PC Camera ZIV H4 (398) which I bought at CD-R King. I actually like this webcam better than the Logitech because of the four LEDs on it that light up when the ambient light is too dim.

Doing a quick lsusb allowed me to see that it’s a Microdia webcam. A bit harder to find drivers for since it’s an “unbranded” camera. But nevertheless, a few clicks and I found a solution! The Microdia driver is still in its experimental stage, so use it with caution. Again, installation is pretty much straightforward. Download the drivers, make sure you have all the requirements before attempting to compile and install as per instructions. I did a slight change on my end though.

After building the Microdia driver, I did the following commands.

$ sudo modprobe videodev
$ sudo modprobe compat-ioctl32

Then proceeded to load the driver.

$ sudo insmod sn9c20x.ko

I did a dmesg to see if the camera successfully loaded. When it didn’t, I reinstalled the kernel with

$ sudo apt-get install --reinstall linux-image-'uname -r'

I then deleted my previous build of the driver and rebuilt it. Did the modprobe and insmod commands and successfully got my webcam to run!

Things to remember:

  • Both cameras worked well with oDesk’s linux application.
  • Only the Microdia camera worked with Skype. Skype didn’t recognize the Logitech camera.
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