Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ubuntu: Enabling a webcam

The webcam is not detected. It indicates probably the driver is not installed, so we need to find the certain driver, and make it loaded by default. I am running Ubuntu 11.04 64bit on a Sony Vaio.

Use lsusb to find the device ID, as the case for me,
It is reported as a Ricoh R5U870 webcam, the driver is not preinstalled, among all the online drivers provided, the following one works, containing no compiling error and it has enabled the camera perfectly.

I quote the installation instructions here,
 $ sudo apt-get install libglib2.0-dev libusb-dev build-essential gcc 
  automake mercurial
 $ hg clone
 $ cd r5u87x
 $ make
 $ sudo make install
 $ sudo r5u87x-loader --reload
It recalls me of my experience on enabling the wireless function on a DELL Inspiron long ago. As ubuntu is designed to be universal, it still faces both legal and technical issues to include all possible drivers. This requires the holders of proprietary drivers to consent the public use such as in a Ubuntu release.

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