Here's a guide for setting up your webcam in Arch Linux.
Identify your webcam
Identify the name of your webcam and find a proper driver. Below is a list of webcams, and what drivers they work with. Click on the link to the right of the device name for information on compiling modules and other information. If you get your webcam to work, add the name of the webcam and the driver you used to the list!
- Creative Labs Webcam Pro Ex
- Logitech QuickCam Notebook Pro (only the "Pro" models)
- Logitech Quickcam Pro 4000
- Philips ToUCams (not confirmed at the moment, but it's using the pwc driver if I remember correctly)
- Dexxa Webcam
- Labtec Webcam (old model)
- Logitech Quickcam Express (old model)
- Logitech QuickCam Notebook (not the "Pro" models)
- Logitech Quickcam Web
- Logitech Quickcam Messenger
You can find a PKGBUILD for this driver on the AUR.
This driver can be used for many webcams like:
- Aiptek PocketDV 3300
- Creative PC-CAM 880
- Konica Revio 2
- Genius Digital Camera
- Maxell Maxcam PRO DV3
- Trust Spacecam series
- Maxell Smartcam (for notebooks) : 352x288 max. resolution @ 3fps
An extensive list of supported webcams is available here.
- Logitech QuickCam IM
- Labtec Webcam Pro
Many cheap noname cameras that came out Asia in the last couple of years use the stv680 chipset. Most of these cameras were novelty items (i.e. Pencam, SpyC@m and LegoCam).
- Aiptek PenCam series
- Digitaldream series
- Dolphin Peripherals series
- Lego LegoCam
- Trust SpyC@m series
- Welback Coolcam
A more complete list of webcams that use the stv680 chipset is available here.
Make sure to load the needed module for your webcam
The easiest way is to let rc.conf load the needed module at boot. Edit rc.conf. In the modules=() array, add the module of your webcam. This will load your webcam module into the kernel at bootup.
Note: If your webcam is USB the kernel should automatically load the proper driver. In that case, after you plug your webcam in, see what dmesg says. You should see something like that:
$ dmesg|tail sn9c102: V4L2 driver for SN9C10x PC Camera Controllers v1:1.24a usb 1-1: SN9C10 PC Camera Controller detected (vid/pid 0x0C45/0x600D) usb 1-1: PAS106B image sensor detected usb 1-1: Initialization succeeded usb 1-1: V4L2 device registered as /dev/video0 usb 1-1: Optional device control through 'sysfs' interface ready usbcore: registered new driver sn9c102
In order to use your webcam you need to have permission to use
If you use udev (which is default as of kernel 2.6.13) you only need to be in the group video. You can check it with:
To add a user to the group run under root:
# gpasswd -a <username> video
Add the following to your
/etc/devfsd.conf. This will give normal users permission to use
/dev/video0 (your webcam).
# Give normal users access to webcam REGISTER video0 PERMISSIONS root.users 0660
Get software to use your webcam
Kopete is the KDE instant messaging (IM) client. As of KDE 3.5, it has support for MSN and Yahoo! webcams, but not every cam works yet. It is included in kdenetwork package.
This is a basic v4l device viewer, although it is intended for use with TV tuner cards, it works well with webcams. It will display what your webcam sees in a window. Install it using
pacman -S xawtv
Run it with
xawtv -c /dev/video0
This is very similar to Microsoft Netmeeting. Get it with
pacman -S ekiga
The configuration druid will set everything up for you.
Sonic-snap  is a viewer/grabber for sn9c102 based webcams only. Available in AUR