Webcam setup

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Here's a guide to 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)
  • LegoCam
  • 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

You can find the full list of supported devices here. You can find a PKGBUILD for this driver on the AUR.


  • Trust Spacecam series
  • Maxell Smartcam (for notebooks): 352x288 max. resolution @ 3fps


An extensive list of supported webcams is available here.

  • Logitech QuickCam IM
  • Logitech QuickCam for Notebooks Deluxe
  • Labtec Webcam Pro
  • Trust Mini Webcam WB-1200p

Kernels >= 2.6.11 would now use the gspca module, by installing the gspcav1 package.


Many cheap no-name 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.


  • Logitech Quickcam Pro 5000
  • Logitech Quickcam Orbit MP

You can find a full list of supported UVC devices here. The package linux-uvc-svn is available in the [community] repository.

Note: This driver does not have V4L1 support.


  • Sony EyeToy
  • Chicony DC-2120
  • Chicony DC-2120 pro
  • Trust Spacecam 320
  • Hercules Webcam Deluxe
  • Hercules Webcam Classic
  • Creative Live! Cam Notebook Pro VF0400
  • Creative Live! Cam Vista IM
  • Creative Live! Cam Vista IM VF0420
  • Creative Vista Webcam VF0330
  • ASUS webcam Model?
  • Philips PCVC820K/00
  • NGS showtime plus
  • HP VGA Webcam with Integrated Microphone

This is a kernel module found in the AUR with some additions to the original driver that provide jpeg decompression. See the webpage

For me to get my "Creative Live! Cam Vista IM" working with Skype I had to add this line to /etc/modprobe.conf

options ov51x-jpeg forceblock=1

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[12] 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 /dev/video0.


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:

$ groups

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


Cheese is the GNOME photo/video taking client. It is similar to Photo Booth in Mac OS X. It is now in extra and is also part of the gnome-extra group


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 the kdenetwork package.


This is a basic v4l device viewer, and 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

If you're using a nVidia graphic card, and you get an error like

X Error of failed request:  XF86DGANoDirectVideoMode
 Major opcode of failed request:  139 (XFree86-DGA)
 Minor opcode of failed request:  1 (XF86DGAGetVideoLL)
 Serial number of failed request:  69
 Current serial number in output stream:  69

you should instead run it as:

xawtv -nodga


This is very similar to Microsoft NetMeeting. Get it with

pacman -S ekiga

The configuration druid will set everything up for you.


Sonic-snap [1] is a viewer/grabber for sn9c102-based webcams only. Available in AUR


The newest version of Skype has video support. You can install Skype by doing

pacman -S skype