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Check which webcam you have
In order to determine what webcam driver is applicable to your webcam, you should check to see what the "device ID" is in your webcam. You can do that by typing in a terminal:
For example, if I type that in a terminal on my PC I get:
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 0471:0311 Philips PCVC740K ToUcam Pro [pwc]
Which tells me in my case I need to check with the device ID "0471:0311"
UVC compliant webcams
Most modern webcams support the USB Video Class (UVC) and work without specialized drivers. Check the list of webcams supported by the UVC driver. If your one is supported, check the UVC Webcams page.
Webcams supported by the Gspca/Spca5xx (v1 and v2) driver
If your webcam is NOT UVC compliant, check if your device is on the list of devices supported by the gspca driver framework. If it is, install the driver as follows:
The gspca driver framework was added to the mainline linux-kernel in 2.6.27, so openSUSE already contains the drivers for most gspca-devices since version 11.1.
However, if you have problem with your gspca supported webcam, or you require a newer version of the driver for a device that has gained more recent support since the last driver release, you may obtain newer versions from the source code found at: the git repositories at LinuxTV (last version); the maintainer's homepage (test version). Explanatory information is found in the READ ME.
You can also use one-click install method:
With openSUSE 10.3 - 11.0, you can use 1-Click Install (though these look like they provide the obsoleted gspca v1):
Note: some applications still don't work very well together with the new (gspca v2) drivers. A workaround with these troublesome applications is to preload a libv4l-compat library:
before starting the respective application, i.e. for kopete you would type:
If you have a 64 bit system, you preload the library with:
If you want to run a 32 bit application (i.e. skype) on a 64 bit system, you first need to install "libv4l-32bit" (it might be only available in the Packman repository) and run the preload-command used for 32 bit.
If this works for you, you can add the LD_PRELOAD-command to the startup command of your menu entry/desktop shortcut via menu editor or with right-clicking the desktop icon => properties => application => command respectively.
There are more webcam drivers: ov511 (should be included with the kernel), stk11 (see below), r5u870 (see below), microdia (see below under SONIX SN9C20x bridge).
The ov511 was in the kernel up to version 2.6.35 as the 'quickcam-messenger' kernel module, but has been depreciated and the gspca stv06xx module should be used instead according to this reference (see above for the gspca).
The r5u870' (a Ricoh webcam) requires a proprietary driver that is typically available from http://software.opensuse.org/search. Do a search for 'r5u870' being certain to click on "Show Sub-Packages" in the results. Then look for a link entitled "Firmware" and for a link entitled kmp-yourkerneltype, follow the links, and please click on "Show unstable packages" to see the link(s) to the repository (or repsitories) providing the packages to install, together with links to rpm file for your architecture (32-bit or 64-bit). Please do this for both the pages linked. Then, for both those pages in the order, look for a link to an rpm entitled r5u870-kmp-yourkerneltype-_k_yourkernelversion.yourPCarchitecture.rpm and r5u870-firmware-<version>.noarch.rpm (or just use the link to the One-Click Install provided in the same line). For example, if you have a 32-bit openSUSE-12.1 PC with the 3.1.10_1.16-1.4 desktop kernel, you probably would find and install: r5u870-kmp-desktop-0.3.2_k3.1.10_1.16-1.4.i586.rpm (together with r5u870-firmware-0.3.2-1.4.noarch.rpm), if using as installation source the home:enzokiel repo. Then restart your PC and try out your webcam. There is limited maintenance for this webcam's kernel module (driver) on google code.
UPDATE: The R5U870 driver is no longer under development (http://www.arakhne.org/ricoh/index.html). It has been replaced by the R5U87x userspace tools (https://bitbucket.org/ahixon/r5u87x/src/881dbd07a263?at=default) which can be installed from home:enzokiel.
The stk11' (the syntek USB 2.0 video camera driver for DC-1125 and STK-1135) requires a proprietary driver that is typically available from http://software.opensuse.org/search. Do a search for 'stk11' being certain to click on "Show Sub-Packages" in the results. Then look for a link entitled kmp-yourkerneltype, follow the link, and please click on "Show unstable packages" to see the link(s) to the repository (or repositories) providing the packages to install, together with links to rpm file for your architecture (32-bit or 64-bit). Then look for a link to an rpm entitled stk11-kmp-yourkerneltype-_k_yourkernelversion.yourPCarchitecture.rpm (or just use the link to the One-Click Install provided on the same line). For example, if you have a 32-bit openSUSE-12.1 PC with the 3.1.0_1.2-1.2 desktop kernel, you probably would find and install: stk11xx-kmp-desktop-r104_p1_k3.1.0_1.2-1.1.i586.rpm (or the newer package stk11xx-kmp-desktop-3.0.0_k3.1.0_1.2-3.1.i586.rpm, provided by home:oholecek:branch..., since the stk11xx-3.0.0 drivers are now integrated with kernel Linux devel). Then restart your PC and try out your webcam. References for maintenance are syntekdriver page and sourceforge-project , both being somewhat old. Moreover this page provides a list for the driver versions, as of writing latest version was driver 3.0.0 (here the README).
The Phillips SPC900NC works out of the box with openSUSE 10.2, and amsn directly recognizes the camera. Only an upgrade to amsn 0.97RC1 is mandatory, due to some bugs in the previous version. Also port 6890-6901 needs to be opened.
If you own a webcam with SONIX SN9C20x bridge (device IDs 0c45:62xx): The driver which used to be a separate stand alone driver, is now included as part of the gspca driver above and comes with the openSUSE kernel (in the sn9c2028 or sn9c20x kernel module) [as of openSUSE-12.1] . One of these kernel modules should supports devices 6242, 624e, 624f, 6260, 6270, 627b of this webcam.
Test your webcam
Plugin your webcam and start Kopete, a video chat client. In Kopete go to Settings -> Configure -> Video and check if your webcam is working.
Alternatively, install and use kamoso (or wxcam, or cheese, for non-KDE/QT). This program will immediately display the webcam's video stream.