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Webcams - what to buy, how to make it work?


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Hi everyone,


So I decided to get a webcam. Being a bit naïve I simply walked into the nearest store and bought the cheapest, knowing that I could return it if I couldn't make it work. After just plugging it and seeing that - surprisingly - it didn't quite function properly (at all), I thought about asking you for advice. The few last times I had problems and tried fixing them by myself I ended up making threads about my Mandriva Free 2008 not working at all, so this time I'll ask for help beforehand.


The question is: what to buy and how to make it work? I only need, if possible, to be able to have webcam discussions via MSN. The people I was going to chat with are using Windows Live Messenger. I'm using Kopete for the time being, but I could try another program. Did someone manage to make such things work?


Simply put, any recommendations?






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Make sure you have this file installed: dkms-gspcav1


It's to make webcams work.

dkms-gspcav1 - DKMS-ready driver for spca5xx webcams​ 

This package contains a DKMS-ready driver for spca5xx webcams.



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Often you can get a webcam to work just by installing the appropriate driver package (e.g. dkms-gspcav1 , as mentioned above, but there are others too). The only foolproof way to know what package you need is to check the USB ID of the camera. Please plug it in, run:




at a console as root, and post the result here. Then I can find out easily if your camera is supported and, if so, what driver you need to install. Thanks.

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Is there an up-to-date list of well-supported webcams? For those who haven't bought one yet but want to make sure that it is likely to work ok with Mandriva?

Is there any particular jargon to look out for, eg I read somewhere about UVC, a kind of universal standard, is that popular / supported / worth looking out for?

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My camera is Logitech QuickCam Communicate STX, and lsusb gives:


Bus 002 Device 002: ID 046d:c045 Logitech, Inc.

Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

Bus 001 Device 002: ID 046d:08d7 Logitech, Inc.

Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

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Yossarian and Tapksa, both your cameras are supported by gspcav1. Try this:


urpmi kernel-`uname -r |cut -d- -f2`-devel-latest kernel-`uname -r | cut -d- -f2`-devel-`uname -r | cut -d- -f1`

urpmi dkms-gspcav1


then plug in your camera and see if it works.

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I guess it's time for me to give up already since neither aMSN, Kopete or Mercury could send my webcam to a contact. I believe I installed the required drivers. So seeing myself works fine but when I try to start a webcam discussion, nothing seems to happen.


If someone has any idea what I should do, please help. Thank you all for your help anyway.



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On a related theme - any recommended software to use for the shiny new webcam?

In particular video-phoning, and it should be able to connect to a gratis (or preferably free) windows client too.

Skype ? Ekiga ? Wengophone ?

Anybody got any experience with these?

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