Webcam help needed for Ubuntu 10.10

By Zen ยท 10 replies
May 26, 2011
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  1. Greetings folks:

    Well after about three hours here trying to figure this damn thing out, I'm throwing in the towel for the night! I'm razed, fizzled and spent! For the life of me I can't seem to get my old G.E. Minicam Pro, model # HO98756 to work. I think I've tried everything that my feeble Linux skills can do, I'm at my limit! I've tried "Google searches" & "Yahoo searches" and I even went to General Electrics web site to see if they offer any type of Linux support, surprise, surprise they do not! Oh yeah, they got boat loads of drivers and support for Microsoft Windows, but not Linux distro's.

    Image of my web camera if needed....

    This web cam I'm trying to hook up is fairly old, maybe like 5-6 years old, I know it works, for I was running it just a little over a month ago when I was using Microsoft Windows XP Pro (64bit)! Windows XP surprisingly didn't require it's drivers or software disk, "out of the box" it knew what to do with my web camera, I thought the same would be true with Ubuntu 10.10!

    I tried things like installing a testing program like "cheese" through the terminal. I even installed several web cam programs through Ubuntu's software support center, each program like "camera monitor" and "guvcview" and "kamoso", they all didn't work. I would like to start using Skype again, but it's pointless to go that route if my web camera will not work!

    If anyone could please help me here I would be very thankful. Just tell me what I need to do, like access my terminal again and input something, maybe I missed something in the software center, just tell me and I will try it. But please take note, I'm still fairly new to this Ubuntu thing, I'm not familiar with Linux jargon, you might want to speak english to me, like elementary school english, maybe that way I might get it! :blush: :eek:

    Thanks in advance for any help that might come my way! :)

    Ps- Note, I'm attempting to use this web cam on my Dell Dimension 5100c, if that info helps.
  2. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +50

    Very interesting here, 36 views and posted 18 hours ago and no one out there has any sort of response to my inquiry! It's got to be the fact that everyone out there who chooses to use a Linux distro must not use web cams, that's what it is! But I guess that's ok, I guess I will just continue to try and hunt down an answer myself.

  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Its more to do with webcam driver support being patchy at best with Linux. It has improved in recent years, but most aren't supported to be fair.

    My suggestion if you do need a webcam is to hunt on Google for Linux compatible webcam's then purchase one of those.
  4. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +50

    OK Leeky I get your meaning here! So I guess I have to track down a compatible web cam for Linux, find it, then hunt down one of my local computer stores and see if they got it. That's fair enough! I wonder, my Mother recently purchased this fricking huge Microsoft HD external web camera for her lap top, she hated the little internal one, wonder if that one would work for me.

    Well seeing most likely I cant fix this issue through so called "drivers", they should just be called "terminal codes", for that's what they really are! Now I will hunt down a web cam that works.

    Thank you so much for your time Leeky, I owe you one!

    (((Ps- To everyone,sorry for post #2 here, I was having a very bad hair day and in a piss pot mood, slight better now, but sorry all the same.)))
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    I once discovered Linux has a generic web cam driver available. I happened to find it for someone who was also looking for a Linux web cam driver for their cam sometime ago (i think within the last year). If i recall the thread correctly, i think it worked for them too....

    I'll see if i can find the old thread... or will try searching for generic Linux webcam driver . maybe find it again
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

  7. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +50

    I'm Trying


    Thank for your assistance here, it's much appreciated. I'm trying some of the stuff I saw when directed to that link. Somewhere it advised to run a lsusb command into the terminal, as to see if the web cam device shows up. I did that and here is what it showed me.


    Funny thing is here, is that on the second line the system is seeing the internal microphone that is inside the web camera, but not the video portion of the device. I will continue here for a while, at least the "audio" portion of the web cam has given me a little hope here.

    ((If anyone is having a hard time seeing this shot, if you need it resized, let me know and I will display a larger image for you!))
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Have you tried installing and just using the generic Ubuntu driver? I think it either works or not. If it doesn't work you're best to buy a cam you know will work under Ubuntu
  9. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +50


    Yeah, I just got done going through the procedures of installing the drivers through the terminal. The system advised that the latest drivers are already present and in use. So if what came during my Ubuntu install isn't working and trying to update said drivers is a dead end, for I already have the "latest & greatest", than I agree with you, a new and Linux supported web cam is in order.

    Well I'm off, somewhere in all that information you directed me to was a comprehensive list of makes and models that work with Linux, I will start my journey there!

    Thanks for the help......:)
  10. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Hmmm... I had one more thought based on your snapshot

    Your web cam uses a chip controller from Microdia. I googled and also found some generic linux cam drivers for Microdia cams HERE.

    But caveat emptor: i know little about Ubuntu. And nothing about the drivers i happened to find on link i provided above.. so use your own judgment and try them (or not) at your risk.

  11. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +50

    Well I think it would be safe to say that as far as trying to work with the web cam I already have, I think I will just wait until I have myself a Linux approved one. This whole process has been both a "bear" and could possibly be "risky"! I checked out that final link and boy oh boy, talking about proceeding at one own risk! I love my current Ubuntu 10.10 set up, I really do and I don't think I'm going to risk it by trying experimental drivers.

    So LookinAround and Leeky thank you for your help here, but I'm not risking anything more, I will just wait and buy a Linux web cam, Skype is important, but not that damn important! :)

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