Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting the MSI Wind Webcam to Work under Ubuntu (Dec 22 08)

My MSI Wind triple boots to Windows XP, Mac OSX Leopard, and Ubuntu Intrepid. Since I have been a Linux user (Linux user #5037) since 1993, it is obvious that Ubuntu is my favorite of the three operating systems. So it was quite disappointing when I could not get the proper drivers for Ubuntu for the built-in webcam. What good is Skype when you have no camera?

Fortunately, the MSI website in Taiwan makes available a version of the webcam driver for Suse Linux that works for an older version of the Linux kernel than the one on Ubuntu. Here is the download link:

http://download1.msi.com.tw/files/downloads/dvr_exe/camera_linux_u100_nb.zip

Uncompressing this zip file gives the following rpm package:

uvcvideo-kmp-smp-r171_2.6.16.46_0.12-3.1.i586.rpm

The linux kernel that I am running in Ubuntu is 2.6.27-9-generic, so we see a possible version incompatibility problem. But I proceeded (nevertheless) to install this driver for an older version of the kernel, hoping that it would work for the newer Ubuntu kernel.

First I needed to download "alien", a package for converting Suse/Redhat RPM packages to Ubuntu DEB packages. The following command takes care of the download:

sudo apt-get install alien

If this does not work, you might need to download rpm, rpmlib, libbeecrypt, etc, first, but apt-get is usually intelligent enough to pull in all the dependencies that alien needs.

Next, we use alien to convert from the Suse webcam rpm to a deb package that we can install in Ubuntu. This command takes care of the conversion:

sudo alien -k uvcvideo-kmp-smp-r171_2.6.16.46_0.12-3.1.i586.rpm

This command produces the deb package:

uvcvideo-kmp-smp_r171_2.6.16.46_0.12-3.1_i386.deb

Then all we need to do is install this package:

sudo dpkg -i uvcvideo-kmp-smp_r171_2.6.16.46_0.12-3.1_i386.deb

The lsmod command should show that uvcvideo has been loaded as a driver module:

uvcvideo 62728 0
compat_ioctl32 9344 1 uvcvideo
videodev 41344 1 uvcvideo
v4l1_compat 22404 2 uvcvideo,videodev
video 25104 0
output 11008 1 video

Next we need to download a web camera application. Checking the Net shows that the program "cheese", as in "Say cheese" is a very popular web camera program for Linux. So just go ahead and download it:

sudo apt-get install cheese

On my system, cheese was installed in Applications -> Graphics -> "Cheese Webcam Booth". Now click on that menu item for a proof that your camera works. The enclosed screen shot says it all. Never mind the good looking old man in the picture; just imagine the delicious BK Joe coffee.

Enjoy!

10 comments:

Admin said...

dosn't work at msi wind and ubuntu 8.10

Admin said...

Now it's working. msi wind + acer webcam.

watch this if you have Acer webcam:
click

Admin said...

thank you very much, Ambo. Excelent your Blog. I installed cheese and aMSN and my wecam works very well.

eleusis said...

thank you .. worked like magic!

kubuntu - 1.3M acer webcam -
LG - x110 -1.6ghz Atom - intel 945gm (LG's wind version..)

gonzeaux said...

Hi, I followed your advice and Voila, worked perfectly!

I wonder if you had initial difficulties getting the MSI webcam to work under Ubuntu? (I have 8.10)

I have followed several threads with ni luck. I have tried nsiwrap (did I spell that right?)......no luck.

Let me state, I am such a beginner, I could not find any original windows driver for the realtek wireless with the .inf file extension...only .sys
nsiwrapper demands .inf

Any advice greatly appreciated!!
Thanks!

The WallAR said...

Hello!
I'm ubuntu 9.10 user.
I've followed your instructions. But when running Cheese don't see my web cam.

Cheers!

MSI wind u100plus (Acer Webcam)

Virtu-Al said...

The download link for this file doesnt exist anymore and I cant find it on the MSI site can anyone upload it somewhere for me please or tell me where the new link is. Thanks

Gustavo C said...

It`s working very well with Ubuntu 9.04, but not on Ubuntu 9.10

Unknown said...

Does anyone have the drivers for the webcam. Using Ubuntu 11.04 (Pingee mod).

Unknown said...

Thanks in advance for any clue :)