Support for 100+ webcams in Linux 2.6.27 (USB Video Class Driver)

Update: The driver actually managed to get squeezed in in 2.6.26-rc9.

According to a thread on the Linux uvcvideo driver mailing list if everything goes well we will see it included in the 2.6.27 kernel!

What is this uvcdriver and why is this great news? According to Wikipedia:

“The USB video device class (also USB video class or UVC) is a USB device class that describes devices capable of streaming video like webcams, digital camcorders, analog video converters, television tuners, and still-image cameras.”

So, yeah, uvcvideo is a driver for the above for Linux.

And this is great news, because:

  1. UVC is a standard and according to a source from the mentioned thread it is required for Microsoft Vista certification, so hardware vendors “have to” implement.
  2. It means out of the box support for all those standard-compliant webcams, which is pretty much all of the webcams integrated in laptops it seems. Also most new USB webcams(?).
  3. 100+ webcams are already reported to work out of the box and probably twice as much work as well, but aren’t reported to the author of the driver.

Kudos to Laurent Pinchart the main developer of uvcdriver.

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  • http://www.robloach.net Rob Loach

    The standing support for webcams on Linux has been horrible. It’ll be great to see this evolve, so that I can actually use that Cheese application.

  • helios

    This is really, really good news. Those zareason computer with these webcams integrated into them will no longer be on the “linux sux because” list.

    helios

  • Joe

    Wazup!

  • Jessica

    This new version adds the ath9k wireless driver from Atheros, the gspca driver, which will significantly extend the number of webcam devices supported on Linux, a new function tracing framework and memory mapped IO tracing tool that will simplify debugging, support for delayed allocation in the Ext4 filesystem, and UBIFS, a new filesystem designed for flash storage devices. Scalability got a boost in this release because of the lockless page cache feature and newly added support for systems with up to 4096 processors.
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    Hey this is great news! I always had trouble finding drivers for my webcam with previous versions of Linux Ubuntu, thats the prime reason I got back to using Windows XP. Maybe I should try the new ubuntu version now, is this applicable for the Ubuntu 8.10 too?

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    Great news. Finally! My webcam doesn't work on archlinux :(

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    very helpful article

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    Thanks for your good article. It is great that Linux supports so many webcams.

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