Currently I use a Lenovo N100 at the office which is running Ubuntu GNU/Linux. There’s a nice documentation that describes (along with other info related to hibernation, activating the fingerprint reader, etc.):
For sake of convenience (and backup) I repeat the relevant section below (I was able to do as described and at least run video over Skype successfuly, thanks for the nice and accurate documentation):
The laptop has a Microdia SN9C201 based integrated webcam (lsusb tells 0c45:624f).
This is not an UVC camera, so the linux-uvc won’t support it.
Michel Xhaard, author of the spca5xx project, regularly tells on the mailing list that he is working on it, but we don’t know the progression… and we have been waiting for ages. (spca5xx development mailing list)
Microdia webcam kernel driver project
There is a Microdia project working on an Open Source driver by reverse engeneering (usb sniffing mainly) and some little documentation.
The project has a google group : http://groups.google.com/group/microdia.
You can follow the development via git-web : http://repo.or.cz/w/microdia.git
If you want to test the driver (still in development, use at your own risks):
You need to install git first:
sudo apt-get install git-core gitk git-gui git-doc curl
Then clone the “microdia” repository:
git clone http://repo.or.cz/r/microdia.git
Now check the usb ID lsusb
If the usb ID is 0c45:624f then skip this step and continue to building the driver, following these instructions will cause your webcam to not work. If the usb ID is 0c45:627f then do the following:
— ONLY IF lsusb GIVES YOU 0C45:624f THEN DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING —
cp microdia.h microdia.h.backup
line 56 should read:
#define USB_UDIA_624F_PRODUCT_ID 0x624f /**< Product ID of the camera ???
replace 624F with 627F in both places where it appears. The line should now read:
#define USB_UDIA_627F_PRODUCT_ID 0x627f /**< Product ID of the camera ???
Save the file and continue to the next step.
— OTHERWISE IF lsusb GAVE YOU 0c45:624f THEN CONTINUE FROM HERE —
Then build the driver:
Now load some necessary modules before the microdia driver:
sudo modprobe videodev
sudo modprobe compat-ioctl32
Finally, load the microdia driver (rmmod to unload it):
sudo insmod microdia.ko
You can test the webcam with Ekiga, or with VLC:
vlc v4l:// :v4l-vdev="/dev/video0"
mplayer -tv device=/dev/video0:driver=v4l:input=1:width=640:height=480 tv://1 -zoom
I got successful image capture from the webcam with 19 apr. 2008 git version; it works quite well.
Do the following so you don't have to insmod everytime you wish to use your webcam after a restart:
$sudo cp microdia.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/media/video/usbvideo/
$sudo depmod -a