Web camera drivers


I need to enable a webcam for use with the Zoom teleconferencing app (available on flathub). I have an old Logitek camera that works on my Windows XP box, but not on the new build with CL on it. Oh well, guess I will need to go shopping.

Does the Linux kernel include webcam drivers?

Are there different drivers for different webcams, or perhaps a generic driver that will work for most of them?

I need a camera that clips over the top of a flat panel display. Can anyone recommend one that will “just work” with CL?

Being a Linux n00bie, I am really challenged when it comes to device drivers. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Yes, many. But, there are thousands of web cam drivers.

lsusb should show the device ID and name. Please include this info. We can try and find the correct driver and see if we can include it in the -native kernel.

Thank you. While shopping for a webcam, what would be the best way to choose one for which a matching driver is available?

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That’s a really good question. You can approach it from 2 ways:

  1. Buy a webcam that you know your OS supports. In other words, you’d go check the kernel sources and find which drivers are enabled, check what camera models are supported by those drivers, and then pick one that is available in stores.

Downside is that this is difficult and error prone. You might get it wrong, or worse, the camera manufacturer makes a device with a tiny modification that isn’t supported. Most of the time this will work just fine, but, you might still hit issues.

  1. Buy a widely available name brand webcam that people largely report is working with Linux.

I do this myself - go to the equivalent large online retailer and check out user reviews while filtering for “Linux”. You’ll see that many people are kind enough to write out that the device works with e.g. Ubuntu or another Linux OS.

It’s possible that Clear Linux is lacking the driver, but if other Linux OSs have enabled the driver, then in most of the cases we can quickly enable the driver in the kernel to get you the driver that you need.

Of course, if you follow method 2, you likely can track back using method 1 to verify support already. Place your order and submit a github request to enable the right kernel config option - by the time the order arrives, your kernel might already be patched!

Did I say we do 2-day delivery of software features? :blush:

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Sounds like a winner to me. I chose my wifi network adapter that way. :slightly_smiling_face:

@ahkok UVC might be a good thing to bundle. Looks like it’s open source…

@ahkok I am looking at a Logitech HD Webcam C615. Is a driver available for it?

UVC is enabled in our kernel and most camera software will use/detect it by default. I know our gstreamer stack has it enabled. It should not need more software to make it work.

This is one of those brand name cameras (an older one even) that I assume 100% works out of the box. I’ve used a few different ones from this brand myself without any issues (sound also just works) and these are definitely the sort of cameras that I would recommend - they have been supported for ages and while I can’t 100% guarantee anything because I don’t have every camera out there, I’m pretty sure “it will just work”. And if not, I’d make myself really angry to solve it :).

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I’ve put one on order. Thank you…