Tip: Getting Your Webcam To Work In Ubuntu

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I have an old noname cheapo webcam, that I dusted out of my junk (why? More on that in a post coming soon). I hoped that it would work in my Ubuntu setup out of the box like most of my other hardware. I connected it to my laptop's usb port. dmesg gave the following output:

[21328.211333] usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 2
[21328.319698] usb 1-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
[21328.439705] Linux video capture interface: v2.00
[21328.458509] zc0301: V4L2 driver for ZC0301[P] Image Processor and Control Chip v1:1.05
[21328.459113] usb 1-1: ZC0301[P] Image Processor and Control Chip detected (vid/pid 0x0AC8/0x301B)
[21328.520576] usb 1-1: PB-0330 image sensor detected
[21328.870287] usb 1-1: Initialization succeeded
[21328.870919] usb 1-1: V4L2 device registered as /dev/video0
[21328.871001] usbcore: registered new interface driver zc0301
[21328.913737] usbcore: registered new interface driver gspca
[21328.913811] ubuntu/media/gspcav1/gspca_core.c: gspca driver 01.00.12 registered

Great! Everything set up, I thought. But running various programs, camorama, camE, kopete, everything gave weird errors like "Connection could not be made", "device not ready" or just showed a blank screen. But soon, after few trial and errors, I found the solution. Basically the "zc0301″ module is the culprit and all you have to do to get your camera working is prevent it from loading. So, this is what I did:

sudo modprobe -r gspca
sudo modprobe -r zc0301
sudo modprobe gspca

And voila! the webcam started working like magic. Of course, this tip is only for webcams that use this particular chip. And if you want to make this change permanent so that you don't have to run these commands everytime you want to use your webcam, all you have to do is add the following line to your /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file

blacklist zc0301

This would prevent the module from loading whenever you connect your webcam to your computer. Let me know if this worked for you or if you have some of your own tips/tricks/hacks to get this or other webcams working on linux.

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37 thoughts on “Tip: Getting Your Webcam To Work In Ubuntu

  1. hi,
    i got a creative webblaster webcam,can you tell me what are the adjustments to be made?
    i think my driver is ov511 and i have installed it but can you tell me what are the modifications i need to make in your method to get the webcam working?

    [Reply]

  2. hey,

    Have a question, is there something (drver or software) which enable my notebook cam? I have Asus F3F Series, can’t remember what model. And do not want to check it:P (it has CPU Duo T2450).

    Am running on Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsby Gibon

    [Reply]

  3. I am experiencing the same situation you were, but mine did not get fixed by your tip. One thing i have noticed tho is that i cannot open my gstreamer-properties to try and change the input type. Everytime i try to change it, it always freezes and i could never close it, not even if i try to kill thought CLI or with the sysmon. I have tried other options and my webcam still doesnt work in cheese or in kopete. Have you got any other tricks up your sleeve, if you do that would be great, thanks for the this tip tho is always great to try new things.

    [Reply]

  4. Thanks, on my laptop Acer Aspire 5520G work webcam now. Before I add zc0301 to blacklist, webcam don’t work.

    [Reply]

  5. @Shantanu Goel: this what lsusb returns “Bus 002 Device 002: ID 0ac8:303b Z-Star Microelectronics Corp. ZC0303 WebCam” Hopefully that helps. THanks for taking the time…

    [Reply]

  6. @Shantanu Goel:

    gspca 657872 0
    compat_ioctl32 11136 2 zc0301,gspca
    videodev 30720 2 zc0301,gspca
    usbcore 169904 8 zc0301,gspca,usblp,usb_storage,libusual,ohci_hcd,ehci_hcd

    [Reply]

  7. Great stuff, thanks …. was buying the same (cheap) webcam over and over again (PC Webcam) and it had a greatd working “vimicro” chip. Somehow they swapped to a other chip and … only your (simple) solution got me going again with the same type of cam with ‘the other” chip. Thanks again!

    [Reply]

  8. I have an Asus A8He laptop running Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron). The lsusb for my webcam came up with
    Bus 005 Device 002: ID 0ac8:0321 Z-Star Microelectronics Corp. USB 2.0 Webcam

    This tip worked great and immediately after disabling the module my camera began working with Cheese and camE.
    Thank you greatly!

    [Reply]

  9. Hello,

    Please help.

    I have been trying for weeks to get this to work.

    When I tried to save the blacklist – it told me I didn’t have permission.

    I am the admin and only user.

    Thanks

    Victoria

    victoria@u-live:~$ lsusb
    Bus 002 Device 003: ID 0ac8:0321 Z-Star Microelectronics Corp. USB 2.0 Webcam
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 001 Device 003: ID 046d:c016 Logitech, Inc. M-UV69a Optical Wheel Mouse
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0b05:1712 ASUSTek Computer, Inc.
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    victoria@u-live:~$ sudo modprobe -r gspca
    [sudo] password for victoria:
    FATAL: Module gspca is in use.
    victoria@u-live:~$ sudo modprobe -r gspca
    FATAL: Module gspca is in use.
    victoria@u-live:~$ sudo modprobe -r zc0301
    victoria@u-live:~$ sudo modprobe gspca
    victoria@u-live:~$ sudo modprobe -r gspca
    FATAL: Module gspca is in use.

    [Reply]

  10. Hi.

    I read a bit more.

    victoria@u-live:~$ sudo modprobe -r gspca
    FATAL: Module gspca is in use.
    victoria@u-live:~$ lsmod | grep gspca
    gspca 643792 1
    videodev 29696 2 gspca
    usbcore 146924 6 gspca,usbhid,hci_usb,ehci_hcd,ohci_hcd

    Thanks,
    Victoria

    [Reply]

  11. This solved my problem perfectly! Thank you so much. What is zc0301 even for? Dam you ubuntu – you love to throw in new hurdles! e.g. pulse audio

    [Reply]

  12. Worked….you legend

    This was the last piece of hardware I needed to get working for a full conversion to linux from windows.

    [Reply]

  13. Hi,
    I have a logitech laptop webcam and I tried to use it in Skype and the sound recorder. I am a newbie to ubuntu and it really sucks not being able to make videos or record sound. Please help! I really have no idea what to do and it sucks.!!

    Newbie1

    [Reply]

  14. I also have a webcam that I can’t figure out. And I have no idea what all this code is. What do you open for it? Where do you input the code? I have the Logitech QuickCam Messenger. While I can get the thing to show me in the frame, I’m at a loss to record video. How do you find recording software? And how do you install new things like games from CD roms?

    [Reply]

  15. I cant get my logitech webcam running I’ve installed gspca and easycam2 but to no avail heres my lsusb
    Bus 004 Device 006: ID 04b8:0007 Seiko Epson Corp.
    Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 003 Device 002: ID 046d:c51b Logitech, Inc.
    Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 001 Device 004: ID 046d:089d Logitech, Inc.
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    if any one could help i would be greatful
    Paul

    [Reply]


  16. guest@macbook:~$ dmesg | grep usbcore
    [ 3.626803] usbcore: registered new interface driver usbfs
    [ 3.626849] usbcore: registered new interface driver hub
    [ 3.626923] usbcore: registered new device driver usb
    [ 4.968181] usbcore: registered new interface driver hiddev
    [ 6.284166] usbcore: registered new interface driver usbhid
    [ 21.065563] usbcore: registered new interface driver isight_firmware
    [ 21.117356] usbcore: registered new interface driver appletouch
    [ 21.120696] usbcore: registered new interface driver appleir
    [ 33.280960] usbcore: registered new interface driver btusb
    guest@macbook:~$ sudo modprobe -r gspca
    [sudo] password for guest:
    FATAL: Module gspca not found.
    guest@macbook:~$ sudo modprobe -r zc0301
    guest@macbook:~$ sudo modprobe gspca
    FATAL: Module gspca not found.
    guest@macbook:~$

    (note: @macbook means Ubuntu 8.10 installed in a MacBook, not big deal…)

    [Reply]

  17. oops forgot the gspca camera (mustek gsmart mini) turned off – btw, tried again, and the result is the same (only spca500 appeared as different)


    guest@macbook:~$ dmesg | grep usbcore
    [ 3.626803] usbcore: registered new interface driver usbfs
    [ 3.626849] usbcore: registered new interface driver hub
    [ 3.626923] usbcore: registered new device driver usb
    [ 4.968181] usbcore: registered new interface driver hiddev
    [ 6.284166] usbcore: registered new interface driver usbhid
    [ 21.065563] usbcore: registered new interface driver isight_firmware
    [ 21.117356] usbcore: registered new interface driver appletouch
    [ 21.120696] usbcore: registered new interface driver appleir
    [ 33.280960] usbcore: registered new interface driver btusb
    [ 3650.198983] usbcore: registered new interface driver spca500

    [Reply]

  18. My webcam, a “Q-Tec Webcam 100″, worked fine under ubuntu 8.4.1. Under 8.10, the video option in Skype is a bit flakey and the Test Button produces a color image image that is out of horizintal sync. (constantly rolling).

    I managed to glean the following info:

    frank@frank-desktop:~$ lsusb
    Bus 002 Device 003: ID 093a:2460 Pixart Imaging, Inc. Q-TEC WEBCAM 100
    Bus 002 Device 002: ID 045e:00d1 Microsoft Corp. Optical Mouse with Tilt Wheel
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

    frank@frank-desktop:~$ lsmod | grep gspca
    gspca_pac207 14848 0
    gspca_main 29312 1 gspca_pac207
    videodev 41344 1 gspca_main
    usbcore 148848 6 gspca_pac207,gspca_main,usbhid,ohci_hcd,ehci_hcd

    I have been working on this for a few days but I have no idea on how to control the horizontal sync. on the Webcam without changing the video driver itself.

    Thanks for your time and congratulations on your technical advice to all concerned.

    [Reply]

  19. Hi everyone,

    I have recently started using UBUNTU and already I need help.

    I have tried a few things listed in these forums but nothing’s seemed to work so far.

    Here is the info I have:

    I ran the ls /dev/audio* and video* commands. – Audio shows up giving me a new device: audio1 BUT I do not have any video devices: No such file or directory.

    ALSO –

    [55795.704562] usb 1-2: USB disconnect, address 10
    [57304.964035] usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 11
    [57305.088530] usb 1-1: device descriptor read/64, error -71
    [57305.312526] usb 1-1: device descriptor read/64, error -71
    [57305.528544] usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 12
    [57305.652534] usb 1-1: device descriptor read/64, error -71
    [57305.880035] usb 1-1: device descriptor read/64, error -71
    [57306.096529] usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 13
    [57306.508525] usb 1-1: device not accepting address 13, error -71
    [57306.620526] usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 14
    [57307.028520] usb 1-1: device not accepting address 14, error -71
    [57307.028560] hub 1-0:1.0: unable to enumerate USB device on port 1
    [57307.140528] usb 1-2: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 15
    [57307.302920] usb 1-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
    [57307.307102] usb 1-2: SN9C105 PC Camera Controller detected (vid:pid 0x045E:0x00F7)
    [57307.440097] usb 1-2: No supported image sensor detected for this bridge

    Can anyone help me get my webcam working.

    As a side note, I have noticed the “Active” LED on the camera has been on the entire time I have had it plugged in. This usually only turns on when it’s active. (Oh, and it is a Microsloth webcam – I am a new convert)

    I appreciate your time and effort in responding to me.

    Thanks

    [Reply]

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