Out of Wind – Drivers for the Bison Web Cam

This does not work at present on the Wind U100 as the driver in the Linux kernel 2.6.24.19.21 is an early version and nobody has provided a replacement in an easy to use form and that I understand what it is doing – I was not happy with the procedures in the Wind Wiki. I eventually found a write up on UVC Support in Ubuntu which made some sense and I used it to set up the Web Cam in the following way. It is not detected by Skype until I discovered that it has to be on when Skype is fired up rather than turned on latter. It also displays perfectly in a picture and photo grab program called ‘cream’ I found was recommended for tests.

UVC Stands for ‘USB Video Class’. It defines video streaming functionality on USB. UVC compliant peripherals should only need a generic driver. The GNU/Linux UVC Generic Driver Page is at http://linux-uvc.berlios.de/ and includes a list of supported devices including the Bison camera in my Wind U100 (but MSI change peripherals on occasion so check). There is a UVC module in Hardy Heron so some webcams ‘just work’ but most, like the Bison in Wind, need the latest version. This currently requires one to download a driver from the site above and build it. The procedure in detail is:

Install two utilities which are needed to build drivers if you do not have them – trying a second time does not cause a problem

sudo apt-get install build-essential

Install subversion if you do not already have it by:

sudo apt-get install subversion

Then get that latest source from the Berlios UVC subversion repository with:

svn checkout svn://svn.berlios.de/linux-uvc/linux-uvc/trunk

This will create a folder called ‘trunk’ containing the source in your current directory (/home/username)

You now need the kernel header files package specific to your CPU architecture, for example, linux-headers-2.6.24-43-generic . You can use uname -r to get the current version like this (Note they are back quotes, it is easiest to cut and paste otherwise they are at top left of keyboard):

sudo apt-get linux-headers-`uname -r`

Navigate to the ‘trunk’ directory containing the source and run make:

cd trunk
make uvcvideo

Ubuntu is non standard and keeps the kernel module for UVC in /lib/modules/your kernel/ubuntu/media/usbvideo and the makefile which has been created has to be edited slightly to install to the correct directory. Open the the makefile in a text editor:

sudo gedit Makefile

and search for and change

INSTALL_MOD_DIR := usb/media

to

INSTALL_MOD_DIR := ubuntu/media/usbvideo

then run

sudo make install

Update dependencies using depmod

sudo depmod -a

Unload the original modules by

sudo modprobe -r uvcvideo

Plug in your camera and enter the following command to insert the new modules:

sudo modprobe uvcvideo

and it should all be working. You can test it with cream and then Skype. Remember to turn on the Webcam before running skype otherwise it will not detect it. The red light only comes on when the camera is in use, not when it is turned on. You can use lsusb in a terminal to find out if it is on. If it is on you will see Bison in the list of devices – if not do Fn F6 and try again.

1 Comment

  1. Alex

    No copmlaints on this end, simply a good piece.

    Reply

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