Zaapa webcam in Ubuntu Linux 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon)
As part of the “multi-services server” that I’m preparing based on Ubuntu Linux 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), I have decided to buy a cheap webcam that allows me to try the possibilities of motion detection in Ubuntu Linux.To accomplish that, I have found a this Zaapa ZA-WACM-VC2P webcam (with night light) for 13€.
To make it work in Ubuntu, the first thing that we should know is if the chipset is supported. To find out that, once we plug in the webcam by USB, we execute the following command:
and we should see an output similar to this:
Bus 004 Device 003: ID 0ac8:307b Z-Star Microelectronics Corp.
With this information we can know the Vendor_id=0ac8 and the Product_id=307b (in red). We could also see this using the graphical user interfase usbview. Another thing that we can see is the manufacturer of the chipset Z-Star/Vimicro (that is also used in many other cheap webcams) Among the output of the usbview program, we can see somthing like this Manufacturer: Vimicro Corp.
To configure this camera, I have found a very complete manual (in french) prepared by Olivier Hoarau. Even though, I had also needed to make something else apart from the instructions of the manual.
NOTE: The necessary driver for this webcam (gspca) is available by default on Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), but in order to make this particular camera work, we need to use the last version of the driver and therefore we will have to download it, compile it and finally install it.
I’m going to summarize the steps I took:
1) Download and untar the file gspcav120071224.tar.gz:
tar xvfz gspcav120071224.tar.gz
2) Compile and install the driver:
cd gspcav1-20071224 make clean make sudo make install NOTE: For this step you need to have installed the linux headers package that correspond to your kernel version: linux-headers-$(uname-r)
3) This is the extra step that I had to do:
sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/options
and add an option for this driver:
options gspca force_rgb=1
And now we can go on with the instructions from the manual.
4) Load the driver:
sudo modprobe gspca
5) At this moment, the device should be created. We can verify it by issuing the following command:
and we will see which is the device that has been created (it can be /dev/video0 or /dev/video1)
From this point on, we can install some utility program that allows us to test if the webcam is working fine: camorama, gqcam o spcagui (available from the same web site that the driver), for example.
Below you can see an image taken with my own camera:
Later on I will explain the necessary steps to set up a motion detection system in Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) using a very flexible program called motion.