Posts Tagged ‘webcam’

How to fix Skype no (built in) web camera on MacBook Air with (Mac OS X 10.8.5) resolve Skype issue of Aug 2013

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Resolve fix issue with no camera in MacBookAir

My dear fiance girlfriend Svetlana, has a MacBookAir from 2013 since a month time. We speak quite regularly in Skype since right now she is in Belarus and I'm in Bulgaria. So it was a big surprise for me today her brand new shiny MacBookAir camera stopped working. She is completely new to Mac OS X so she didn't have idea if something automatically updated on the notebook, probably some update poped up and she proceeded to update. Well no matter how the issue happened … I instructed her how to install TeamViewer (for Mac OS X – just download the .DMG double click it and install) and logged in to the PC to check what's happening. In FaceTime video was showing fine so obviously on OS level webcamera was detected. I saw some threads suggesting sometimes built in webcam is not working due to some other application which uses the camera (Safari instrance using flash to open webcam, FacePalm or whatever) …
I checked the version release of Mac OS X and it showed Mac OS X 10.8.5. I checked whether some updates are available but there were none. After browsing a bit figured out the web camera not detected Skype error is experienced by hundreds of MacBook air users online. Thanksfully there is a quick and simple fix by just substituting a file called AppleCamera.plugin.

Below are instructions on how to fix I followed from Skype's Community Website: 

This is a very simple fix that works! There are lots of ways to do it, but to put it very simply ,

Download  the AppleCamera.plugin provided.

Click on go in the finder menu, select go to golder and paste in  /Library/CoreMediaIO/Plug-Ins/DAL/ ,


move that item, AppleCamera.plugin, to the trash


Go to your downloads folder and copy the new  AppleCamera.plugin, then paste it in the folder where the old one was. 


It works

After following literally instructions Skype camera worked out like a charm 😉

How to Install and configure webcam trust WB 3320X Live on Ubuntu /Debian Linux

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Trust Hires Webcam Live WB 3320X on Ubuntu, Debian, Xubuntu Install how to

I had to install WebCAM TRUST WB 3320X on one Xubuntu Linux install. Unfortunately by default the camera did not get detected (the Webcam vendor did not provide driver or specifications for Linux either).
Thus I researched on the internet if and how this camera can be made work on Ubuntu Linux. I found some threads discussing the same issues as mine in Ubuntu Forums here . The threads even suggested a possible fix, which when followed literally did not work on this particular 32-bit Xubuntu 12.04.1 installation.

I did 20 minutes research more but couldn’t find much on how to make the Webcam working. I used Cheese and Skype to test if the webcamera can capture video, but in both of them all I see was just black screen.

he camera was detected in lsusb displayed info as:

# lsusb | grep -i webcam

Bus 002 Device 002: ID 093a:2621 Pixart Imaging, Inc. PAC731x Trust Webcam

After reading further a bit I found out some people online suggesting loading the gspca kernel module. I searched what kind of gspca*.kokernel modules are available using:

locate gspca |grep -i .ko

1. Load proper camera kernel modules

I found a dozen of modules and after some testing with few of the found ones I realized the Camera works, whether gspca_pac730.ko and gspca_pac7311 are loaded, to test the camera I loaded both with:

# /sbin/modprobe gspca_pac730
# /sbin/modprobe gspca_pac7311

Seeing while this two modules are loaded the camera is fine capturing video. I added the above two to auto load on each Ubuntu boot:

# echo "gspca_pac730" >> /etc/modules
# echo "gspca_pac7311" >> /etc/modules

Before really I can see the camera properly capturing video, though I had to adjust few settings in default GNOME settings for Video device in gstreamer-properties

2. Change settings for video camera in gstreamer-properties

$ gstreamer-properties

The settings in the Video tab should be as you see in screenshot:

3. Testing if video camera works with VLC

There are numerous ways to test if camera is properly capturing video, vlc, mplayer, cheese or even Skype can be used. First time I tested it I used VLC, like so:

vlc v4l2:///dev/video0

Above as VLC argument I use /dev/video0 as video capturing device cause video camera is found under /dev/video0. This might vary on other Linux distros; to check the exact assigned dev, ls it:

# ls -al /dev/vide*

crw-rw----+ 1 root video 81, 0 sep 25 20:53 /dev/video0

Testing the Trust WB 3320X Live on Linux can be done with Cheese or Skype too by running them vide a LD_PRELOAD predefined bash variable;

$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/ cheese

or for Skype

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/ skype

Still using vlc to test webcam is preferrable, as there is no need to invoke it via a predefined LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/ bash var.

Anyways below is a screenshot of the WebCam capturing video in Skype (on the Screenshot Sali a very good person who help me a lot here in Netherlands).

Though the camera driver works, the quality is quite bad the capture image is distorted and whenever there is a movement in front of the camera the picture is really bad … Expect quality of the captured video to be maybe about 2 times? worser than those in Windows OS.

Lest the bad quality the picture is good enough to distinguish you and recognize you on the other side, so for people who are not image quality freaks quality will be okay.

4. Making the Trust WB 3320 work in skype

As prior said you need to each time invoke Skype binary with a LD_PRELOAD pre-defined variable:

$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/ skype

Same goes for Cheese too:

$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/ cheese

Typing all this long line and even remembering it is a taugh task, so I created two little wrappers scripts for both Cheese and Skype in /usr/local/bin/skype-camera-fix and /usr/local/bin/cheese-camera-fix.

$ su root
# echo '#!/bin/bash' >> /usr/local/bin/skype-camera-fix
# echo 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/ skype' >> /usr/local/bin/skype-camera-fix
# chmod +x /usr/local/bin/skype-camera-fix


# echo '#!/bin/bash' >> /usr/local/bin/cheese-camera-fix
# echo 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/ cheese' >> /usr/local/bin/cheese-camera-fix
# chmod +x /usr/local/bin/cheeese-camera-fix

Now as this two wrappers, are existing it is good idea to modify in GNOME menus Skype and Cheese to launch the modified bash wrapper scripts instead of the original binaries:

4. Changing default Skype and Cheese path in GNOME to skype-camera-fix and cheese-camera-fix wrapper scripts

Edit /usr/share/applications/skype.desktop and change inside, where the line says:




After the change the content of skype.desktop should be as:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Skype Internet Telephony

Then same goes for Cheese, change the Exec= line in file /usr/share/applications/cheese.desktop to equal to:


Now after restarting the PC or logging off and then logging in again to GNOME both applications should be executing via the wrapper script.

5. Changing Brightness and tuning various other Webcam settings

As I red online, there are plenty of apps that can be used to tune up webcam color gamma, saturation, explosure etc.

I however tried only two ;

  • v4l2ucp
  • guvcview
  • I red online there is also another (camera settings feature rich) program – gtk-v4l, though never tried this one.

    From my little testing I concluded v4lucp seems to be more options rich, so I suggest using it as a primary tool for tuning webcam:

    Besides that v4l2ucp is present inside standard Ubuntu / Debian repositories, so there is no need to add any extra repositories to install it.
    Install v4l2ucp via:

    # apt-get install v4l2ucp
    # apt-get install v4l2loopback-dkms

    v4l2ucp has multiple of settings you can play with, so after installing it run it to see if you can make the camera video display a bit better. In my case it was beneficial to raise up a bit the camera brightness and correct the red as the captured video was reddish and darky

    $ v4l2ucp

    v4l2ucp change linux webcam video4linux settings

    Secondly I give a try gucview. Unfortunately it is not part of official Ubuntu repositories, so I had to add external repository:

    # add-apt-repository ppa:pj-assis/ppa
    # apt-get update
    # apt-get install guvcview

    GUVCView Chainging brightness / saturation on Trust 3220X webcam

    Well thats all though the picture is a bit distorted, Camera works. Distorted is better than none at all. Cheers 😉

How to test if USB Camera is working with Cheese on GNU / Linux

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

I just bought an USB Camera (my notebook doesn't include an embedded camera). The camera is some infamous brand chineese name Eilondo
and on the camera all that is written is SUPER USB2.0 1.3 mega pixel

I bought exactly this camera because I was said by the shop reseller that the camera works without any driver installations on Windows XP and Windows Vista

On my Debian Squeeze GNU / Linux it was detected in dmesg without any troubles, here is how the camera got detected in my kernel log :

debian:~# dmesg |tail -n 10
[25385.734932] usb 2-1: USB disconnect, address 4
[25388.905049] usb 2-1: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 5
[25389.050753] usb 2-1: New USB device found, idVendor=1e4e, idProduct=0102
[25389.050757] usb 2-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
[25389.050760] usb 2-1: Product: USB2.0 Camera
[25389.050762] usb 2-1: Manufacturer: Etron Technology, Inc.
[25389.050936] usb 2-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
[25389.056056] uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device USB2.0 Camera (1e4e:0102)
[25389.058242] uvcvideo: UVC non compliance - GET_DEF(PROBE) not supported. Enabling workaround.
[25389.059113] input: USB2.0 Camera as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-1/2-1:1.0/input/input26

I was troubled by the message uvcvideo: UVC non compliance – GET_DEF(PROBE) not supported. Enabling workaround. , and hence looked for an application to test if the camera can recored properly.

While checking in packages available in Software Center , I found a plenty of programs under the search keyword Camera
I however decided to test it using just one application Cheese A tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam which I've seen to be quite popular among Liunx users.
Cheese is part of GNOME Desktop, so that was another reason I decided to give it a try. I was pleasently surprised about how good these tiny but functional proggie is.

To run Cheese in GNOME I nagivated to the menus:

Applications -> Sound & Video -> Cheese Webcam Booth

Just in case if Cheese is not installed, installing it with apt:

debian:~# apt-get install cheese

Cheese has capabilities to take pictures, a consequential photos take up, as well as create Video movies.

Cheese take camera testing tool Debian GNU Linux

The program has support to apply 12 Effects / (Masks) to add some fun to the pictures or video snapshots.

Test Video Camera on Debian Linux Cheese Effects

Probably the best thing about Cheese is its simplistic interface, which for me personally is a main criterion to evaluate a program quality ;).

How to fix upside-down / inverted web camera laptop Asus K51AC issue on Ubuntu Linux and Debian GNU / Linux

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Skype Video Inverted bat like linux screenshot

Does your camera show video correctly in cheese but shows captured video upside-down (inverted) in skype ?
This is an issue a friend of mine experienced on his Asus K51AC-SX037D laptop on both Ubuntu and Debian Linux.
As you can see in the picture above it is funny as with this bug the person looks like a batman 😉
As the webcam upside-down issue was present on both latest Ubuntu 11.10 and latest stable Debian Squeeze 6.02, my guess was other GNU / Linux rpm based distro like Fedora might have applied a fix to this weird Skype inverted video (bat human like) issue.
Unfortunately testing the webcam with Skype on latest both Fedora 16 and Linux Mint 12 appeared to produce the same webcam bug.

A bit of research for the issue online and try outs of a number of suggested methods to resolve the issue led finally to a work around, thanks to this post
Here is few steps to follow to make the webcam show video like it should:

1. Install libv4l-0 package

root@linux:~# apt-get --yes install libv4-0

Onwards to start skype directly from terminal and test the camera type:

hipo@linux:~$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/ skype

This is the work around for 32 bit Linux install, most people however will probably have installed 64 bit Linux, for 64bit Linux installs the above command should be little different:

hipo@linux:~$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ skype

Once skype is launched test the camera and see if the camera capture is now uninverted, through menus:

S -> Options -> Video Devices -> Test

Skype Options Video devices screenshot

2. Create a skype Wrapper script Launcher

To make skype launch everytime with exported shell variable:

A new skype wrapper bash shell script should be created in /usr/local/bin/skype , the file should contain:


To create the script with echo in a root terminal issue;

root@linux:~# echo '#!/bin/sh' >> /usr/local/bin/skype
root@linux:~# echo 'LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/' >> /usr/local/bin/skype
root@linux:~# echo '/usr/bin/skype' >> /usr/local/bin/skype
root@linux:~# chmod +x /usr/local/bin/skype

3. Edit the Skype gnome menu to substitute /usr/bin/skype Skype Launcher with /usr/local/bin/skype

Gnome 2 has a handy menu launcher, allowing to edit and add new menus and submenus (menus and items) to the Application menu, to launch the editor one has to click over Applications with last mouse button (right button) and choose Edit Menus

GNOME Edit menus screenshot

The menu editor like the one in the below screenshot will appear:

GNOME 2 Menu Editor Screenshot

In the preceeding Launcher properties window, Command: skype has to be substituted with:

GNOME2 Skype screenshot Launcher properties

Command: /usr/local/bin/skype

For console freaks who doesn't want to bother in editting Skype Launcher via GUI /usr/share/applications/skype.desktop file can be editted in terminal. Inside skype.desktop substitute:




Skype fixed inverted bat like screenshot

As one can imagine the upside-down video image in Skype is not a problem because of Linux, but rather another bug in Skype (non-free) software program.
By the way everyone, who is using his computer with Free Software operating system FreeBSD, Linux etc. knows pretty well by experience, that Skype is a very problematic software; It is often a cause for system unexpected increased system loads, problems with (microphone not capturing), camera issues, issues with pulseaudio, problem with audio playbacks … Besides the long list of bugs there are unexpected display bugs in skype tray icon, bugs in skype messanger windows and at some rare occasions the program completely hangs and had to be killed with kill command and re-launched again.

Another worrying fact is Skype's versions available for GNU / Linux and BSD is completely out of date with its "competitor" operating systems MS Windows, MacOS X etc.
For people like me and my friend who want to use free operating system the latest available skype version is not even stable … current version fod download from skype's website is (Skype 2.2Beta)!

On FreeBSD the skype situation is even worser, freebsd have only option to run Skype ver 1.3 or v. 2.0 at best, as far as I know skype 2.2 and 2.2beta is not there.

Just as matter of comparison the latest Skype version on Windows is 5.x. Windows release is ages ahead its Linux and BSD ver. From a functional point of view the difference between Linux's 2.x and Windows 5.x is not that much different, what makes difference is is the amount of bugs which Linux and BSD skype versions contain…
Skype was about 6 months ago bought by Microsoft, therefore the prognosis for Skype Linux support in future is probably even darker. Microsoft will not probably bother to release new version of Skype for their competitor free as in freedom OSes.

I would like to thank my friend and brother in Christ Stelian for supplying me with the Skype screenshots, as well as for being kind to share how he fixed his camera with me.