Linux Kernel: Improved Webcam Support Thanks to GSPCA

Jul 22, 2008

The kernel developers plan to integrate the GSPCA driver with kernel 2.6.27 to add support for a large number of webcams.

Following the introduction of the driver – this is on the roadmap for kernel 2.6.27 at the latest - the kernel should support most popular webcams without forcing users to compile addition kernel modules.

The integration of the UVC driver with the recently released in 2.6.26 kernel version significantly increased the number of webcams supported by the kernel. The GSPCA drivers now extend support to USB webcams, which include many internal webcams in notebooks.

The GSPCA drivers were developed by Michel Xhaard, a French doctor, who has programmed drivers for hundreds of USB webcams in a solo effort launched back in 2003. Xhaard gave a very readable interview to the British online magazine Inquirer in April last year, revealing facts about his hobby.

The inclusion of the drivers in the kernel offers users a number of advantages by removing the need for users to download drivers from the author's website and to build the executables. This procedure can be annoying when distribution updates install a new kernel forcing the user to manually build the matching webcam module to reinstate support. Although there are approaches to automating this process (such as KMP in Opensuse), kernel integration is a far more elegant.

Related content

  • Free Software Projects

    Voice over IP on the Internet gives communication a personal touch, but it takes applications like Cheese and WebcamStudio to exploit the creative potential of Internet telephony.

  • Power of Zen: Zenwalk 6.0 with OpenOffice 3.0.1 and Xfce 4.6

    Zenwalk 6.0 has shown some real work: the project has separated from GNOME Office and MPlayer, brings a new desktop version and provides numerous optimizations.

  • Webcam Rescue

    If your new webcam doesn't work with the default software on your Linux system, try your luck with Guvcview or QtCAM.


    Klaus Knopper is the creator of Knoppix and co-founder of the LinuxTag expo. He currently works as a teacher, programmer, and consultant. If you have a configuration problem, or if you just want to learn more about how Linux works, send your questions to: klaus@linux-magazine. com

  • Linux-Kongress: Corbet Presents New Kernel 2.6.27

    In the second keynote of the Linux-Kongress in Hamburg, Germany, cofounder of and kernel developer Jonathan Corbet presented details on yesterday's released Kernel 2.6.27, but also described some of the work Linus Torvalds and his group of hackers have been up to.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More