Regarding QuickCam webcams and FreeBSD

Simon Chang simonychang at
Thu Feb 9 08:05:57 PST 2006


First of all, I am a fan of your FreeBSD and the Corporate Networking
Guide.  You have done an excellent job writing that book and I often
refer to it for suggestions on specific topics.

Regarding self-contained webcams, I realize that these gizmos are out
there.  But so far none of them have the two criteria I am looking

1)  Wireless connectivity (802.11g preferred), and
2)  VPN / IPsec capable.

The reason is that I want to be able to move the camera at a moment's
notice, and I don't want the images of my bedroom / study / backyard
to be broadcast in the clear.  However, I have not seen any webcam
that has those two capabilities, so that's why I am trying to get them
to work with Free and OpenBSD.


On 2/1/06, Ted Mittelstaedt <tedm at> wrote:
> The reason there's little interest in this is that webcams are
> rapidly becoming completely self-contained.  Lots of them today
> have an ethernet port, and integrated webserver in the camera.
> The need for a PC to be involved here for anything other than
> running a web browser to display output is pretty questionable.
> When network address translation first came out the only way you
> could get it was to used a modded open source UNIX on a PC with
> 2 nics.  Then Cisco came out with it so you could use their routers
> to get it.  Then linksys came out with cheap routers that had
> it.  Nowadays, only the diehards are running FreeBSD nat routers
> with 2 nics in them.  The same thing is happening with webcams.
> Ted
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: owner-freebsd-questions at
> >[mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Simon Chang
> >Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 12:49 PM
> >To: freebsd-questions at
> >Subject: Regarding QuickCam webcams and FreeBSD
> >
> >
> >Howdy,
> >
> >I happen to have been doing quite a bit of research in this area.
> >What I wanted to do was to set up a *nix box with a webcam and a
> >wireless NIC, so that I can mount the headless machine in the bedroom
> >to keep an eye on our seven-month-old baby.  (Link between the *nix
> >box and the home private network will be encrypted using IPsec VPN.)
> >
> >What I have found so far are the following:
> >
> >1)  The apps that I have found do not work with a wide variety of more
> >recent makes of webcams.  If you do a Google search on "FreeBSD
> >webcam" or "OpenBSD webcam", you actually see some tools that
> >purportedly work with QuickCam Express or QuickCam B/W (or Color), and
> >a handful of other models.
> >
> >2)  Logitech, the maker of QuickCam, used to make available technical
> >specs and docs for the developers to write drivers with.
> >Unfortunately, the company does not do that anymore, and anyone who
> >wants to make a QuickCam-series work has to either reverse-engineer
> >it, use available drivers and hope for the best, or run it under
> >Windows.
> >
> >3)  By contrast, NetBSD and some Linux distros (so far I've heard
> >promising things about Fedora Core 4 and I think Gentoo) have more
> >development work going on for webcams.  If FreeBSD doesn't work for
> >you, try some of the other *nixes.
> >
> >HTH,
> >
> >SC
> >
> >- Hide quoted text -
> >
> >
> >On 1/29/06, Xn Nooby <xnooby at> wrote:
> >> I bought a fancy Quickcam (face-tracking), though I have no
> >idea how to make
> >> it work with FreeBSD.  I installed qcamview, but when I run
> >it as root, it
> >> says "Not found Quickcam, or Permission denied".
> >>
> >> Anyone know anything about Quickcams on FreeBSD?  I don't
> >expect it to work,
> >> but it would be cool if it did.  There seems to be very
> >little information
> >> on the net about qcamview.
> >>
> >> I'd be happy to just snapshots with it.  I'm using FreeBSD
> >6.0 and Fluxbox.
> >> The cam is USB 2.0.
> >>
> >> Any suggestions?
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