Regarding QuickCam webcams and FreeBSD

Simon Chang simonychang at
Tue Jan 31 12:49:15 PST 2006


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

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.



- 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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