Regarding QuickCam webcams and FreeBSD

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Tue Jan 31 22:52:01 PST 2006

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.


>-----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
>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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