Web Cam Setup In Debian

Moving Pictures

I set up a Web cam running Debian Squeeze in around 10 minutes. The Web Cam itself was an 'el cheapo' model made by Microsoft.

Its a LifeCam VX-1000 color Web Cam with 640x480 resolution for video and still images. It has a built-in microphone and a USB type A connector. More importantly, its supported in Debian Linux.

I plugged the camera in and ran 'lsusb'.

Bus 003 Device 004: ID 045e:00f7 Microsoft Corp. LifeCam VX-1000

The device was recognized immediately. Great. I'm running Debian 2.6.32 kernal, I guess the device driver is already in the kernel.

I installed an app to see the Web Cam in action. I pulled down Camorama. Its a simple application with limited abilities, but it will do fine for testing.

aptitude install camorama

Two minutes later, it was installed. I fired up the program and had Web Cam images onscreen. Camorama can capture stills or display images as they happen. It has no streaming capabilities.

I installed Cheese from the Debian repository:

aptitude install cheese

On completion, I fired it up and could capture still images or record video. Its slightly more versatile than Camorama.

I also got the Web Cam to display images in mplayer. I did:

mplayer -fps 30 tv://

I googled but results were thin on the ground for what I wanted. I read briefly you can use Mencoder to save the stream to disk or similar. I guess I will have to dive into the MPlayer / Mencoder documents to find what I need.

I will look into that over the next couple of weeks, and post on results.

Anyhow, its a positive start. It works.



  1. "I will look into that over the next couple of weeks, and post on results". I'll look forward...

  2. Great Post!:) I have Posted a bunch on Web Cams in Linux on my Blog too. ZoneMinder will Save Images and video to your HD. Check this one out... 5 of the Best Free Linux WebCam Tools - Linux Links - The Linux Portal Site http://donsdeals.blogspot.com/2010/11/5-of-best-free-linux-webcam-tools-linux.html
    And you can search for more with the search at the Top (the middle one) on my Blog for more...


  3. I rolled a script to handle the installation of a MS LifeCAM 6000 for a colleague about a year ago.


    It works fine with Cheese. Skype, on the other hand won't recognize the camera. Does it work for you?

  4. Did you try the webcam mic? Is it working?