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Revision as of 14:13, 24 May 2008 by fp-wiki>ImportUser (Imported from MoinMoin)
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Better Webcam Support


Currently many webcams do not work with Fedora out of the box even though Linux driver exist for them, the intent is to fix this.


  • Name: Hans de Goede

Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 10
  • Last updated: (May 23 2008)
  • Percentage of completion: 10%

Detailed Description

Webcams not working even though there are Linux drivers has 2 causes: 1. The drivers are not in the mainline kernel 1. Those drivers that are in the mainline kernel are often v4l2 while many applications will only work with v4l1

The plan is to fix 1) by working together with the driver upstream on cleaning the driver (and porting it to v4l2 if needed in the process) and then submitting it for inclusion in the mainline kernel, currently I'm working together with gspca to get gspcav2 cleaned up and merged, this will vastly improve the amount of supported webcams.

The plan is to fix 2) by creating a wrapper library which can be loaded through LD_PRELOAD which will fake v4l1 support on v4l2 drivers for applications which need v4l1. Much like its possible to play sound through alsa / arts this way for applications which only support oss output.

Benefit to Fedora

Out of the box working hardware makes for happy end users and good reviews.


This may require temporarily carrying kernel patches if the gspcav2 (and maybe other) drivers are clearly moving upstream, but not there yet in time for release.

This requires creating a wrapper library for v4l1 emulation and making modifcations to webcam using applications so that they load this wrapper library.

Test Plan

I've bought several different webcams (about 7 or so atm) and I intend to get them all working out of the box, with a wide palette of webcam using applications.

User Experience

Out of the box working hardware.



Contingency Plan

Don't ship the drivers / wrapper if they aren't ready.


None atm.

Release Notes

None, except that if this is finished in time it would be good to make some PR with this.