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Installing a Creative WebCam PRO eX under Linux

Video

The following steps were necessary to bring a Creative WebCam Pro eX up and running:

  1. Get the pwcx module (to have higher resolutions etc.) (the 2.4.20 module compiled with gcc 3.2 would work just fine, allthough I’m running 2.4.22 compiled with gcc 3.3.2)
  2. Install the pwcx driver under ` /lib/modules/usb` so that the module won’t be erased on each new make modules_install.
  3. Compile and install kernel with the following options:
    1. usb-uhci as a module (the usb module would NOT let the pwc driver recognize the cam)
    2. enable video4linux as a module (required by the pwc driver)
    3. get the 8.12 release of the pwc driver (the version shipped with kernel 2.4.22 (version 8.10) would not recognize the cam)
    4. replace the respective files under /usr/src/linux/drivers/usb with the ones from the pwc sources/tarball
    5. disable symbol versioning (otherwise the pwcx module wouldn’t work)
  4. modprobe usb-uhci
  5. modprobe pwc (modprobing for pwc before probing for usb-uhci wouldn’t recognize the cam)
  6. insmod --force /lib/modules/usb/pwcx-2.4.20.o (you can make that automatic)
  7. (Make the required /dev/video* devices - here they were made by the first video app I’ve installed (under Debian))

Audio

Sound input is over a C-Media Electronics Inc CM8738 onboard soundchip/-card. Output is over passive audio boxes or over the headset.

Both input and output are horribly low. Video conferencing without voice is useles. This sucks. Sound output from other programms (f.ex. xmms) is loud enough. Does anybody know why? Is the creative headset plain crap (expensive crap for that matter) or is it a software problem?

Software

I’ve tried to run camstream and gnomemeeting. Both seem to be running OK.

References

I’d be happy to hear from you if this HOWTO was useful for you (makes me feel better and write more useful howtos).

Enjoy - Tomas Pospisek