WebCams, Linux and Windows…


With the recent departure of one of my friends for New Zealand, I thought it was about time I got into using Skype. I’ve had it installed on my CentOS machine at home for some time, but only have one friend who uses it, so it’s not really been a big thing for me.

Until yesterday, I used a dodgy old microphone and my PC speakers, but I thought I’d nip down to Rip-off World (PC World) and buy a headset to make it more convenient. Whilst shopping, I decided to buy a cheap and crappy headset and webcam package, allowing me to make video calls… Or so I thought.

It turns out support from webcams on Linux is really crappy. I quick search on the net shows there are several projects that produce drivers to support an assortment of webcams, but there are none that support my hardware. Added to that, the latest version of Skype doesn’t include the beta video call functionality under Linux.

I guess I should have expected it really. There is little reason for manufacturuers to write Linux drivers for their kit when the demand is so low, but until they do using Linux on a home desktop has some limitations.

I’m going to stick with CentOS on my main machine. It serves me well and it’s free, so I can’t complain. I’m planning on buying a new laptop in the next few weeks/months. I had half a mind to install Linux on it, but maybe I will stick with the preinstalled copy of Windows Vista after all…



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

2 thoughts on “WebCams, Linux and Windows…”

  1. interesting. yeah, Linux support for some devices is patchy.

    quick question: did you manage to find out what/how Skype interacts with firewalls? do we need to punch holes in the darn things for a contact to be made? which ports? that sort of stuff?

  2. Hi.

    I only use if from home, and so far I haven’t had to mess with my firewall at all. Sorry I can’t be of more help. 🙁



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