About Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Skype and Webcams

26/12/2010 at 4:16 pm 2 reacties

Just recently, one of my kids asked for the installation of a webcam for creating image snapshots. He already had found a fine, very cheap Trust kit: a webcam, a microphone and a headset for less than 15 euro. I bought it for him, but I warned him on beforehand: since we are exclusively using Linux, installation of a webcam might be cumbersome. He didn’t mind, as long as, in the end, he would have a working webcam and microphone.

trust chat & voip pack deluxe

trust chat & voip pack deluxe

My first concern was to get the webcam to work. I connected it to one of the USB ports of his Linux Mint computer, and did a test with VLC media player: wow!!! I had nothing to configure. As soon as I selected, as output device: /dev/video0 ,we were able to see that basically, the webcam had already been recognized (media -> Open recording device, see printscreen). It just worked out of the box. Again, and as stated so often in this blog: no drivers to configure, nothing at all. Ubuntu (and Linux Mint) just work out of the box, also when adding extra peripherals like webcams.

vlc webcam

vlc webcam

Ok, so the webcam worked. My kid was now able to take snaphots with VLC media player. The VLC snapshots are stored on a hidden directory /home/username/.local/share/vlc. So I created a shortcut on his desktop for easy access; command line for the icon -> nautilus /home/username/.local/share/vlc

All right, so the first step worked. I wanted to take the configuration a bit further: I wanted my kid to have a Skype account, so he could contact me at no cost and with all available media options, when I would be at work. Guess what: installation of Skype on his Linux Mint computer was a matter of installing the software through the Ubuntu software Center (it’s available on Linux Mint too), creating the account, and testing the Skype configuration. I plugged in the audio and microphone jacks…and off we were!!

Oh and by the way: the Trust box mentioned:  “Windows 7 ready” . I guess the manufacturer should add… “and Linux Desktop”.

Happy Skyping!!

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Linux Desktop, Ubuntu an Diagramming OpenSuse and Remote desktop

2 reacties Add your own

  • 1. Paul  |  26/12/2010 om 7:05 pm

    I used to get infuriated with Windows trying to get peripherals to work and being told to insert a disk, then when I inserted it, Windows still couldn’t find the driver – you had to know to search for CAB files or something. I’ve found that peripherals (even those which only mention Windows on the packet) just work in Linux. The only problem I remember is with a microphone for Skype – I eventually worked out that I had to juggle Skype and Volume Control settings.

    Beantwoorden
  • 2. Arlo James Barnes  |  10/09/2013 om 2:14 am

    Interestingly enough, internal webcams seem to be more likely to have intermediate steps to working. :/

    Beantwoorden

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