Setting up your webcam under Ubuntu 7.10


Bill Giannikos


This guide will help you set up your webcam under Ubuntu 7.10. Unlike many other distributions, Ubuntu 7.10 includes the Gspca and Linux-uvc drivers which are the two most commonly needed drivers for most webcams. This means that many webcams are supported “out of the box” by Ubuntu 7.10 and you won't need to follow this guide at all.

However these two drivers are currently under heavy development which therefore means you may need to update the driver included Ubuntu 7.10 for proper support of your webcam. This guide will help you install the latest versions of the Gspca and Linux-uvc drivers.


While this guide is mainly focused to laptop users there isn't any difference for desktop users.

Both the Gspca and Linux-uvc drivers are in a development stage. This means the drivers are not yet considered fully stable and should be installed with caution. This is especially true for the Linux-uvc driver as it is still listed as being in alpha stage.

The Gspca driver version included with Ubuntu 7.10 is 1.00.12. At time of writing the current version of the driver is 1.00.20.

The linux-uvc driver included in Ubuntu 7.10 reports it as being v0.1.0. However the Linux-uvc project has not published a official release of its driver so this version number is not that meaningful.


You should run a full update for your installation of Ubuntu to ensure you have all the latest packages installed.

Determining the driver to use

In Linux there are 2 different drivers which covers the majority of webcams available, these are the Gspca or Linux-uvc driver. You will need to determine which is the correct driver to install. If you are not sure which webcam you have you can make use of the 'lspci' and 'lsusb' commands to print a list of devices on your system.

After determining your webcam type you need to see which driver supports your webcam. Here is a list of webcams supported by the Gspca driver and here is a list of webcams supported by the linux-uvc driver.

If you webcam doesn't appear on either list then it's possible your webcam isn't supported. If you like you can just try installing both drivers anyway and see how you go.

Installing the latest Gspca driver

In this section we will be detailing the procedure of installing the latest Gspca driver for Ubuntu 7.10.

1. Download the latest drivers from You want to download the latest gspcav1 driver, not the older spca5xx. In this guide we are going to use gspcav1-20071224 as at the time of writing these are the current ones.

2. Load up a terminal window if you are in the graphic interface.

3. Type in the following to install gcc and the kernel headers:

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`

4. Move to the /usr/src/ folder with:

cd /usr/src

5. Extract the contents of the file you downloaded with:

sudo tar -xzvf /path/to/gspcav1-20071224.tar.gz

Remember to replace the “/path/to” in this command to the path of where your file is and change the filename to the version you downloaded

6. Move into the newly created folder with

cd gspcav1-20071224

7. Now start the building process with:

sudo make

This will take a while.

8. And finally we install the driver with:

sudo cp -a gspca.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/ubuntu/media/gspcav1/

9. Reboot your computer and the newer gspca driver will be used.

Installing the latest Linux-uvc driver

In this section we will be detailing the procedure of installing the latest Linux-uvc driver for Ubuntu 7.10.

1. Load up a terminal window if you are in the graphic interface.

2. Type in the following to install gcc, svn and the kernel headers:

sudo apt-get install build-essential subversion linux-headers-`uname -r`

3. Move to the /usr/src/ folder with:

cd /usr/src

4. Download the latest driver with:

sudo svn checkout svn://

5. Move into the newly created folder with

cd trunk

6. Now start the building process with:

sudo make

This will take a while.

7. And finally we install the driver with:

sudo cp -a uvcvideo.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/ubuntu/media/usbvideo/

8. Reboot your computer and the newer linux-uvc driver will be used.


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Followed your instructions and got this output:

make -C /lib/modules/`uname -r`/build SUBDIRS=/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224 CC=cc modules
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.28-14-generic'

CC [M]  /usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.o

/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.c:54:27: error: asm/semaphore.h: No such file or directory
/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.c: In function ‘spca5xx_ioctl’:
/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.c:2463: error: implicit declaration of function ‘video_usercopy’
/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.c: At top level:
/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.c:2609: error: unknown field ‘owner’ specified in initializer
/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.c:2609: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.c:2611: error: unknown field ‘type’ specified in initializer
/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.c: In function ‘spca50x_create_sysfs’:
/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.c:2769: error: implicit declaration of function ‘video_device_create_file’
/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.c:2780: error: implicit declaration of function ‘video_device_remove_file’
/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.c: In function ‘spca5xx_probe’:
/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.c:4301: error: incompatible types in assignment
make[2]: * [/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224/gspca_core.o] Error 1
* [_module_/usr/src/gspcav1-20071224] Error 2
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.28-14-generic'
make: *** [default] Error 2

xxiao, 2008/11/29 01:56

Great write-up

I like this simply and inclusive tutorial. thanks.

Pierce, 2008/09/22 13:59

Thanks but still not working…:(

I really liked the way this tutorial was simple to follow with all of the necessary symbols and words included! However, my webcam still doesn't work. I've got a Dell monitor with built in webcam/mic. It's an omnivision technologies webcam and it is listed in the linux-uvc driver list. I followed your “how to” to download and make the driver. When I get to the last line where you say to make the driver, it doesn't seem to do anything - unless it happens so fast that there's nothing to see…anyhow, I reboot and still nothing…I have guvcview installed and cheese and ekiga - none of these work. I've heard luvcview is good and I have it installed but I don't know how to access it? There's is no icon to “click” and launch the app…
If you are able to help me in any way, I'd be very appreciative. I know, I'm just a noob, but I am dedicated to sticking with Linux!!!

Geo, 2008/03/18 20:10

Thank You

I would like to say THANK YOU for taking the time to write up these webcam installation instructions. Worked on my machine just fine. I am glad to have found this page.

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setting_up_your_webcam_under_ubuntu_7.10.txt · Last modified: 2009/02/12 04:29 by billg
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