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Linux WebCam Software?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the come-in-to-my-parlor dept.

67

Who_Sez asks: "I'm interested in setting up a Linux based webcam, however the solutions I've been seeing are either very convoluted in execution, or the referring sites appear to be out of date. Can anyone recommend a webcam package that runs on Linux? I don't really care what distro is required but I'm familiar with Fedora, Yellow Dog, and Ubuntu. I guess I would be considered a 'mid-level user' with regard to experience. Is there a web cam software package that is a fairly complete solution that is also pretty easy to configure (preferably with a GUI)? Also, some suggestions for compatible webcam hardware would be welcome. I'd like to be able to do this on the cheap, and would love to be able to brag about setting up a Linux web cam. Any help here would be appreciated. Thanks!"

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67 comments

No (-1, Flamebait)

setzman (541053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479238)

Get yourself a real OS, like OS X or Windows XP. Then you'll be able to play with your webcam.

Re:No (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14479277)

Nonsense! 2006 is going to be the year of Linux on the desktop!

Re:No (1)

Who_Sez (693254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479336)

The point was to use an older computer and not use my G5 or any of my other Macs on a webcam. That seems like a waste somehow. But thanks anyway.

Re:No (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14480322)

Truly, you sir, are an idiot.

Re:No (1)

hojdyx (946956) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502924)

i found it quite interesting that lot of people do not no amsn wich in version 0-95 uder linux works very good, if we talk about soft but surely you have to solve driver for your webcam first,, under this version sound is not working but anyways tried it with gentoo and video worked i hope there's gonna be much more soon

Here you go: (3, Funny)

Wisgary (799898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479242)

Here you go! [google.com] Now go brag about your awesome google, er, webcam setup skills.

Re:Here you go: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14513451)

You douchebag.

For the eight billionth time, "Ask Slashdot" questions are not generally "give me a list of programs that do foo" but rather "what specific program to do foo do you recommend based on your experience"? There are a shitload of programs out there -- finding a list is easy, but finding a program that doesn't suck ASS is much harder. Hence the questions that are intended to save time and frustration.

New here? Tell him about the Pool on the roof (3, Funny)

seann (307009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479244)

You can always just hook up a regular video camera to an ATI Rage All-in-One TV Capture Card (AGP works best!)

Re:New here? Tell him about the Pool on the roof (1)

kyouteki (835576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479589)

All-In-Wonders don't work too well on Linux, 'mafraid.

Re:New here? Tell him about the Pool on the roof (1)

markild (862998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479714)

I take it this is your way of saying you never got to see hackers ;)

Re:New here? Tell him about the Pool on the roof (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479889)

If you have a video camera, it's most likely digital these days. So use Firewire, skip the capture card.

What exactly are you looking for? (2, Informative)

Craig Maloney (1104) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479326)

Are you looking for something that will just pop up a semi-frequently updated shot, or are you looking for streaming media? They are pretty different requirements. Also, you didn't mention what kind of camera you'll be running. It's been my experience that the USB cameras out there require a bit of work to get running under Linux. (And some won't even reward you with pictures after considerable effort).

Re:What exactly are you looking for? (1)

Who_Sez (693254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479378)

Yeah, I'm getting the impression that perhaps Linux might not be the best choice. Basically I just want it for goofing around, nothing serious. I'd like too upload some pictures every thirty seconds or so and have them displayed on a web page. Its just for fun so I'm not sure I want to jump through all the hoops necessary to set it up with linux. I was hoping there was a linux solution that I could set and forget. Thanks.

Re:What exactly are you looking for? (4, Informative)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479417)

There is. Its called appropriately enough webcam. There's no GUI afaik, but the config file is really simple. It sounds like exactly what you want. apt-get install webcam will grab it in Ubuntu for sure.

Re:What exactly are you looking for? (3, Informative)

moro_666 (414422) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479651)

yeah the webcam thing is quite fine for the purpose. i have a logitech quickcam here (had to build the kernel module by hand from sources found by google) but it works with the webcam application.

webcam can be set to react on image changes and a simple shell 5liner can be written which checks if the file has been modified since last upload and uploads it into the server via curl&http.

that's as simple as it can be, 1 kernel module, 1 application, 1 shell script.

you could also use the builtin features of webcam to upload images but using ftp is a bit too insecure for my case :)

Re:What exactly are you looking for? (3, Informative)

Craig Maloney (1104) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479472)

Well, I wrote a webcam Perl script called "Poor Man's Cam" (http://decafbad.net/pmcam [decafbad.net]), but unfortunately it requires that you have a program to grab the images already. Once that's taken care of, the rest is pretty straightforward.

Hope this helps!

Re:What exactly are you looking for? (1)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503494)

Excellent Program! I actually modified it so that it connects to the ftp site, then does the uploads in a loop - so you're not doing the whole ftp connection/disconnection for each pic. (I use vgrabbj for the actual image capture, with options -q 30 -X -i sif)

Nice work!

Re:What exactly are you looking for? (1)

Craig Maloney (1104) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503989)

Cool! I'm glad you enjoy it! If you want, send me the modified script, and I'll put it in the next release.

Desktop Linux is here! (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479327)

Now that we have webcam software, Linux can move forward to being a mainstream desktop OS. I just hope that a/s/l and c4mwhore-i386 are supported.

Re:Desktop Linux is here! (1, Insightful)

finkster (937210) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481150)

While I am a huge fan of Linux and OSS, this very question (and sarcastic comment) hits the nail on the head for why Linux is NOT ready for the prime-time user.

For a Windows user, all one needs to do is plug in the webcam and load the programs found on the CD. It takes all of maybe 2 minutes to have the webcam up and running. On Linux, it may take an entire afternoon.

If Microsoft can be credited for something good, then they should be credited for having a systems that generally works - and can be worked by someone who doesn't need to know how to "Build" a software package, or kernel.

...and it might help if the vendors started including "Linux Compatible" devices/drivers/software.

(anyone care to comment if JMF works well with Linux?)

Re:Desktop Linux is here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481682)

JMF works pretty well, about 1.5 years ago I did a silly Java project with videoconferencing using JMF and usable on Linux and Windows platforms. And getting a webcam to work under Linux certainly didn't take a whole afternoon, despite almost complete lack of support from the hardware manufacturers. Simply emerged drivers for a Logitech (qc-usb) and a Phillips-based (usb-pwc-something) USB cams, tested it with a V4L application (camstream in my case) and then detected devices with JMF's tool. An advantage on Linux is of course that you get generic video grabbing devices that any application can use without realizing what type of camera it is (I also used a BT878 TV-card as third "webcam").

Re:Desktop Linux is here! (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482882)

An advantage on Linux is of course that you get generic video grabbing devices that any application can use without realizing what type of camera it is

How is that an advantage for Linux, considering that Windows does the exact same thing [wikipedia.org], and has been doing it for over a decade?

Re:Desktop Linux is here! (4, Insightful)

s4m7 (519684) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482682)

Let's see if I follow your logic here:

1) Linux isn't ready for the desktop, because it doesn't just work
2) It doesn't just work because vendors don't provide Linux applications/drivers for their hardware
3) Vendors don't provide drivers because nobody uses Linux because... Linux isn't ready for the desktop.

Mmmm-Hmmm. Seems about right to me.

Re:Desktop Linux is here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14513052)

Yes, it's a vicious cycle. Deal with it. (Which means not pretending that the problem doesn't exist just because it's not your fault.)

Re:Desktop Linux is here! (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14487498)

For a Windows user, all one needs to do is plug in the webcam and load the programs found on the CD. It takes all of maybe 2 minutes to have the webcam up and running. On Linux, it may take an entire afternoon.

While I agree mostly with your post, this statement isn't exactly true. It is sometimes absolutely impossible to get hardware working under Windows, as vendors often ship "restore" CDs that are an image of Windows bogged down with nasty stuff that create huge stability problems.

This effectively makes a bunch of vendor-island type "distributions" of Windows, not unlike Linux. And some Linux distributions will work with some pieces of hardware better than Windows, and the same is true of the opposite.

Re:Desktop Linux is here! (1)

Lord Laraby (944374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14490484)

As far as Windows being the only ready-for-primetime OS... As far as I'm concerned windows will not be ready for primetime until it has gotten over this need to be reinstalled every 3 months in order to keep all that 'just works' hardware and software from self-destructing itself and the OS.

linux: reboot... seldom, install... once, upgrade... as desired, price... hard to beat
windows: reboot... daily, install... over and over again, upgrade... is absolutely crucial, price... hard to come up with

I won't even mention driver loading and unloading differences on linux vs windows.

Any questions on who's ready-for-primetime?
LL

Re:Desktop Linux is here! (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508387)

Except it's not Microsoft that did it, it's the 3rd parties which is why Microsoft has a successful desktop monopoly.

What kind of "software"? (1)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479331)

Unlike the "canned" software packages, Linux is one of the environments where everything is modular. There is no just plain "webcam software" for Linux that I know of.

On the other hand, there are a lot of components that you can put together to do things with webcams. It depends on what exactly you mean. Do you mean a camera to show your face while you're "chatting" with someone? Or a fixed room-monitor cam that people can get snapshots from off of a website? Or something to stick in a window to do time-lapse movies with? Or are you just looking for drivers? I know I've seen software components that can do each of those things...

Hardware (1, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479342)

Here is my hardware suggestion.

There should be some USB equipment that works. If you look around you should be able to find some. Anything that is compatible with Video 4 Linux (what is the current version? 2?). Look at the kernel drivers in that category and look for hardware that way.

My second suggestion (and possibly better) would be FireWire (if you have it). It's a video source. You should have no problem since FireWire video is well defined. I would be surprised if this didn't work. So besides the FireWire web cams (like the iSight) which may be expensive, if you have a camcorder with FireWire on it, you can use that (or should be able to, I think, may depend on the camcorder).

Last, there is always the video capture card route. A nice camcorder for 10 years ago will probably give you a much better picture than most low or middle range web cams (larger optics, lens, etc).

Now I haven't tried any of these (I don't use Linux regularly, or web cams).

Re:Hardware (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481237)

[sarcasm]
I've noticed how all the manufacturers have clearly labeled their web cams as supporting Video 4 Linux 2 these days. It makes it really easy to just walk into my local CompUSA, Best Buy, MicroCenter, etc. and just pick up a box off the shelf that I know will work with Linux.
[/sarcasm]

I.e. I haven't had that experience. Pretty much as counter to that as the manufacturers can get.

Cluttering up this place somewhere I have some four webcams that for one reason or another just don't quite work. The closest I have come to a 'webcam' that works with any sort of regularity is the Intel Play Microscope. Might help me show how a blood sample in a web conference, if I could ever get the lights to come on for it. (That required re-compiling the driver for the chipset with patches that support the top and bottom light controls, which are pretty much useless for anything else out there. Every time I update anything that decides it has to get a fresher set of drivers for that camera chipset.)

Next up is a webcam that I did pick up for nearly nothing, which failed after about an hour's use.

Having had good luck with the Intell Play microscope, I figured I might have good luck with an Intell USB webcam that someone at work no longer wanted. It works under Windows, but for one reason or another, the driver just won't quite work under Linux. It either doesn't compile, or if I find the binary, won't load, or if it loads, won't talk with the camera.

Likewise for the GE camera I picked up.

Worst so far is the Logitech webcam that the microphone input is recognized by Ubuntu system, but the video is not. Oh, that one works well under Windows too.

My basic experience is that USB webcams love Windows. If I ws comfortable leaving a camcorder plugged into a haupauge tv card, I might go that route, but I think that sort of defeats the intent of a small web cam that 'just works.'

Of course this is my experience. I wish you better experiences.

-Rusty

motion (3, Informative)

ender_the_hegamon (214123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479347)

I use motion http://www.lavrsen.dk/twiki/bin/view/Motion/WebHom e [lavrsen.dk], an application which detects motion within your camera's field of vision and then either takes still images or moving video captures of the scene. Great for paranoid security or annoying your roomate.

Motion + Digital Camera? (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481432)

Motion is great. The package compiles dead easily too, it *might* be too complex for this guy, but he should try it... it's not hard!

I've had a similar question to what this fellow has... I have a video capture card, and it works fine with Motion, but I'm looking for a camera with reasonable night exposure and zoom... from what I can tell, the only stuff out there would be camcorder type equipment. I would strongly prefer a digital camera with USB output rather than relying on my capture card.

I might be a total noob on this, but can you get streaming video out of a digital camera under Linux? Fuji apparently could do it for certain models on Windows. These small digital cameras with optical zoom, greater clarity and higher resolutions than typical camcorders would be exactly what I'm looking for... provided I can leave it on, streaming video to the computer for 24 hours at a time too.

Audio out of those little cameras would be a nice bonus. Most have microphones and movie modes, but their docs are scant on streaming and webcam-like capabilities, especially under Linux.

Re:Motion + Digital Camera? (1)

castlec (546341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14485509)

Night vision can most likely be had by putting an infrared light source near by. Most CCIDs detect infrared just fine. This is how most consumer night-vision systems work; they splash the area with infrared. You can test it out with any remote control :o)

Do-it-yourself-ease (1, Informative)

eyepeepackets (33477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479395)

Get yourself a network-attached webcam (I use a D-link), use wget to go to the camera and get the current jpeg, store it in a directory, use ImageMagick's display program to show the pics.

This is fast, easy to automate with tcl or bash script, and would probably work just fine on a i486 box.

You want a pre-packaged GUI program? Sheesh dude, if you don't see what you like out there in userland, make it yourself and present it as a gift to the world.

Programmin' ain't, like, rocket science, ya know?

Cheers.

Re:Do-it-yourself-ease (0, Offtopic)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479639)

"You want a pre-packaged GUI program? Sheesh dude, if you don't see what you like out there in userland, make it yourself and present it as a gift to the world."

I predict that 2006 is the year of Linux on the desktop!!!!!!

Re:Do-it-yourself-ease (1)

legoburner (702695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14480860)

I use the same cameras (IP cameras are much more useful than USB/PC attached ones), but instead of wget, I use the annoyingly-awkward-to-configure zoneminder [zoneminder.com] which is a web-based (php/mysql) motion-detection program.

I get about 4fps from the dlink cameras (using /video.cgi) and would recommend zoneminder when you have a spare server with lots of memory. Disk space is not so important though as it only saves the frames that contain motion.

It was very nice when I was on holiday recently to be able to check up on home and see that nothing whatsoever happened in my house when I was away. I am running it on my file server - an AMD 3000+ w/ 1GB RAM and the 5 min load average runs about 0.1

What happened at home (2, Funny)

Doc Ri (900300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481869)

It was very nice when I was on holiday recently to be able to check up on home and see that nothing whatsoever happened in my house when I was away.

If that server of yours is also located in the house, I would not be so sure about that...

Re:What happened at home (2, Informative)

legoburner (702695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482747)

Which is why I have 60 second rsyncs with a server in my parents house as well as the server in my own house. The server room is locked when I am away so someone would have to sever the (underground) communications lines coming into my house before breaking in, then they would need to break down the door/lock to the server room, then destroy/take the 9 hard drives in the correct machine. If I was more paranoid than I am I could rig it up to use my neighbour's wireless Internet connection as a backup connection for the rsync. Servers are UPSed but the cameras are not, so cutting the (underground) power would get the same results (unless I stuck batteries on the cameras too). Should be enough to catch a common criminal in the act and give me enough time through the alerts system to call the police or my neighbours.

Re:Do-it-yourself-ease (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492281)

Programmin' ain't, like, rocket science, ya know?

It is if you're writing rocket control software...

linux link tech show (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14479411)

webcams on linux were just mentioned on the linux link tech show podcast, so you may want to check that out. i think they were using an isight.

Axis (4, Informative)

linuxwrangler (582055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479441)

I'm interested in setting up a Linux based webcam

Step 1: Buy an Axis [axis.com].

Step 2: There is no step 2.

The Axis is what you asked for. It is pre-packaged, embedded-linux-based, open (you can edit the scripts on the device if you want) and very easy to set-up and configure (sometimes as easy as plug in camera, access camera from browser).

Except ... (4, Informative)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479522)

The 210/211 are as nice as they come, except you can't set up the motion detection unless you use Internet Exploder. It flatly refuses to work with Firefox.

An amazing sucky for such a nice camera which runs Linux internally. I tried to get answers from Axis about why and what workaround existed, such as tell me the format of the motion detection files and how to upload them, I would edit manually if I could, but their response was vague and did not answer the question.

The old 2100 has an ftp option, so I had my own motion detection software which simply downloaded pictures and did its own analysis. There is no ftp option with the 210/211.

Re:Axis - not the only player in cyberspace (3, Informative)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479836)

Only one of about 20 decent choices out there :-) and almost all have some form of web services embedded in their OS. For a decent list of manufactures check out this list of supported hardware [milestonesys.com] over at Milestone. FYI we sell it and the hardware but the list covers many of the top players. Also there is IndigoVision, VCS/Bosch and Smart Sight for those trips in to analog to digital to analog transmition.

Camsource (5, Informative)

Leknor (224175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479582)

Camsource: http://camsource.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] has met my needs in the past. It's rather flexible and should work with any Video4Linux cam. (I had a USB webcam) It supports making the cam images available in a variety of formats and can do archiving, motion detection, ftp uploading, multipart streaming and probably more.

Ekiga (4, Informative)

iamstan (110049) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479877)

Ekiga, formerly known as gnomemeeting, is a full SIP Phone as well as a videoconferencing application. It works with usb webcams as well as firewire attached digital camcorders.

I've had good luck using this https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Webcam [ubuntu.com] utility to install the latest drivers for many consumer webcams.

IM clients that do video Chat include aMSN and kopete.

camE (1)

james b (31361) | more than 8 years ago | (#14479993)

My vote goes for camE [linuxbrit.co.uk] - command line only, but it comes with some pre-canned config files that make it easy to set up. It can do timestamps, pretty antialiased/alpha-blended text, keep an archived copy of each image - and it talks scp as well as ftp for somewhat more secure uploading.

For hardware, I've had good luck with the Philips/pwc cameras (there was a time when they were only supported by a binary module, but the free replacement now works well enough for webcam use).

depends how things are setup (2, Informative)

blackcoot (124938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14480013)

webcams under linux break into roughly two camps: firewire (aka DCAM or IIDC) cameras and anything that can be handled by V4L or V4L2. which software you use depends very much on what camera you have (sucks, but that's how it is).

if you have an iidc camera (a la apple's isight, an orange micro ibot, etc.) then you really should be using coriander which can be compiled with support for ftp upload of the images. you can also use coriander to set things up for using ffmpeg (see below).

otherwise, i'd suggest looking into using ffserver and ffmpeg. when compiled correctly, it can handle both dv, iddc/dcam, and v4l cameras. i've had rather good results with them, and they're a lot cheaper (i.e. free) than an axis box.

if neither of these works for you, i wish you the best of luck -- you're probably going to need it.

Ubuntu and Camorama (3, Informative)

delirium_9 (26055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14480059)

I have a Logitech USB webcam, and in Ubuntu it just works (it worked fine in Gentoo too but I had to do a lot of searching to find the kernel driver for it). Software wise there's a program called Camorama which will automatically take a picture at user-defined intervals and will either save it to your hard drive or upload it to a server. It also gives you the option of having "cool" camera effects as well. And the whole thing could be done by a novice (no command line, easy to understand dialogs).

camserv (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14480235)

try camserv
http://cserv.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:camserv (1)

prescor (204357) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481547)

I second that. It's been a year or two since I used it, but it's been around for a LONG time and was the ONLY package I ever found for linux that allowed LIVE STREAMING instead of .jpg snapshots every X seconds.

Re:camserv (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14484850)

I third that. Perhaps the fact that it's nearly 4 years old and hasn't been updated in 3 is a testament to its usefulness. It does the job, no more no less. The streaming doesn't work in IE without a Javascript kludge, but hey, that's IE! FF & Opera work fine. 15fps on the web page is realistic if you have the bandwidth. Used this on several different RedHat-based machines, the real problem is sorting the driver for the cam. But if you have a Philips or Logitech-type cam, go here [saillard.org]. Issues surrounding proprietary code in the kernel are now resolved...

So in answer to the original post, yes it's a piece of piss...

Re:camserv (1)

ttsalo (126195) | more than 8 years ago | (#14504183)

Seems to work fine. Motion is as easy to install and use, though, and comes with much more surveillance features.

Unfortunately both seem to only support mjpeg/multipart-jpeg streaming. Anyone know a package that allows streaming of mpeg4 or some other advanced video codec?

motion or palantir (1)

BestNicksRTaken (582194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14480364)

google for them.

motion is motion-tracking software, can create stills or video streams and even has a weird webserver kinda-thing. pretty hard to setup the way you want it.

palantir is a streaming image server (mjpeg?), doesn't work too well for msie (only stills or java applet thing) but is fine for firefox. can also control tiltable webcams.

other than that, get an axis network camera, built in webserver and dhcp client, just plug it into your switch.

no subject (1)

clydemaxwell (935315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481225)

If you were running debian I'd simply say -- apt-get install gqcam I installed my first usb webcam on linux (an intel, sigh) yesterday with no effort via this method.

for Ubuntu (1)

sameeer (946332) | more than 8 years ago | (#14484219)

I recently got my webcam set up on ubuntu, without using v4l.. it might work for other distros.. found a much easier method at a place you should've looked too (like google).. Howto [ubuntu.com]

Spook (1)

OctaneZ (73357) | more than 8 years ago | (#14485992)

Spook is a linux Video Streamer [litech.org] applicaiton. He goes in to and the in's and out's of the applicaiton, there is an active though quiet lately [litech.org]Mailing list that may answer many questions [litech.org]. The developer is also responsive to email when he he isn't compltetely swamped with other deadlines.
There is also a Fredhmeat page [freshmeat.net] about the project.

Re:Spook (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14488238)

one of spooks nice features is the multipart jpegs it can send over http. insta-clients everywhere [the browser supports it]. i use it with a couple of el cheapo cams and i couldnt be happier.

Jesus H christ. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14488734)

camorama (for gnome) works fine.

you all are fucking failed trolls.

Here's one i use (1)

brokebloke (890528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14489025)

http://webcamserver.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] webcam_server is a program that allows others to view your webcam from a web browser. The program itself is a server that provides a live feed of images to clients using a Java applet embedded in a web page. webcam_server uses the video4linux interface.

motion with wintv (1)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14489967)

I use motion with WinTV cards. WinTV cards are very nicely supported by windows and linux. I use cheap composite cameras from Sams Club ($40 for 640x480 color with infrared night vision, also comes with cabling) and they seem to work fine. For the price of a comparable USB "webcam", a $40 Wintv card and a $40 camera isn't too bad of a price. With motion, I have built-in motion detection that saves jpgs when it detects motion. I also have it encode xvid through ffmpeg. It's pretty easy to set up and just runs.

I highly recommend it.

ZoneMinder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14490122)

http://www.zoneminder.com/ [zoneminder.com]

ZoneMinder is pretty good. It is organised as a home security type setup, but you have options to have a streaming window open. There are seperate parts that control the streming, motion detection, so you could probably use those.

Here's why Linux tends to be difficult (1)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14493525)

Go to this site and take a look [mxhaard.free.fr]. If you're a nerd for Linux, no problem. You grok this and get it done.

If not, well... imagine having to force Windows XP users who have never been without a GUI to compile XP programs and drivers and patches at the DOS command prompt. Nightmare. If you don't think so, you obviously never worked desktop support in a corporation or for home users. The majority may be whizzes at day trading, welding, cooking, whatever they do for a job, but they largely suck flat out at figuring this stuff out.

I have to reinstall my cam drivers every time I upgrade my kernel. I can do this. Worth it to experiment. But that is all it really is right now. Until the major vendors start porting webcam related features to their Linux releases, it is for nothing as far as adoption by less 7337 people is concerned. Yahoo IM would be a good start.

No, open source projects would not be better. Most of these have next to no adoption among those welders, cooks, day traders, etc. who are likely to be OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Do you not want to ever speak with them on webcam? Fine. Use Linux and Open Source while they use Windows and we'll remain two separate camps. The more day to day applications we have in common, the less the difference, the easier to adopt more and more *nix style things and the less tied they will be to Windows.
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