Linux Step By Steps
  Webcam: General

OV511 here

Webcams are a special class of usb device in that most, if not all, use the VIDEO FOR LINUX driver (v4l) and as such have a /dev address of /dev/video0


The *bestest* application you can currently use for these webcams is xawtv. It is simple, easy, and works. If it isn't installed, you can get the rpm from, or, alternatively get the source from sourceforge


The worstest application you can get is SANE. Unfortunately, it's the only one. There is a klunky, poorly performing v4l library in SANE, that sort of works. The documentation for SANE is attrocious, the applications as written mostly don't work and are incompatible with each other, and the config files as suggested (and environment variables) are wrong. However, ymmv. It would appear that the usb developers agree with my opinion. It would appear that development-in-progress is occuring for usb scanning devices, of which video style and photo style cameras is at top of list. Expect flat bed usb scanners to foilow real soon now.

Kernel Modules:

IN GENERAL two modules are required to get any webcam working (in addition of course to the various usb core modules such as usb-uhci).

1) videodev
2) the_driver

IN GENERAL simply issuing

modprobe the_driver

will cause all other modules, including videodev, including usb-uhci, to load.

It is, as simple as that.


Two classes of driver currently (andalways will) exist.

Drivers in the kernel
Drivers under development

The difference between them is that kernel drivers are accounted for in the hotplug tree. This is to say, generally, simply pluggin the device in, causes all necessary modules to load for that device. Wheras, for the others, you have to use good old modprobe,

Kernel driver OV511

Development driver Logitech