Linux webcam driver r5u870 for HP Pavilion and Sony Vaio

skype ubuntu

The new Skype version, 2.0 beta for linux, added support for video.

Unfortunately, the only peripheral not recognized by Ubuntu Gutsy on my notebook HP dv6299ea (dv6000 series) is the integrated webcam.

Luckily some driver exists in source form, but installation is easy.

First thing to do is to see if our webcam is one of those supported by driver is to type the lsusb command, taking note of the ID device:

lsusb

Supported devices up to version 0.10.0 are these, and they need a kernel 2.6.17 or later (Ubuntu Gutsy’s one is 2.6.22).

05ca:1810 HP Pavilion Webcam – UVC
05ca:1830 Sony Visual Communication Camera VGP-VCC2 (VAIO SZ)
05ca:1832 Sony Visual Communication Camera VGP-VCC3 (VAIO UX)
05ca:1833 Sony Visual Communication Camera VGP-VCC2 (VAIO AR1)
05ca:1834 Sony Visual Communication Camera VGP-VCC2 (VAIO AR2)
05ca:1835 Sony Visual Communication Camera VGP-VCC5 (VAIO SZ)
05ca:1836 Sony Visual Communication Camera VGP-VCC4 (VAIO FE)
05ca:1870 HP Pavilion Webcam / HP Webcam 1000

If the webcam ID is one of the above, then the device is supported🙂

If it isn’t, try to have a look here, maybe another driver exists.

Next step to do is to install all the necessary things for compilation, and for do that we need to install the metapackage build-essential and the kernel sources:

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-source libglib2.0-dev

Download then sources from here, unpack them in a directory, enter in it and type this command sequence:

make

sudo make install

Driver will be then compiled and installed, and automatically loaded at each boot. If we want to test them without rebooting just type:

sudo modprobe r5u870

Just did it.

Here it is an image from my perfectly running webcam:

webcam

The only side note is that the driver must be recompiled each kernel update, until the driver aren’t ufficial, but we can live with it for now.

Happy videochatting!

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