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Old 07-19-2003, 04:30 AM   #1
Registered: May 2003
Location: Canberra, Australia
Distribution: openSUSE 11.3
Posts: 445

Rep: Reputation: 31
Getting Samsung Digimax V4 digital camera connected

I've just got my Samsung Digimax V4 digital camera working with Mandrake 9.1. The method I used would probably work with other distributions (kernel 2.4.21 perhaps?) and with other camers that used DCF (digital camera format). I couldn't find my camera mentioned specifically, but I found that it worked with the instructions meant for other cameras and compact flash readers. I assembled this info from a number of sources, LQ included.

Firstly, digital cameras (and compact flash readers, I gather) with USB connection are treated as a scsi device. If you're like the majority of PC users whose hard disks and CD/DVD-ROM devices are connected to the motherboard's IDE buss - and therefore do not have True scsi devices - then your camera will probably show up as /dev/sda1. To access it, create a directory for it somewhere, such as /mnt/camera. Then, as root, use the command:

mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/camera

You will then be able to access the photos just as you would from any disk device, using the /mnt/camera directory. So far, this will only work if you are logged in as root. To use /mnt/camera as yourself, you need to right-click the /mnt/camera directory in Konqueror, select Properties and put a checkmark in all the 'rwx' boxes in the Permissions tab (or use the command - chmod 777 /mnt/camera - as root).

But I wanted all this to be available automatically after booting my computer, and I found a couple of ways of doing this. The first has the line:

/dev/sda1 /mnt/camera auto user,kudzu,noauto,umask=0,exec 0 0

added as the last line of the /etc/fstab file. After starting the computer, you need to open a console and use the command:

mount /mnt/camera

You will then be able to access the photos under that directory. Before disconnecting the camera, it's important to unmount the camera device first, or you risk filesystem corruption. This is done with the command:

umount /mnt/camera

Note that this command is umount, not unmount. If you're using Konqueror, you need to select a different directory before issuing that command. I found that sometimes I still got a 'device busy' error message in the console, so had to close down Konqueror before the command would work.

This was fine so far, but I wanted more automation, similar to how my CD/DVD-ROM drives are automatically available using 'supermount'. Thus I came across the second method for making changes to /etc/fstab. Instead of the previous method, use the line:

/mnt/camera /mnt/camera supermount dev=/dev/sda1,fs=vfat,--,user,umask=0 0 0

This made the camera available to me as the user straight after being plugged in. To disconnect, just display a different directory in Konqueror beforehand; I had no problems with corrupted filesystems while using this method. The only noticeable difference with using 'supermount' is that the list of files takes a few seconds to display in Konqueror's window, whereas the list shows almost instantaneously using the manual mount method. I still choose to use the supermount method, because it takes me more than a few seconds to open a console, issue the mount command, and do the same for unmounting when I'm finished with the camera.

Now to the camera itself, where I found a few quirks which are worthy of mention. On my camera, the photos are stored in a directory 'dcim/100sscam/'. This seems to be common amongst other cameras using DCF, although the second part of the directory name can vary. From Konqueror, I could re-name files in the camera so they meant something more than 'sv4000032.jpg', but they were then not visible to the camera when using its preview function. They did not become viewable again if I re-named them back to their previous 'sv4000032.jpg' name. I could also transfer other photos to the camera, but the camera also couldn't display them. I confirmed that these 'errant' files were transferrable to other computers - ie, they existed in a valid form - but the camera didn't want to know about them. Still, these quirks are no great hassle, because most of the time I will just need to transfer the photos one way - from camera to the computer - which doesn't involve these little quirks. I also tried re-naming one of the files in a similar way on my wife's Windows computer using the Windows software that came with the camera, but when I tried to view the photos after that, all I got was a 'CARD ERROR' in the camera's screen. The way to fix this was to FORMAT the memory card (!) and so all the other photos were lost. Luckily I had only taken some quick 'test' photos up to then. Since Linux doesn't produce this sort of error, guess which OS won't be trusted with my photos in future?

Anyway, that's the sum total of my experience getting my camera to work so far; I hope it proves helpful in getting someone else's camera working under Linux.

<Edit> Changed 'IMAGE ERROR' to 'CARD ERROR' (the correct message)

Last edited by geoff_f; 07-19-2003 at 11:23 PM.
Old 07-19-2003, 07:16 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 5,700

Rep: Reputation: 57
Sounds like a success story to me...


Old 07-20-2003, 02:32 AM   #3
Registered: May 2003
Location: Canberra, Australia
Distribution: openSUSE 11.3
Posts: 445

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 31
I need to update the above info because I found I had problems with the supermount method after taking more photos: the added files would not show in Konqueror. I had to re-boot the computer to make them visible. After a bit of searching, I now realise that the supermount entry I quoted above came from an older version of Mandrake. The supermount readme from carries the following comment about the supermount entry in /etc/fstab:
You mount a supermount filesystem with
the normal mount command, using the syntax

mount -t supermount -o <superfs-options>,--,<subfs-options> none <mpt>

or by adding correpsonding line to /etc/fstab

none <mpt> supermount <superfs-options>,--,<subfs-options> 0 0


<superfs-options> are the options you want to pass to supermount
itself. These are described below.

<subfs-options> are the options you want supermount to pass to the
dismountable filesystem underneath.

<mpt> is the mount point where you want your removable media to be

WARNING: in the above description `none' is literal word. While device
is ignored by supermount itself, using real files in this place (real
device name or mount point directory name) is known to cause problems.

Some programs - fuser is one of them - will try to descend into filesystem
if dev can be statted, thus making supermount to attempt to access media.
This is annoying at best - in the worst case it can take very long time
during startup or shutdown.
This heavily suggested using 'none' in the first part of the entry instead of listing the device directly. I therefore changed the /etc/fstab line from:

/mnt/camera /mnt/camera supermount dev=/dev/sda1,fs=vfat,--,user,umask=0 0 0


none /mnt/camera supermount dev=/dev/sda1,fs=vfat,--,user,umask=0 0 0

which is also consistent with existing entries in my /etc/fstab file put there by the Mandrake installer. That change made supermount behave properly - added photos were listed correctly in Konqueror upon re-connecting the camera. Also, the delay in listing the camera files does not occur after making this change: the files now list more quickly.

<Edit> added final sentence.

Last edited by geoff_f; 07-20-2003 at 02:35 AM.
Old 11-09-2003, 07:04 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2002
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Distribution: Red Hat 8.0 (Home), Red Hat 8.0 (Work)
Posts: 388

Rep: Reputation: 30
[edited and removed as its part of a double post.]

Last edited by trickykid; 11-09-2003 at 10:17 AM.


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