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Old 02-21-2005, 12:50 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 11

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iSight under Linux using Fedora Core 3

I'm tearing my hair out trying to my iSight camera working on my linux box (FC3)

I'm pretty sure it's possible based on some internet searches, but as others have posted here there does not seem to be any explanation anywhere of the steps needed to make it happen.

So I thought I'd post here the steps I took (in vain) to get the isight working, and hopefully someone can come up with some additional suggestions.

Some notes on my system:
1.) It's not a clean install of FC3 - the box started as a RH9 box, then was upgraded to FC2, then FC3. There numerous tweaks that I made along the way, and it is possible that one these tweaks is preventing the isight from working properly.
2.) I have an external firewire hard drive that is working with no problems. It didn't work in FC2, because FC2 lacked firewire support without a patch. So a note to FC2 users trying to install an isight - Google around a bit first to make sure you've got firewire itself working.

So here is what I did:

First, installed all of firewire and video drivers that I think are necessary, again based on some Google research

modprobe raw1394
modprobe video1394
modprobe dv1394
So no here are the results of lsmod:

Module                  Size  Used by
video1394              18317  0 
dv1394                 23949  0 
raw1394                35885  0 
smbfs                  60729  2 
md5                     4033  1 
ipv6                  231681  18 
parport_pc             26629  1 
lp                     12077  0 
parport                37001  2 parport_pc,lp
autofs4                23493  0 
sunrpc                156325  1 
dm_mod                 55637  0 
video                  15813  0 
button                  6609  0 
battery                 9285  0 
ac                      4805  0 
ohci_hcd               23765  0 
ehci_hcd               35273  0 
i2c_sis96x              5317  0 
i2c_core               20801  1 i2c_sis96x
snd_intel8x0           33249  0 
snd_ac97_codec         67489  1 snd_intel8x0
snd_pcm_oss            47989  0 
snd_mixer_oss          17089  1 snd_pcm_oss
snd_pcm                93001  3 snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss
snd_timer              29125  1 snd_pcm
snd                    52645  6 snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_timer
soundcore              10017  1 snd
snd_page_alloc          9541  2 snd_intel8x0,snd_pcm
8139too                26433  0 
mii                     4673  1 8139too
floppy                 57841  0 
ext3                  116297  3 
jbd                    69977  1 ext3
sbp2                   23113  1 
ohci1394               34777  2 video1394,dv1394
ieee1394              300313  5 video1394,dv1394,raw1394,sbp2,ohci1394
sd_mod                 17217  2 
scsi_mod              121793  2 sbp2,sd_mod
So then I plug in the isight. Here is what I get in dmesg:

ieee1394: Reconnected to SBP-2 device
ieee1394: Node 0-00:1023: Max speed [S400] - Max payload [2048]
ieee1394: Node changed: 0-01:1023 -> 0-02:1023
ieee1394: Reconnected to SBP-2 device
ieee1394: Node 0-00:1023: Max speed [S400] - Max payload [2048]
ieee1394: Node resumed: ID:BUS[0-01:1023]  GUID[000a270004086bdb]
ieee1394: unsolicited response packet received - no tlabel match
ieee1394: Reconnected to SBP-2 device
ieee1394: Node 0-00:1023: Max speed [S400] - Max payload [2048]
No devices were automatically created in /dev. So I tried to create them myself:

mkdir /dev/video1394
chmod ugo+rw /dev/video1394
mknod /dev/video1394/0 c 171 16
mknod /dev/video1394/1 c 171 17
mknod /dev/video1394/2 c 171 18
mknod /dev/video1394/3 c 171 19
mknod /dev/raw1394 c 171 0
mknod /dev/dv1394 c 171 32
chmod ugo+rw /dev/video1394/?
chmod ugo+rw /dev/raw1394
chmod ugo+rw /dev/dv1394
chmod ugo+x /dev/video1394
If I get this working, I'll need a script to create these devics on startup, since FC3 uses udev

So now I try to grab some camera output using dvgrab and I get:

Error: no camera exists
Kino reports that the camera is not AC/V compliant or not switched on. (It's using /dev/raw1394)

That's where I am so far - any suggestions for changing/adding next steps would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by cleaner416; 02-21-2005 at 02:42 PM.
Old 02-22-2005, 08:34 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 11

Original Poster
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I finally got the camera working. I installed Coriander to do so - you will need Gnome and a bunch of other dependencies, but once you get Coriander installed, you will be able to see the iSight. When I compiled Coriander I edited the configure file so that it would not chekc for the SDL library, it would just include it. The SDL library was installed on my box - but configure didn't recognize it.

Now I am trying to get vloopback to work - this in theory, along with the Coriander V4L feature, will allow the isight to show up as a /dev/videoX device.
Old 04-15-2005, 08:44 PM   #3
Registered: Jun 2004
Posts: 40

Rep: Reputation: 15
I'm running a mostly RH9 system upgraded here and there to make (or 2.6.10) run.
V4L shouldn't be needed anymore with coriander (gscanbus is also a useful utility), you just
have to specify video1394 not raw1394 . My libs and coriander are likely 3-4 months old.
I also use ffmpeg that can (as of back 6 months or so?) grab 1394video directly without
the need for v4l.

What is still missing as far as I know (and that I'd really like) is a microphone driver (ALSA?)
that will pull the sound out of the dual mics (do the directional processing etc).

My biggest problems with the iSight is that it seems very sensitive to cable noise (where
the cable runs, what type it is etc) which can cause the device to not be seen or to work
pretty well (even when working well I get a smattering of kernel errors about missing tlables
and yadda yadda).


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