Webcamd Now Has Many Man Pages

Webcamd is a port of the Video4Linux USB webcam and DVB drivers into userspace. It’s been available as a FreeBSD port since January and comes installed with PC-BSD. When Hans Petter Selasky ported these drivers he knew there “were a lot of them, probably many hundreds”. However, it was hard to quantify exactly how many existed and exactly what hardware was supported as this information is scattered throughout thousands of src files and dozens of websites and wiki pages (possibly containing incomplete or outdated information).

It took a while to research what hardware is (in theory) supported by the various drivers; in doing so, I ended up with a spreadsheet that currently contains 1396 entries. That information was used to create 46 man pages (45 driver man pages and 1 for webcamd itself) which have now been added to the port. If you already have webcamd installed and are comfortable updating FreeBSD ports, you can upgrade to the latest version of webcamd. If you’re using PC-BSD, you can wait for next month’s 8.2 release as the latest version of webcamd will be installed with it. Or, if you’re impatient and want to check out the man pages now, you can uninstall the current version and install the new version as the superuser:

pkg_delete -x webcamd && pkg_add -rf webcamd

Once you have the latest version of webcamd, try these commands to see which man pages interest you:

makewhatis /usr/local/man
apropos webcamd | more

The driver man pages contain the VendorID:ProductIDs of previously documented known devices. To determine the ID of a device, use one of the following commands on either a FreeBSD or PC-BSD system:

usbconfig dump_all_config_desc | grep vendor (if the device is an inserted USB device)

Here is an example for when I insert a USB camera:

usbconfig dump_all_config_desc | grep vendor
ugen3.3: product 0x0991 vendor 0x046d at usbus3, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=ON

I could then quickly check to see if that ID is known to be supported from the webcamd man pages:

cd /usr/local/man/man4/
gzcat * | grep “046d:0991”

Since I just get my prompt back, support for this particular device isn’t currently documented, so I’ll check just the VendorID:

gzcat * | grep “046d”

This will provide an ordered list of all known to be working Logitech products. From the list, the last documented ID is 046d:08dd.

I know that the information from existing resources is out-of-date. You can help to improve the man pages by letting us know the VendorID:ProductID of any cameras that work for you and which currently aren’t listed in the man pages. Also, if you come across an ID that is supposed to work but does not, please send us the details so we can update that information in the man pages.

For now, leave a comment or send me an email with the information about the device. If it turns out to be useful to do so, we’ll throw up a wiki page where needed changes can be posted and addressed.

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Written by dru. Posted in hardware, testers, Uncategorized

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Comments (14)

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dru Lavigne, PC-BSD. PC-BSD said: Webcamd Now Has Many Man Pages: […]

  • tigersharke
    December 14, 2010 at 11:38 am |

    Wow! Congratulations on completion of such a large project.. way cool!

    • December 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm |


  • Richard
    December 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm |

    That’s a lot of valuable work. Inspiring. Cornerstone is you. Appreciation!

  • mato
    December 17, 2010 at 1:31 am |

    this is awesome. i’m glad things are finally moving and into right direction. for some of my friends usb cameras not working under pc-bsd was about the last reason to boot in to windows (occasionally, for skype sessions). many thanks to you and hans and everyone else involved.

    now if freebsd / pc-bsd could resolve wi-fi driver issues and have stable save-to-ram and save-to-disk functionality as it would make it viable platform for mobile devices. perhaps a sponsorship via foundation could be the way to achieve those.

  • kamal
    December 30, 2010 at 1:13 am |

    i want to know if the skystar2 is supported on pc-bsd or not i think this is a question that lots of people have

    • January 3, 2011 at 6:13 am |

      Please post the ID for your device.

      • Marc
        February 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

        technisat skystar hd ist showing with apropos webcamd | more but not with gzcat * | grep
        ugen4.2: at usbus4, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=ON

        pwcview -s vga
        Failed to access webcam: No such file or directory
        Make sure you have connected your webcam to the root hub
        or to a USB 1.1 hub, also check your dmesg for any errors.

      • Marc
        February 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm |

        thanks dru for all the documentation! knowing the blog is little outdated but have another sweety for you (without vendor)
        ugen4.2: at usbus4, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=ON

  • Vadim Volkov
    January 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm |

    Hi ! I have the FaceVsion HD cam ugen4.4: . Would be great to add this one

    • January 17, 2011 at 5:49 am |

      What is the Vendor ID:Product ID for this device? Does it work?

  • Vadim Volkov
    January 17, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  • Vadim Volkov
    January 17, 2011 at 7:39 am |

    product 0x0103 vendor 0x0408

  • silicium
    May 5, 2013 at 10:43 am |

    Hi ! Logitech Quickcam Pro 4000 works:
    pwcview -s vga -f 15 (and smaller supported resolutions/framerates)

    and VLC with audio

    vlc v4l2:///dev/video0:width=640:height=480 :input-slave=oss:///dev/dsp1.0

    ugen1.3: at usbus1, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=FULL (12Mbps) pwr=ON

    short dmesg info
    PCBSD (FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE-p3) on old i386 hardware:
    Motherboard: Asus P4P800-E Deluxe, 3GB
    CPU: Pentium-M 2.0GHz
    AGP: GeForce 6200

    cat /dev/sndstat
    FreeBSD Audio Driver (newpcm: 32bit 2009061500/i386)
    Installed devices:
    pcm0: (play/rec) default
    pcm1: (rec)

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