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is scattered throughout thousands of src files and dozens of websites and wiki pages (possibly containing incomplete or outdated information).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:
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:
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I know that the information from existing resources is out-of-date.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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