A bit of Linux for a change


Well today post isn’t about programming. It’s about a problem i faced, and as i searched online, some other folks too. I’m here to talk about Linux and webcams!
Wait, what? Yeah that’s right, it may look like a silly topic, but that i hope will help some brave Linux users out there.

I use Linux, specially Ubuntu for quite sometime now. I think the first started using Ubuntu 7.04, up until Ubuntu 10.04, the last one to use Gnome 2. Then i switched back again with 12.04.
But i don’t wanna start a flame war, so let’s dive directly into the topic.

I never had problems with webcams on Linux. They just work out-of-the-box.
The thing is, there are no native utilities in the operational system to change webcam settings.

That’s where this handy program fits in: guvcview
Speaking of Ubuntu 14.04 and Linux Mint 17.1, the one i currently use, it comes pre-installed with the system. If not, it’s a matter of a simple command to install it on Debian based distros:

sudo apt-get install guvcview

But not everyone knows about it. It’s a simple tool to calibrate the webcam, test it, take screenshots and capture video. Here’s a few screenshots of it:

Image Controls

Image Controls

Video Controls

Video Controls

Audio Controls

Audio Controls

To launch the program, you can run the command:

guvcview

Or you can use the programs menu to search for it like this:

Cinnamon menu

Cinnamon menu

So i hope this will help other people. Oh and i never said what was the problem i was facing.
When i turned the webcam on, it was bright and ok, but soon after it would fade the brightness, to a point i could barely see my face. It should be on automatic brightness setting by the driver default.

And with this nice little utility, i could setup just the way i needed.
Also it allows you to save several settings profiles, and it sticks between reboots.

See you all next Friday!

EDIT:
Just wanted to mention that this week i bought a Logitech C270 Webcam and it works flawless on Linux Mint 17.1. So it should also work great with Ubuntu 14.04.

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Web Engineer at 10up

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Posted in Linux

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