Logitech Orbit Webcam on Kubuntu Hardy…

I have a Logitech Orbit AF USB webcam, with Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) controls.  I got it to work on an earlier kernel, on a different computer, by compiling in a custom module, and loading some other modules, and doing some things I never bothered to document.  So, I completely forgot how to make it work on my main computer.

Two things have changed:

  1. The newest kernels ( and higher, certainly) definitely have the drivers needed for this camera.
  2. I am writing it down this time.

I went through a couple days (off and on) of pain for this one.  No matter what, I could not get modules to load or drivers to compile.  I do not remember the details – they are irrelevant anyway.  What I did notice is that on Hardy Heron (Ubuntu 8.04), I did not have a “/dev/video” entry of any sort.  Making one did not help.  To test the camera, I installed “cheese”.  Just running “cheese” without configuring it was sufficient to test.

I tried rolling a new 2.6.29 kernel, but kept getting weird compiler seg faults.  I did not dig into this, and have no answers for anyone suffering from the same issues.  Instead, I went back to my current kernel source,, and ran “make menuconfig”.

In the “Device Drivers” section, under “Multimedia Devices”, I enabled “Video for Linux” (V4L), including support for API 1.  Next, under “Video Capture Adapters”, I enabled the “Autoselect..” option and checked all the modules.  I also enabled the last item, “V4L USB Devices”.  Under this menu, I enabled support for “USB Video Class (UVC)” and UVC events and selected all the modules.  Lastly, I enabled support for “GSPCA Webcams” and selected all the GSPCA modules, for good measure.

I compiled and installed the kernel (ignoring the warnings about building over an existing kernel), shut down entirely (cold boot), powered back up with the webcam plugged in, and logged in as usual.

I checked for “/dev/video” and discovered an entry.  This is a good sign.  Next, I fired up “cheese” and after a small delay, my webcam video was displayed.


I also tested with Skype and Kopete.  Works in both cases.

I do not have PTZ control, although I did get that working on the last computer.  I do not really need it here though, so I will not pursue it unless I get really really bored.

Sorry this is not a more involved solution, requiring all kinds of strange software contortions.  As it turns out, all I had to do was use a current kernel and enable the proper modules – Ubuntu did everything else. I suspect the UVC support did the trick, since I had most everything else already checked, but I went ahead and wrote this as if I had started from scratch to capture all the details.

This stuff is getting too easy…