Logitech Webcam Forced Me Back to Windows

I run Linux (specifically, the Ubuntu distribution) on my laptop. For pretty much everything I want to do on my laptop it’s fantastic. Sadly, it comes up short when I want to use my USB webcam.

I don’t use the camera attached to the laptop. I instead use a webcam that’s actually useful for more than chats — especially if you want some über-close-ups — a Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000. Unfortunately, despite an insane number of web searches, software installs, and extended periods in the terminal, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to get my webcam to work as it should in this day and age is to hop over to the Windows side that’s still installed on my laptop for just such a situation (multi-boot gets a thumbs-up for this).

The Pro 9000 has nifty software for the Windows OS. From the control panel you can get standard and widescreen formats, the ability to tweak your settings, and (most importantly) no balking at capturing at non-blurred fps rate. No fuss, no muss. The Linux side of the equation has been disappointing. While the UVC-compliant drivers work OK with the Pro 9000, they only work OK. Logitech doesn’t have any Linux software for this webcam, and the available solutions only get almost-close-enough — mostly failing with the fps thing at useful resolutions as they lack the tweaks Logitech does for Windows. That many of these programs bomb out during use or setup is not uncommon. All-in-all, a disappointing result for Linux with my webcam.

I imagine that there may be some webcams that work wonderfully with Linux — I don’t happen to have one with me[1]. It’s a good possibility that my laptop under Linux just isn’t powerful enough–it only runs on a mediocre duo-core CPU. Even so, on the Windows side I don’t have these headaches. I “less-than-three” Linux, but here (as with the lack of Photoshop — sorry, GIMP) I find have have little choice but to dance over to the “dark side” to get my work done.

[1] Linux UVC driver and tools has a list of webcams and it shows that my model may have some issues that others do not.

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