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Thread: HOWTO: Fix iSight in Hardy

  1. #1
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    HOWTO: Fix iSight in Hardy

    Unfortunately despite all the great improvements we've seen in Hardy, the iSights on our Apple Intel Macs got left a little out in the cold. First we're having problems getting the firmware to load, then after fixing that the stock uvcvideo.ko doesn't create a valid video chain which causes the camera not to work at all.

    Below are the instructions to get your iSight up and running.

    First, if you haven't already done it go ahead and add the Mactel PPA to your /etc/apt/sources.list. This is a good repo to find Mactel-specific fixes and features, including where we'll find the tools to fix our iSights.

    Code:
    # Mactel PPA
    deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/mactel-support/ubuntu hardy main
    deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/mactel-support/ubuntu hardy main
    Next open a terminal and do:
    Code:
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install isight-firmware-tools
    Go ahead and put the iSight firmware (AppleUSBVideoSupport) in /lib/firmware

    Now we're going to use one of the utilities we just installed to extract the iSight firmware so it can be properly loaded:
    Code:
    $ sudo ift-extract -a /lib/firmware/AppleUSBVideoSupport
    We're now done messing with the iSight firmware portion of the fix. Now test to see if your iSight works by doing:
    Code:
    $ sudo modprobe -r uvcvideo
    $ sudo modprobe uvcvideo
    If your camera works (test with Cheese or Ekiga) then you're done. Otherwise you might try compiling a new uvcvideo as detailed below:

    Code:
    $ sudo modprobe -r uvcvideo
    $ sudo mv /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/ubuntu/media/usbvideo/uvcvideo.ko /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/ubuntu/media/usbvideo/uvcvideo.ko.orig
    $ sudo apt-get install libusb-0.1-4 libusb-dev linux-headers-$(uname -r) subversion
    $ svn co --revision 205 svn://svn.berlios.de/linux-uvc/linux-uvc/trunk uvcvideo-r205
    $ cd uvcvideo-r205
    $ make
    $ sudo make install
    $ sudo depmod -ae
    $ sudo modprobe uvcvideo
    If it worked then Cheese should autostart after that last command. If it doesn't then try starting Cheese by hand. If the camera still doesn't work go ahead and try rebooting. It is also possible that halting your machine (power off completely) then starting it up again instead of a simple reboot will fix the problem.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by benanzo; April 26th, 2008 at 03:42 AM.
    "This would make more difference if it made any difference at all; but it doesn't make any difference at all, because you are listening to a conversation among dead businesses." -- Eben Moglen

  2. #2
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix iSight in Hardy

    I got no problem at all, I just followed the basic instructions and it worked instantly.

    I own a MB C2D 2nd gen. Is this a problem with newer machines?

  3. #3
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix iSight in Hardy

    I'm using a first-gen MacBook (1,1)

    This howto is in response to the following two bugs:
    https://bugs.launchpad.net/mactel-support/+bug/185634
    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...24/+bug/216310
    "This would make more difference if it made any difference at all; but it doesn't make any difference at all, because you are listening to a conversation among dead businesses." -- Eben Moglen

  4. #4
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix iSight in Hardy

    Quote Originally Posted by benanzo View Post
    Now we need to mess with the uvcvideo module so it will create a valid video chain when it's loaded.

    To do this we need to compile a new version of uvcvideo.
    As far as I know, the version of uvcvideo in Hardy was working fine. (It is still working for me...) I think this might only affect certain models.

    Also, going to try to get Dirk to replace the old iSight How-To in the FAQ.
    Last edited by cyberdork33; April 24th, 2008 at 03:40 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix iSight in Hardy

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberdork33 View Post
    As far as I know, the version of uvcvideo in Hardy was working fine. (It is still working for me...) I think this might only affect certain models
    That may be true since my iSight was working fine circa Alpha 3 but has stopped in Hardy final. I found that I could only get it to work again by compiling a new uvcvideo in addition to the firmware extraction bit.

    But you're right, compiling a new module *may* not be necessary.
    "This would make more difference if it made any difference at all; but it doesn't make any difference at all, because you are listening to a conversation among dead businesses." -- Eben Moglen

  6. #6
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix iSight in Hardy

    Thanks for the HOWTO.
    One note for those following it, though: You should really try your isight after just the firmware extraction - I followed the whole HOWTO and my isight only worked in ekiga, not in cheese. I then reverted the uvcvideo.ko back to the original one and everything worked fine.

  7. #7
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix iSight in Hardy

    Quote Originally Posted by exoticorn View Post
    Thanks for the HOWTO.
    One note for those following it, though: You should really try your isight after just the firmware extraction - I followed the whole HOWTO and my isight only worked in ekiga, not in cheese. I then reverted the uvcvideo.ko back to the original one and everything worked fine.
    Good suggestion, I have updated the howto accordingly.
    "This would make more difference if it made any difference at all; but it doesn't make any difference at all, because you are listening to a conversation among dead businesses." -- Eben Moglen

  8. #8
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix iSight in Hardy

    I have edited source.list file as it was said in 1st step of howto. I follow steps and when I do 3rd code box, here's what happens:

    Code:
    ugljesha@blackbox:~$ sudo ift-extract -a /lib/firmware/AppleUSBVideoSupport -f /lib/firmware/isight.fw 
    ** Message: Found Mac OS X.4 intel driver
    
    ** ERROR **: Unable to open /lib/firmware/lib/firmware/isight.fw for writing.
    aborting...
    Aborted
    Where's the problem?
    Macbook owner. Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron & Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger user.
    Life is a big char, so just sit & enjoy.
    #include <brain.h>

  9. #9
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix iSight in Hardy

    Quote Originally Posted by guj4_n3b3sk4 View Post
    I have edited source.list file as it was said in 1st step of howto. I follow steps and when I do 3rd code box, here's what happens:

    Code:
    ugljesha@blackbox:~$ sudo ift-extract -a /lib/firmware/AppleUSBVideoSupport -f /lib/firmware/isight.fw 
    ** Message: Found Mac OS X.4 intel driver
    
    ** ERROR **: Unable to open /lib/firmware/lib/firmware/isight.fw for writing.
    aborting...
    Aborted
    Where's the problem?
    Same here

    mabovo@macbook:~$ sudo ift-extract -a /lib/firmware/AppleUSBVideoSupport -f /lib/firmware/isight.fw
    ** Message: Found Mac OS X.4 intel driver

    ** ERROR **: Unable to open /lib/firmware/lib/firmware/isight.fw for writing.
    aborting...
    Cancelado
    mabovo@macbook:~$

    Also running gstreamer-properties I got this:

    mabovo@macbook:~$ gstreamer-properties
    gstreamer-properties-Message: Skipping unavailable plugin 'artsdsink'
    gstreamer-properties-Message: Skipping unavailable plugin 'v4lmjpegsrc'
    gstreamer-properties-Message: Skipping unavailable plugin 'qcamsrc'
    gstreamer-properties-Message: Skipping unavailable plugin 'esdmon'
    mabovo@macbook:~$

    - Not supported std output video device for autovideosink channel
    - None device found std input video for v4l2 plugin

    Do we need still blacklist isight_usb in Hardy ?

    Can we set iSight be loaded with udev instead of hal ?
    Last edited by mabovo; April 25th, 2008 at 01:53 PM. Reason: To complement information

  10. #10
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix iSight in Hardy

    Quote Originally Posted by mabovo View Post
    Same here

    mabovo@macbook:~$ sudo ift-extract -a /lib/firmware/AppleUSBVideoSupport -f /lib/firmware/isight.fw
    ** Message: Found Mac OS X.4 intel driver

    ** ERROR **: Unable to open /lib/firmware/lib/firmware/isight.fw for writing.
    aborting...
    Cancelado
    mabovo@macbook:~$
    Try running the command without the last part:
    Code:
    sudo ift-extract -a /lib/firmware/AppleUSBVideoSupport
    Quote Originally Posted by mabovo View Post
    Do we need still blacklist isight_usb in Hardy ?
    I don't think it even exists

    Quote Originally Posted by mabovo View Post
    Can we set iSight be loaded with udev instead of hal ?
    The IFT dev said that there is a switch or something to force the use of udev, but as you know, there are problems using udev to do it. It should use hal.

    mabovo, you have already done this part anyway... All you need to do is compile the newer uvcvideo module

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