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This is Ian Ozsvald's blog (@IanOzsvald), I'm an entrepreneurial geek, a Data Science/ML/NLP/AI consultant, author of O'Reilly's High Performance Python book, co-organiser of PyDataLondon, a Pythonista, co-founder of ShowMeDo and also a Londoner. Here's a little more about me.

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20 June 2009 - 14:54Running Skype on Ubuntu + QuickCam Pro 9000

I use Skype on my Win desktop and MacBook as a matter of course now, I rather like to use the video feed via the MacBook when co-working with my team on our screencasts.

Since the desktop box usually runs Ubuntu 9.04, I wanted to try my new QuickCam Pro 9000.  The short story is – it works.  I had to faff for 15 minutes figuring out the right config for Skype, the winning combo with my old Audigy 2 ZS sound-card was:

  • Sound In: QuickCam Pro 9000 (hw:Q9000,0)
  • Sound Out: Audigy 2 ZS [SB0350] (hw:Audigy2,0)
  • Ringing: Audigy 2 ZS [SB0350] (hw:Audigy2,0)

To test that the Quickcam was running first I used ‘lsusb’ to list the recognised USB devices:

ian@NewMESH:~$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 011: ID 046d:0990 Logitech, Inc. QuickCam Pro 9000

and then I ran cheese and had to choose 640×480 to 960×720 to test the video.

My version of the QuickCam 9000 has USB BCD 0x0008 which makes it one of the buggy versions (buggy only for Linux <sigh>), instructions of figuring out if you have one of the fingered models is here.  Thankfully I’ve not seen any bugs yet in an hour’s use of audio and video Skype calls.  The quick command to get the required ‘bcd’ info is:

ian@NewMESH:~$ lsusb -d 046d:0990 -v | grep bcd
  bcdUSB               2.00
  bcdDevice            0.08

I found some notes for Ubuntu Skype along with the Linux Changelog.

Update – on a subsequent boot Skype had forgotten my audio settings and couldn’t find the webcam.  I reset the audio settings (as per above notes), then ran cheese and verified that my webcam was on /dev/video0 (I had to change the resolution before cheese picked up an image though), then I reconfigured Skype and all was well.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

2 Comments | Tags: Ubuntu