Acer Aspire 9303 WMSi Webcam – Ubuntu

UPDATE (30/04/08): This web camera is now supported natively in Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron), and above, which makes these instructions moot.

I have an Acer Aspire 9300 ( 9303WSMi ) and I’ve finally managed to get the webcam working under Ubuntu with one caveat. The webcam in my Acer is also a USB2.0 WebCam. To confirm that you have the same webcam as I do type


and look for one of the following

ID 5986:0100
ID 5986:0102
ID 5986:0200

Currently this webcam is supported by the Linux UVC driver however, and here is the caveat, it only supports V4L2 interface and most software which supports webcams only support V4L interface. Those which do support V4L2 don’t seem to support MJPEG decoding which is required by this webcam.

To test if the webcam is working. Open a Terminal and type in the following …

sudo apt-get install build-essential libsdl1.2-dev libpt-plugins-v4l2 subversion
svn checkout svn://
cd trunk
sudo modprobe -r uvcvideo
sudo make install
sudo modprobe uvcvideo
cd ..
tar -zxvf luvcview-20070512.tar.gz
cd luvcview-20070512/

All things going to plan the green light on the webcam will come on and a small window should open with a live preview.

  • Different Wbecams have different video formats, e.g. the webcam in my Acer uses MJPG which is the default for luvcview. You could try to query valid video formats with

    luvcview -L

    Then try the different modes

    luvcview -f jpg -d /dev/video0
    luvcview -f uyvy -d /dev/video0
    luvcview -f yuv -d /dev/video0

    Sometimes you need to reload the UVC driver between tries …

    sudo rmmod uvcvideo
    sudo modprobe -i uvcvideo

  • Rob

    I followed your instructions on my Lenovo Y510, but I get the following error when running luvcview

    luvcview version 0.2.1
    Video driver: x11
    A window manager is available
    video /dev/video0
    Unable to set format: 16.
    Init v4L2 failed !! exit fatal

    Any thoughts?