USB video drivers

  • Hey,

    due to the CoVID-19 situation people are stuck at home and try to stay in touch using video calls. Due to the large number of online video meeting sites, it's pretty easy to stay in touch; however using your phone/tablet/laptop isn't really ideal for family to family conferences; it's much better to use your TV with a webcam, because there's usually a couch in front of it where the entire family can sit down and talk to the others comfortably.

    So I'll just cut to the chase here; my hacked Chromebox that I use as my HTPC is more than capable of doing video conferences over hangouts or google duo, but I had to install an Ubuntu besides my Libreelec because the camera didn't work on my webcam under Libreelec, only the microphone. Comparing the loaded modules on the 2 systems, it was easy to see that the GSPCA module was missing (I'm using a leftover PS3 cam), so I compiled my own version of Libreelec with the GSPCA driver compiled as a module and voila I can now do video calls from the Libreelec Chrome browser! This is all great, but took me a day to set up the compile environment and get the thing compiled on my NAS and I'd like to avoid doing that for every coming Libreelec release so I decided to ask for it: is it possible to create e.g. an addon with all the usb webcam kernel modules? It will take a few more minutes for you to compile, but would save me & other folks stuck at home from a lot of time recompiling and this is all it takes to allow video conferencing (everything else is given, microphone support & Chrome browser are available).

    If you don't want to do it but you point me in the right direction how to only compile the kernel & additional modules into a package without having the compile the entire thing, I can perhaps do it myself, but so far I wasn't able to figure out how to do that (I don't fully understand how the KERNEL file is put together and where the modules are and if it's possible to replace that separately from SYSTEM).

  • LE is focussed on being an awesome media playback OS for Kodi and we have no ambition to become a general purpose distro that people can use for webcam chats with their family and similar - Covid or no Covid. As a result there is an intentional lack of webcam drivers in the OS, and no plan to change that an add bloat that overall nobody uses (aka the death of a thousand cuts). It's open source though, so if you want to experiement on your own, that's fine with us. You already figured out the easiest way to add a driver. If you wanted to bundle them as an add-on, have a look at how the DVB driver add-ons are handled - lots of prior art in the build-system.