Wxcam on eeePC 901-Ubuntu 10.04

Sometime, I don’t understand the software choice made by the Ubuntu team!
We have a good example with the default video recording software Cheese. Maybe, it’s a good tool if you have a laptop or desktop but with the poor cpu included in our netbook (Intel Atom) and the limited memory, that’s not the right choice.
Remember, I used previously WXcam (see jaunty-jackalope-ubuntu-remix-904-on-eeepc-901). It’s a small tool which makes the same job than Cheese but with less resources.

So, what is the problem, I only have to remove Cheese and install WXcam?
Well, not exactly because Ubuntu not more provides .DEB of this soft.

Again, it’s not a problem, I can go to the official website (http://wxcam.sourceforge.net/) and download the .DEB available there!
So, I went there, downloaded the package and tried to install it on my eeePC 901 witht the new Ubuntu 10.04. But unfortunately during the installation, a lot of required dependencies were not installable!

The final solution to get WXcam on my netbook is to compile it by myself.
And to be honest, it’s not a hard job!

Follow this few steps to achieve the compilation:

1. download the WXcam sources: go to http://sourceforge.net/projects/wxcam/files/ and click on wxcam-1.0.5.tar.gz

2. open a terminal, go to your download folder and uncompress the file:
 tar zxvf wxcam-1.0.5.tar.gz

3. install the packages needed for the compilation:
 sudo apt-get install libwxgtk2.8-dev intltool libmjpegtools-dev cimg-dev libxvidcore-dev

4. go to the WXcam sources folder and run the configuration file:
 cd wxcam-1.0.5
Normally, that should be alright and none error returned.

5. Now it’s time to compile the soft by this simple command:

6. After few minutes, the compilation will be finished and you’ll be able to test WXcam without install it:

7. If all is ok here, you can install the soft to your system:
 sudo make install
8. WXcam is available in the “Sound & Video” tab. In some cases, you need to restart X to see the change. Click on the logout button for that.

Now, you have to configure WXcam.
Run the soft by clicking on the “Webcam Application” icon, open the Settings menu and finally choose the Preferences entry.
In the 1st tab “Global“, your camera is already selected, in my case /dev/video0.
The file format is YUYV and the driver Video4Linux2.
In the 2nd “Files“, choose the 2 folders to save the snapshot and the video files.
In the 3rd “Video“, choose xvid with a quality compression to 50 and the audio device: /dev/dsp (in my case). 
I don’t very well understood the “Add silence for synchronisation reason” and let the default setting to 20.
Press the OK button.

Now, I found a big bug with the camera resolution which is impossible to fix by the settings menu (“Frame size” entry).
I managed to fix this point by manually editing the configuration file located on your home folder (in a terminal):
 nano ~/.wxcam
Find the parameter “Resolution” and change it to: “640×480

That’s it, now you got a light solution to record movie with your netbook.
Note: I also compiled WXcam in Ubuntu 9.10 with the same steps.

5 thoughts on “Wxcam on eeePC 901-Ubuntu 10.04

  1. Hello Marco, thanks for your reply and the new version of WXcam. I’ve just compiled it on the eeePC and it works like a charm.

  2. Thanks for sharing this info, helped me to get it working on Ubuntu 10.04 on amd64 architecture, just needed to add g++ package and for strange reason a reboot was required before make would work successfully as it complained about libtool, message was quote ‘libtool: link: unsupported hardcode properties’ unquote.

  3. I really needed this tutorial. Cheese hogs all of the resource and is an unnecessary burden on not so heavily packed machines.

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