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This article Based on work by Myno, andre, mindbender, downlalaway, Thorongil, frontalot, and TcT. Originally by downlalaway at
This is a basic run through of USB devices connecting for Debian on an PPC LinkStation. The USB hard drive is USB 2.0 at 3Mb/s (on a laptop HD). NB. This was based on using the original kernel #990 conversion of the LS 1 and not the Freelink project. It has been updated for use with Freelink 1.11 but requires run-throughs by others to check. USB and hotplug was/is a little flakey on 2.4 kernels in recognising devices. A reboot while the device is in should make things work. The 2.6 debian kernel is highly recommended if hot-swapping of usb devices might occur.

USB Webcam

Update June 2006: Please note the availability of modules and the /dev/ entries depends on quite a few factors -e.g. this was originally written based on the 2.4.17 #990 LS1 kernel which had the modules but no /dev/video entries. The 2.4.17 freelink 1.1.1 has /dev/video entries and kernel modules ov511.o, so may work straight off (but I haven't tried! It may still be flakey with 2.4.17..) As of June 2006, freelink 1.1.1 upgraded to (andre's v28?) has the /dev/video since its freelink 1.1.1 again but has no webcam modules -check by drilling down in /lib/modules/2.6.xx/kernel/drivers/ to see if videodev.ko, ov511.ko or ovcamchip.ko are present. Update July 06: Andre fixed the lost modules in v41pre2 and newer 2.6 upgrades -it should now have most video drivers in the kernel you could wish for and could be plug and play (not sure about /dev/video). Check if the camera has auto-loaded modules using lsmod (mainly), lsusb and/or usbview.

Webcam drivers There are a few types of webcam chip -you may have an ov511 but others may have pre-compiled modules sometime. Find out by plugging into the LS and with lsusb it should tell you in the list of devices. Creative webcams are often ov511, but others: logitech quickcams or Philips could need another driver. See for a full list. NB. Many (practically all?) will now be in the new 2.6 kernel (upgrade v41 & on).

Using udev in future, instead of hotplug, can also be possible -this may mean the /dev/video links are automagically assigned, but I have not attempted this on a Linkstation.

Original instructions (sometimes still be valid): With 2.4.17 webcams were flakey at times to be discovered if not pulled out/plugged in at the 'right time'. Not clear what the 'right' time is. There may not be any USB entries for dev/video depending on freelink package used so I did a:

cd /dev; ./MAKEDEV -v video

This made some. Loading a gui to see something:

apt-get install gqcam

Now when the webcam didn't discover correctly and when typing command gqcam from a terminal it will complain about no /dev/video present or similar. A reboot with camera plugged in usually solves it but the right solution si to upgrade to 2.6 kernel. I also get reversed RG colour with gqcam and changing it back (there's conf file) messes up the brightness. Other apps that might be tried are: 'xcam' -another alternative viewer, and 'motion' - a command line webcam app to be used as a security motion detector (tried on a PC briefly -seems ok). Should be very simple to make a motion detecting security camera with your debian LS.

Enjoy and please carefully comment if it doesn't work or changes needed.

Originally by downlalaway and edited by frontalot, Myno, andre, mindbender, downlalaway, Thorongil and TcT from