Posts tagged kernel

Enabling webcam support for kernel (Karmic)


I refer to my previous post about Karmic’s kernel not detecting webcam by default. To enable this feature, you’ll have to make changes to the kernel configuration before actually installing. However, don’t worry if you have already compiled the kernel; it’s still possible to re-configure and re-compile the kernel with the new settings you’re about to see.

Follow the steps in my previous post. But when you get to the configuration step, i.e.

make menuconfig

make gconfig

make kconfig

you’ll need to go Device drivers > Multimedia support > Video capture adapters > V4L USB devices and enable support for the corresponding webcam. Since I owned a Logitech Quickcam, the support that I had to enable was the GSPCA options (all SPCAXXX USB Camera Drivers). However, I read somewhere that SPCA561 support is sufficient. The following is the output of `lsusb | grep -i quickcam` on my machine.

Bus 001 Device 005: ID 046d:09c1 Logitech, Inc. QuickCam Deluxe for Notebooks

Screenshot of the config option after enabling webcam support.


Then, just do the rest of the kernel setup and you’ll end up with a kernel image with webcam support. Good luck!

Slapping in Karmic’s kernel into Jaunty, flawlessly


Warning: Jaunty might no longer detect your webcam after the installation. That was what happened to me. If you’re a heavy webcam user and can’t give up video chatting in Skype or Empathy, you can safely skip this post.

Here’s the latest hybrid I’ve done. If for one reason or another you’re still refusing to upgrade to Karmic, you might be interested in splicing in Karmic’s kernel ( into Jaunty. I’ve tried it and worked flawlessly, but the performance boosts can rival that of Karmic.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Click this link and download the full version of Karmic’s kernel. It should be in .tar.bz2 extension. At the time of writing, the latest stable version is and that was what I tried out in Jaunty. You’re free to try later ones if you wish.
  2. Place it somewhere in your directory and untar it with the following command:

    tar xjvf linux- -C /usr/src

    This will unpack the file into your /usr/src folder as linux- folder.

  3. Depending on your machine, you might need to install additional libraries before you can proceed. In my case, I needed the GCC compiler and three additional development packages as follows:

    sudo apt-get install gcc libgtk2.0-dev libglib2.0-dev libglade2-dev

  4. cd into linux- folder and the first command if you’re running GNOME, or the second one if KDE.

    make gconfig
    make xconfig

    The above commands serve as configuration tools if you’re interested in adjusting kernel’ options (over 1,000!). Otherwise you can skip this step.

  5. Compile the kernel image. This is the fun part, as it may take hours, so make time!


  6. Compile the kernel modules. Hopefully this should only take seconds.

    make modules

  7. Install the kernel modules as sudo.

    sudo make modules_install

  8. Install the kernel itself.

    make install

  9. After the above step, you should be able to find three files in your /boot directory:, config-, vmlinuz-
  10. You now need to create an initrd kernel image to boot Jaunty with. This can easily be done by issuing the following command in your /boot directory.

    sudo mkinitramfs -o initrd.img-

    In case you’re wondering why the command is called mkinitramfs instead of mkinitrd, the latter has been deprecated, so don’t use the old one.

  11. That should take care of the kernel installation. As a last step, you’ll need to modify your GRUB menu to point to the new kernel image.

    sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

  12. Add the following lines into the file.

    title Ubuntu 9.04, kernel
    uuid zzzzzzzzz
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz- root=UUID=zzzzzzzzz ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-

    Make you sure replace zzzzzzzzz with your uuid that you can find in the file.

  13. Once that’s done, reboot the system. Find the kernel image in the GRUB menu and boot into it. Enjoy!
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