QCAM 0.2 now available
The third release of my QuickCam driver is now available. As before,
it's available from
The big addition is Paul Chinn's X viewer, now called xqcam. I've also
added support for suid root operation, locking, and a few other things.
See the README (enclosed) more more details.
I also added a new program ("probeqcam") that should automatically
detect QuickCams. It probably *won't* work if you've run an old
version of qcam recently because they didn't reset the camera when they
were done with it. I've fixed that in this version, and the probe code
now works on my system. Please test it for me, because I'd like to add
autoprobing to the rest of the programs before I release this thing to
the general public.
Scott A. Laird | "But this goes to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615"
email@example.com | - Nigel on his new 64-bit computer
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README for qcam 0.2
This is the third alpha-test release of my control program for the
Connectix QuickCam parallel port video camera. It enables you to take
pictures with the camera at 320x240, 160x120, or 80x60 using 4 or 6
bits per pixel. This program may not work with your camera, and could
possibly damage your system if used improperly. Use at your own risk.
New Features since 0.1:
I've included Paul Chinn's X frontend as 'xqcam', and enhanced it a
bit. It supports the same command-line options as the original, plus
a -C flag for using a private colormap and a -v flag for verbose
operation. Right now, verbose mode only adds a running frame rate
Added a TK front end to qcam to make it easier to experiment with
brightness, contrast, and white balance settings.
Added a new program ("probeqcam") to automatically probe for the
QuickCam. Note: This may fail if an old version of "qcam" has
accessed the camera recently. It wouldn't detect my QuickCam until I
unplugged it and then replugged it. I added a qc_reset at the end of
qc_scan, and that seems to have fixed the problem for now. Please
test this on your system and report problems ASAP -- I want to add
autoprobing to libqcam if the port isn't specified otherwise.
Added support for SUID operation.
Added code to library to automatically set the scan mode from
resolution, bit depth.
Added locking to qc_open/qc_close -- hopefully this will prevent
multiple programs from trying to use the same camera at the same time.
qcam [options] [filename]
-x width Set width
-y height Set height
-p port Set port
-B bpp Set bits per pixel
-c val Set contrast
-w val Set white balance
-b val Set brightness
-V Print version
The program returns one image from the camera on standard output in
PGM format. The default resolution is 160x120, and the default port
is 0x378 (LPT1). There are command-line arguments to change these as
well as a configuration file. If your camera is on your first
parallel port (0x378 or /dev/lp1), then your should be able to run the
program with no options and get a picture. If you are unsure which
port your QuickCam is on, run probeqcam as root, and it should tell
This program *must* run as root to allow access to the parallel port.
This program can be run suid root, and should not pose a security
problem. The makefile's install target installs qcam and xqcam into
/usr/local/bin, suid root by default.
Several people have contributed to this, including Paul Chinn, Thomas
Davis, Russell Nelson, and Simon Janes.
I've placed this program under the same copyright the X Consortium
uses. Basically, it's free for any use whatsoever. If this manages
to cause great problems for anyone (?) let me know and I suspect we
can arrange something.
Here's the notice:
Copyright (C) 1996 by Scott Laird
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining
a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the
"Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including
without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to
permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to
the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT.
IN NO EVENT SHALL SCOTT LAIRD BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR
OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE,
ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR
OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
This program has bugs. The known ones should be listed in the BUGS
file that comes with this program. Please send bug reports/fixes to
me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll try to get the bug fixed for the next
The latest version of this program can be found in
There is a mailing list for discussing the QuickCam and Linux at
email@example.com. Send mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list.
January 3, 1996.