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Best Linux Replacement for Logitech Webcam Controller


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#1 cat1092

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 06:40 AM

Topic sums it much up, am looking for an equivalent of Logitech Webcam Controller for a Logitech c920 Pro (1080p), especially the components that catches & records Motion Detection. Not simply a non-stop running setup, that's simply a waste of drive space & need access to motion fast. 

 

The setup will be used while away or when there's company over, to let's say, keep honest folks as such. :)

 

Surely they'll see the webcam on a small tripod & know what's up, just want a non-Windows option to use less resources, more are required to create 1080p motion videos, there'll be another webcam in the room to guard that one, plus the HP dc5800 PC that'll be the controller for this one. Haven't got the HDD installed yet, but here's most of the hardware, should be up to the task. If not, can substitute a more powerful PC, although I don't feel that any Linux will bog down this build, to which I may add a newer low profile GPU later, or before put into use. The Dell Radeon (OEM) 7570 (1GB GDDR5) cards are low profile & needs no extra power, have three in use already. 

 

Spoiler

 

Any suggestions will be highly appreciated! :) 

 

Cat

 

 


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#2 MadmanRB

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:29 AM

QtCam and guvcview are pretty much the only ones i can think of that has functionaslity somewhat for what you need here

 

https://launchpad.net/~qtcam/+archive/ubuntu/xenial

 

https://launchpad.net/~pj-assis/+archive/ubuntu/ppa

Most other webcam apps for linux are very limited in functionality, not too many content creators on linux.


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#3 RecursiveNerd

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 11:00 AM

I think OpenCV would be a decent alternative. It has the ability to do motion tracking as well as saving videos while there is motion detected.

 

You would probably have to be comfortable writing some Python, C++, or Java code in order to get it to work, but it should do the trick.


Edited by RecursiveNerd, 07 December 2017 - 11:01 AM.


#4 cat1092

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 04:23 AM

MadmanRB, thanks for the suggestion, have heard of that one in the past, just haven't tried QtCam, yet will give a shot. :)

 

RecursiveNerd, I also thank you for yours :), while I feel that your alternative may be good, if not great for hardcore (power) Linux users, writing code (or simply installing software using a 'tar.gz' package) stumps me. While I've ran Linux Mint MATE (formerly Gnome or Main edition) since early 2009 & know the basics of install, setup for my needs, to include adding PPA's when needed, am an everyday Home user. Not a power one by any standard. :P

 

It's the same with Windows, which is powerful in it's own respect, most of it's users (like Linux ones) are using at best, 5% of what the OS (or distro) is capable of. Although I feel that as a percentage of it's users, those who has ran Linux for years, if not decades, knows more about their distro than the four pane option, it's simply that all doesn't, nor always needs to. While I've ran Linux Mint for it's security & ease of resources for what will not be too long 9 years, am more of a hardware enthusiast versus a software one, my next all new build coming around 2020 will reflect that. :thumbsup:

 

In the meantime, I'm still open to suggestions, although as of the moment, QtCam will be getting some testing on an install designed for such. One that I don't consider my main install by any means & that has to be imaged more often, because it's been broken on several occasions. :lol:

 

Also, on the hardware that I'll be running the webcam on, since it's older tech, while the CPU was an upper mid class option for it's day, the bottleneck is the max of 8GB DDR2 RAM (every newer gen memory doubles performance). If I were running Logitech Webcam Software & say a timed AV/Malware scan kicks in, the webcam performance will suffer. With Linux Mint, this will be a non-issue & the machine should be well capable of running the needed software. I chose this PC because it's the smallest on hand, has been upgraded CPU wise & will fit nicely in the space that's been allocated for the purpose. While some may argue that the Core2Duo E8600 (3.33GHz) may be a better option because it's faster than the Core2Quad Q9400 (2.66GHz), there's no H/T with neither of these. I feel that four physical cores working less harder will be better than two running wide open & as a result, will also run cooler, an important factor in this size of a PC with proprietary cooling. Fortunately for an OEM PC, has a copper base & tubed heatsink. :)

 

Cat


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#5 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 07:18 AM

@Cat:-

 

Let me get this straight. You want the webcam to only 'kick in' when motion is detected, yes? So, that being the case, you'd need a motion sensor too, I would have thought.....

 

Have a look here:-

 

https://www.howtoforge.com/tutorial/motion-detection-on-linux/

 

May perhaps be of some small use... GuvcView, I'll second; it's quite popular on Pup. 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

Something else you might be interested in; a very small, standalone webcam app, called VideoView...not to be confused with the modern Android app of the same name. It's been around for a very long time, and, in much the same way as an AppImage, it starts by clicking on a single, pre-compiled binary. Runs on everything I've ever tried it in.

 

It originally came from this site, apparently:-

 

http://www.linux-projects.org/

 

.....but many, many years ago. It was written by a guy name of Luca Risolia, using the Fast Light Toolkit library. The original download is long since deleted, but one of the Murga-linux members let me have a copy of it he'd archived. I've uploaded it to my MediaFire a/c, if you're 'curious'.

 

http://www.mediafire.com/file/0mcxd48w876ic0v/VideoView.tar.gz

 

Simply unpack, then click on the pre-compiled 'binary'. You can run this from any location, as it's totally self-contained.

 

zU3zezt.png

 

To run it, click on 'Start Preview'; if you want to record what you're previewing, click the 'Start/stop AVI recording while previewing' radio button. It'll save the recording, in .avi format, to its own small directory. 

 

7bVa1mv.png

 

Couldn't be simpler.....and I guarantee this will work anywhere. And I mean, anywhere.

 

It helps even more to have a uVC-compliant webcam; goes without saying, these days.

 

'Simple' is very often the best. (And ya can't get much simpler than this. Less than 0.5 MB in size.....371k, to be exact!) Like 'Puppy', the best things come in small packages.....  :thumbup2:

 

This might perhaps 'pique' your curiosity, too..... It'll need compiling from source, though, I'm afraid!

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 10 December 2017 - 05:25 PM.

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#6 cat1092

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 04:32 AM

Mike, Thanks for the article link & instructions, looks to be a great find. :)

 

 

 

Let me get this straight. You want the webcam to only 'kick in' when motion is detected, yes?

 

+1! :thumbup2:

 

Unfortunately, as of this time, there's no 'native' Linux support for all of the Logitech functions, however that control panel snapshot above looks similar to that of the controller options, While I could say the heck with it & use the native software, I intend on getting off of Windows once W7 & 8.1 reaches EOL, and therefore better to find my alternatives now, rather in early 2023. :)

 

Plus there'll be less resource usage, won't have to be concerned when an AV/AM scan kicks in using nearly 100% of the CPU's power & throttling any image capture. :P

 

Am awaiting two components to arrive (SSD drive bay & Dell OEM Radeon 7570 low profile, 1GB GDDR5) & will begin to setup the PC, to installing OS's, will be dual booting Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon (for now) & W7. Will have the OS installs on SSD, Linux Mint /home & Windows Data on HDD. probably will give more to /home than usual, to have lots of room to store images. 

 

Actually, this is a compromise (or 'Plan B'). Purchased what I thought to be PC controlled webcam by Samsung, come to find out, requires a smartphone to activate & control, I guess more of this 'smart home' tech, and was caught off guard. Luckily, I downloaded the spec sheet before opening the package, and that's when I realized that (for now) am not ready for that. However, once this current cell phone (the flip type that I loved for years) goes out, will then get a smartphone & purchase a later & improved version of the camera that I returned for a full refund. Which I feel would had been better, as it cost just $30 more than the webcam that I purchased on promo. it actually covers the entire room if placed in the right spot (like a bat in the upper corner of a wall :P). Plus would get instant notification on a smartphone of motion. 

 

That's how some folks monitors those who babysits their kids or elderly parents while away at work or wherever. I may consider one that appears to look like a smoke detector, which can capture many images at once & use a SSD in an enclosure attached to the USB shareport of my router, By then, will likely need another, will be sure that it has at least one USB 3.0 port. My current one has a single USB 2.0, which may do, it's just that the newer is faster, plus routers doesn't tend to last more than 3-4 years for my usage. That will be the backup to the internal SDHC/SDXC card of the camera itself, should someone tamper with the setup. 

 

For now, the old fashioned webcam will (have to) do, and to ensure that if anyone tries to mess with that one, another PC will be running on this side of the room with an older (720p) webcam overlooking the main one. Should I catch someone monkeying around with my security, that person won't be welcome in my home any longer, some folks have sticky fingers. :lol:

 

Thanks for the response, will give both your & MadmanRB ideas a shot, may the best solution win! :thumbsup:

 

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#7 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:18 AM

It doesn't look as though OpenCV would be at all suitable for your purposes, Cat. Going by the releases schedule (and availability) on this page, it appears to be for Windows, Mac and Android only.

 

Linux doesn't even get a look in, I'm afraid. Unless it might be possible to run it under WINE.....an idea that I know would get an immediate 'thumbs-down' from you!  :P

 

The only viable option would appear to be to compile it yourself, from source. How d'you feel about doing that..?

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 12 December 2017 - 10:21 AM.

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#8 RecursiveNerd

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 09:21 AM

OpenCV does support Linux, you just have to build the source yourself - it's just built in a pack for those platforms and makes it easier for developers to reference those.

 

Since Cat is a home user without wanting to do such things, I would agree that OpenCV is not a suitable option for what Cat is looking for.



#9 cat1092

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 03:54 AM

While I agree that being able to compile software to meet one's needs on Linux is great, it's just not my forte. :)

 

I have no issues with installing Ubuntu based distros, to include dual boot, as well as installing pre-compiled software if simple or PPA, and have been running Linux Mint MATE for what'll soon be 9 years. Am also a hardware freak, where I've been performing more work as of late. Because I have a hard time with building software, that also knocked me out of pentesting, was going to require a lot of new learning & because I work for others, don't really have the time to commit to Kali or other such projects. 

 

As soon as my last component arrives, the SSD bay (hopefully by week's end as scheduled), will be ready to setup the PC for the webcam monitoring. The GPU came in yesterday. :)

 

 

 

Unless it might be possible to run it under WINE.....an idea that I know would get an immediate 'thumbs-down' from you!   :P

 

:thumbdown:

 

I don't like WINE on any of my Linux installs, would rather run a fully self-contained Windows VM instead to prevent possible infection of my Linux Mint install. It's been a couple of years back, another member suggested adding 'Pipelight' to view Netflix on Linux, I did so, not realizing that WINE was coming along for the ride, and went ballistic once I seen it was installed. Had to uninstall the app, then went digging through hidden files in the /home partition to delete all elements of WINE leftovers. :P

 

While I don't run many VM's anymore, would if I had to, and I'll eventually get around to doing so in order to try Linux Mint LMDE, which is a fallback distro just in case Ubuntu 'ownership' becomes transferred & no one will be legally able to build the many distros now available. A situation like Red Hat, where the distro is distributed by subscription, would be a devastating blow to the many Ubuntu users, yet with Team Shuttleworth cozying up with Microsoft, anything could happen. That's why Clem, the founder of Linux Mint, added their Debian variant & it's one I need to learn, have heard that 'under the hood', not a lot different from Ubuntu, because it was originally built upon the back of Debian (maybe where the '.deb' installers came from). 

 

 

 

It helps even more to have a uVC-compliant webcam; goes without saying, these days.

 

I'd hope that the Logitech C920 is uVC compliant, it's the top seller of webcam models on Amazon in the US (over 8,500 reviews). Unfortunately, I didn't think to look there & paid $30 more purchasing through Logitech. :(  Oddly, their sales goes through Digital River payment processing, the first time I've seen hardware sold through them, most of what goes through their hands is software of various types, won't be purchasing any more hardware direct from them. Although I did purchase the tripod from Amazon (shown along with webcam below), making the price overall much higher, it looked according to the ad that it was, and there was a place in the box for one, yet wasn't included. In hindsight, I should had returned the package unopened for a full refund & purchased all through Amazon, even with the tripod added, would had saved at least $25. Lesson learned! :P

 

https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Widescreen-Calling-Recording-Desktop/dp/B006JH8T3S?th=1

 

Looking forward to getting this setup and having motion detection Linux style, until I can afford the 'smart cam' setup. Which I'd imagine has some degree of Linux inside, how much is the question. Linux powers the World! :thumbsup:

 

Cat


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#10 mremski

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 07:02 AM

 

While I don't run many VM's anymore, would if I had to, and I'll eventually get around to doing so in order to try Linux Mint LMDE, which is a fallback distro just in case Ubuntu 'ownership' becomes transferred & no one will be legally able to build the many distros now available. A situation like Red Hat, where the distro is distributed by subscription, would be a devastating blow to the many Ubuntu users, yet with Team Shuttleworth cozying up with Microsoft, anything could happen. That's why Clem, the founder of Linux Mint, added their Debian variant & it's one I need to learn, have heard that 'under the hood', not a lot different from Ubuntu, because it was originally built upon the back of Debian (maybe where the '.deb' installers came from). 

 

A bit off topic, but the OP took us there:

I'm not sure RedHat is a subscription:  there is Red Hat Enterprise Linux which is licensed, said license gets you some features not in Fedora or CentOs and access to updates specifically for RHEL.  (Fedora is RedHat bleeding edge, CentOS is RHEL minus licensed features)

Debian is one of the "been around for a while" distributions, yes that's where the Ubuntu ".deb" packages are from (.deb is simply another way to package software, the Debian equivalent of RedHat's RPM).  They have some stricter rules/policy on software license (much like OpenBSD in the BSD world), they have their own views on what makes or breaks a good system (systemd I think is a point of contention).

 

With Linux distributions, one must keep in mind the GPL and how that affects software.  I'm not talking about the goodness or badness of GPL and LGPL, just the fact that they put legal obligations on folks (and companies).  Once something is GPL, it's very hard to make it not GPL;  any version out in the world under GPL is basically going to stay there.

 

Distributions based on other distributions:  if you look closely, the major difference is the default install.  Whats the difference between Ubuntu-Mate, Ubuntu-Gnome, Ubuntu-KDE, Ubuntu-XFCE?  The default look and feel after an install.  Did you know that if you install Ubuntu-Mate and then install the XFCE environment you can wind up with something that looks and feels exactly like Ubuntu-XFCE?

 

Concern is always warranted with respect to commercial entities, but caution and understanding the licenses is key to how much one should be worried.

 

Cozying up to MS:  on the front page of BC there was something about OpenSSH being a native part of Win 10 now.  Does that mean the OpenSSH folks sold out to MS or that MS simply integrated OpenSSH natively (like they did with bash)?  Again the licensing on current Linux distributions doesn't prohibit MS from using the code, it actually restricts what MS can do with it without opening up MS source.  In all honesty, the more Linux or BSD code that MS integrates into Windows, the better Windows will become.


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#11 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 01:05 PM

Cat said:-

 

I'd hope that the Logitech C920 is uVC compliant, it's the top seller of webcam models on Amazon in the US (over 8,500 reviews).

 

 

This page'll probably help. The C920 isn't directly listed here, but that's OK; this page is a 'work in progress', and is constantly being updated. And anyway, you're NOT interested in the specific model no; what you need to know is the hardware ID.

 

Do an

lsusb

and check your chipset ID against those in the list (especially that bunch of Logitechs). I don't care what your specs say on the box or in the owner's manual; if your chipset ID matches any of those in that list, you have a webcam that'll work with the uVC kernel driver module.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 14 December 2017 - 01:06 PM.

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#12 cat1092

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 07:03 AM

Mike, I'll check out that hardware code in the next day or so, the last component (SSD bay) should be here by tomorrow (Saturday), or so the tracking says. :)

 

With the holiday rush, that's not cast into stone, although I can still check the hardware code of the webcam on another Linux Mint install. 

 

mremski, sorry to have diverted a bit from my Topic, maybe a dose of paranoia on my part, although I still believe that learning LMDE would be good for me nonetheless for the experience alone. Plus assuming your statement in regards to an improved Windows happens as a result of W10 Pro users having access to the UNIX subsystem (to include all Linux distros teaming with MS), that'll be good also, as long as that includes better security that'll trickle down to Home users, to include 8.1 (EOL being early 2023). Although it's my hope that the hundreds of millions of W7 & 8.1 consumers who stated a flat & loud NO to W10 Malware in 2015 (Microsoft later admitted they 'crossed the line') will maintain their stance & go Linux, Android or Mac once support is gone for their OS. Am expecting many W7 users to hang on until the EOL of 8.1, if Microsoft thought that the 'XP problem' was huge, they've not seen anything yet, as W7 still is #1 by a wide margin approaching 2.5 years post W10 release & just over 2 years before EOL. :)

 

Still, I believe that Microsoft is using Linux distro maintainers to their advantage, they need Linux far more than the other way around. On the other hand, it can be seen as free advertising for gaining new Linux users, that is, if the subsystem becomes available to Home users & they're aware of the feature. Although don't count on that, no more than Microsoft openly pushed Hyper-V usage beginning with the Windows 8 Pro promo rollout in 2012, nor Boot to VHD with 7 Ultimate in 2009. :(

 

Every percentage point that Windows desktop usage drops, the happier I get! Windows held on to an over 90% desktop market share for years, primarily because of the small Vista usershare in the last part of that reign that MS treated as though dirt, along with the W10 backdoor install scandal. Now they're paying the (well deserved) price for these actions. :thumbsup:

 

All of this stated, as long as my last component arrives as scheduled, hopefully will have a Linux based motion detection setup working & fine tuned in 2-3 days. Being new to me, it'll take some time & who knows, may have to add a PPA of some type. As long as it doesn't involve writing my own code, I can learn new tricks with Linux Mint, have been doing so for what'll soon be 9 years. :)

 

Cat


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#13 pcpunk

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Posted Yesterday, 12:44 PM

Wouldn't it be way easier to use Windows in this case cat, and more likely to get more functions?


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#14 cat1092

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Posted Today, 04:55 AM

Wouldn't it be way easier to use Windows in this case cat, and more likely to get more functions?

 

Yes, it may be, the PC still has a W7 Refurbishers COA affixed that I'll surely activate again. :)

 

Yet it'll also be dual booting with Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon for now, because 18 has no proprietary drivers for the GPU. Add to that, as I stated above (otherwise wouldn't had created Topic :)), one W8.1 reaches EOL, that's it for me & Windows, will keep one PC & one notebook with it for assisting others, otherwise will be a full blown Linux user. So may as well 'bite the bullet' now than in just over 5 years away. 

 

While I've been a primarily Linux Mint MATE user for going on 9 years, am beginning to explore other options, Cinnamon being one, LMDE being more of a priority, yet I have to make do with Mint Cinnamon (or MATE) for now. Just wanted to try Cinnamon again for a feel of the DE look, other than that, not a lot different from MATE, was optimized to be a drop in replacement for Windows 7/8.1 refugees. :lol:

 

So in essence, I could do just as you suggested, yet it would be only kicking the can down the road. And the backup webcam to guard that one on the other side of the room will be powered by W10. It's just that I want the Linux solution & learn how to perform a few things I still use Windows for in the Linux Way. The Free & Better way, don't have to worry over a AV/Malware scan interrupting the video capture every 30 minutes (scans runs every hour spaced 30 minutes in between). When running Windows, scan, scan & scan again are a part of the daily routine, plus one more powerful such as AdwCleaner 2-3x weekly & the bootable Dr Web or other powerful LInux based media weekly (the latter performed less often on secondary machines). That's a lot of work, some may consider unnecessary, yet that's the risk with running Windows, and so far, Linux is still relatively safe & uses far less resources. :)

 

The SSD bay came in yesterday morning, didn't get a lot done because we had company & will again on Tuesday (all day & night through mid next day), plus a huge NFL game today with playoff implications, so am going to have to act fast for that day, or improvise, depending on how far I get with the setup. Am likely going to be using a 1TB WD RE4 which has served me well for years, would had preferred a 500GB of the same model, yet all three are tied up. May bite the bullet & get another, these drives are tough as nails, while also good for SATA-3 machines, perfect for SATA-2 based ones, better than the Caviar Black of those days, there's new pulls available for $50 or less, or may 'pull' one already on hand, two has less than three total months run time in a PC that hasn't been booted in 5-6 weeks (actually my 2nd best). :P

 

The bay fits perfectly, used a broken off trim piece from another PC case to install an optical drive in front of it, fits perfect & looks great. Plus breathable, is mesh black metal with thin sponge, anything to allow filtered air into a SFF PC is great. Will have to explore exhaust options, whichever method used have to be fabricated, no room in rear for a fan. Have also installed an IOcrest brand SATA-3 PCIe x1 card, while I don't expect 500MB/sec reads nor writes on the first SSD purchased way back in 2012 (the 128GB Crucial m4 won't write at more than 300MB/sec on a true SATA-3 PC :P), maybe somewhere in between will happen. Won't know w/out trying, if little to no increase, have a bracket for a regular tower to install in another if the card doesn't work out. 

 

Will keep on shoveling............ :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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