Ramblings of a Coder's Mind

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Getting Sony Vaio VGN-CR35G/R's Ricoh MotionEye USB r5u870 Web Camera working on Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

It’s been a while since my laptop (a Sony Vaio VGN-CR35G/R) has been running Ubuntu and yesterday, I updated my OS to the release candidate for Ubuntu’s latest OS (due to release in 7 days time; 10-10-2010 ;)) 10.10 codenamed Maverick Meerkat. It’s been irritating me for a while that I didn’t have support for the inbuilt web camera for this laptop (which is one of Ricoh’s MotionEye USB cameras; model r5u870).

I had tried looking for drivers a couple of times prior to this but always failed. Finally, I found a package that supports Ricoh’s r5u87x series and the installation couldn’t be simpler. Simply get this one package and you should be set!

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:r5u87x-loader/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install r5u87x
sudo /usr/share/r5u87x/r5u87x-download-firmware.sh

It should be all smooth sailing from there on out. You can go ahead and test your camera on Skype or guvcview. I do suggest you try the latter since it will allow you to play around a bit with some settings :)

Do note that every time you reboot, you would have to reload the firmware into the camera so you should probably make a bash script with the last line in it ;)

<div id="_mcePaste">#!/bin/bash</div>
<div id="_mcePaste">sudo /usr/share/r5u87x/r5u87x-download-firmware.sh</div>

I personally put this script in an executable folder and made this script executable so that I can access it quickly from anywhere. After boot, if I do need my web cam, I simply load this script up, confirm with a “Y” and I’m all ready to use the webcam ;)

This should work on prior versions of Ubuntu as well so feel free to try this out on Ubuntu 10.04 or anything prior to that :) If the web camera on your Sony Vaio is not working, installing the r5u87x package totally seems worth the (rather minimal) effort ;)

Created: 3rd October 2010
Category: Tutorials
Tags: Linux, Ricoh, Ubuntu, WebCamera, r5u87x