USB 2.0 Astronomy Cameras on Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn)

Blogged by Jonathan Maron on November 29, 2007 and tagged with Software for Linux.

Yesterday, I blogged about using The Imaging Source FireWire astronomy cameras on Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn). Today, I would like run through the same procedure, but with USB 2.0 astronomy cameras.

Step #1: Set up the hardware

Connect a USB 2.0 astronomy cameras to the USB 2.0 port on your computer with a simple USB cable. Please make sure that your PC does indeed have a USB 2.0 port and not the older USB 1.0. If you purchased your PC within the last four years, you will certainly have a USB 2.0 port. The Imaging Source USB 2.0 astronomy cameras do not support USB 1.0, simply because the cameras produce so much data that it is impossible to transfer it all over the slow USB 1.0 interface.

Step #2: Set up the USB 2.0 driver

This is the most complicated step of the whole procedure. We need to download and compile the USB 2.0 driver. First, however, you need to install a compiler and linux headers:

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-generic

Now we have an environment in which the USB 2.0 driver can be compiled.

Delete the shipped USB 2.0 driver:

sudo rm /lib/modules/2.6.20-15-generic/kernel/ubuntu/media/usbvideo/uvcvideo.ko

Change to your source code directory:

cd /usr/src/

And download the USB 2.0 driver source code:

sudo wget

Extract the files:

sudo tar xfzv linux-uvc_trunk_arne.tar.gz

And change directory into the source code tree:

cd linux-uvc_trunk_arne

Compile the code:

sudo make

Install the new USB 2.0 driver:

sudo make install

You now have the latest USB 2.0 driver installed on your PC.

Step #3: Set up the software

The software that is required to use The Imaging Source USB 2.0 astronomy cameras on Ubuntu 7.04 is available from a 3rd party project and released under a General Public License (GPL) and a commercial license.

The project is called unicap and has its own homepage at Maintained by Arne Caspari, the project is sponsored by The Imaging Source.

To access and install the software, you first need to update yoursources.list. This can be done with:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

At the end of the file, add the following two lines:

# The Imaging Source Cameras
deb feisty main

Save and close the file.

Update the repository listing:

sudo apt-get update

And install the video capture application (ucview) with all its dependencies:

sudo apt-get install ucview

A detailed description of these steps can be found on the project's web site.


Now, you can startucview(the capture application) with:


You should see the following application window:

Please post requests for support in the comments section below.


Image in screenshot is copyright Dierick Vercouter.