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4/11/2011

Webcam on Virtualbox on Mint

 I have been struggling on making my webcam(s) works on Virtualbox 4.0 for the whole weekends.

The situation is this, I have to use Cisco WebEx to teleconference with my friends, but it only works for Windows and Mac. Inevitably I feel, I need to use Virtualbox with Windows XP as a guest OS in order to use WebEx.

This solution has been working OK for a long time. Since I am not in need of showing my face on the program, I can just use headphone and microphone. Unfortunately, I got a requirement to show my face on WebEx, and I has been frustrating since then.

Apart from all the solutions that I found on making a webcam works on Ubuntu (it's already working on my Mint 10) and make Virtualbox detects it (VBox already detected it), Here is the symptom and solution:

Some webcams use USB2.0  (and strictly 2.0) At least 3 webcams of mine do. I have a built-in webcam from my Dell m1330 (Creative Labtop Integrated webcam), VGear(RX-7), and Logitech C310 which I just bought this morning.  Each of them has different symptom, but the common symptom is whenever I plug any of them in, it shuts my Windows XP Virtualbox I currently running off! I don't even have a chance to do anything with it.

Here's come the solution.  In Virtualbox, by default, it doesn't allow you to use USB2.0. If I click on USB2.0 check box on this picture, I will face a pop up that I can click through, which seems normal until I plug my webcams in and it shuts off.



The trick is, "do what you have been warned". I carefully read the pop-up box and it says ... if you want to use USB2 capability you have to install "VirtualBox Extension Pack". So I go ahead and download the pack , although feeling a bit weird it doesn't come by default. After downloaded it, double click it for installation, restart the VM , or maybe your host computer, and you're set.



Lesson learned, "don't ignore the warning pop-up" , it can cost you your time and your money ( I did buy a new webcam for this T_T )

Lesson learned #2, "Always consult Google before buying any gadget", I found the same model but 40% cheaper on Amazon.com.

Lesson learned #3, ...  Ubuntu , Mint , VirtualBox are AWESOME!!!

Oh, current version of the extension pack, you can download here:
http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.0.4/Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-4.0.4-70112.vbox-extpack

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