Have you been to a geek conference lately and noticed the overwhelming number of MacBooks and MacBook Pros in the audience?* When I presented at OSCON this last summer it was by far the most popular piece of hardware to be seen.* Now I don’t want to get into a conversation about Apple or OS X, but I do want to help all you MacBook owners running Ubuntu get your hardware working properly.* This post outlines how to retrieve and extract the required firmware in order to enable your Apple iSight camera on Ubuntu 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex”.
Get the firmware
There are a few ways to get the required firmware.* The first requires that you have an existing OS X installation.* If you’re doing a dual-boot installation you can find the firmware at the following path within your OS X partition:
You might also be able to find the firmware file at this link.. but for possible legal reasons (?) I wouldn’t know anything about that.
Extract the firmware
Once you have the required firmware you’ll need to extract it to your system.* If you’re running Ubuntu 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex” there is a package available that’ll do the extraction for you.* Use the following command to extract and install the firmware:
sudo aptitude install isight-firmware-toolsThis should create a file called “isight.fw".* Once you have this file you can safely remove the package and the AppleUSBVideoSupport file.* Keep the isight.fw file for future installations.* This will let you avoid the firmware extraction in the future.
sudo cp AppleUSBSupportVideo /lib/firmware/
sudo ift-extract -a /lib/firmware/AppleUSBVideoSupport
note: if you are using Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” you can use the isight-firmware-tools package from the intrepid repositories.
Activate the camera
In order for the firmware to activate properly you will need to shut down your MacBook.* Rebooting will not suffice!* Enjoy.
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