So you installed Linux Mint in a Macbook 4,1 (or older version) and found out that the iSight webcam does not work. Hmmm… but you want to use your Mac’s iSight under Linux Mint, right?

Owners of these Macbook have been left in the dark running an old and unsupported OS X version even though Apple sold this machine up until February 2012. There is no doubt Linux Mint is a good choice to stay up to date if you don’t rely on old and unsupported Mac OS X specific applications any longer. So, let’s follow few easy steps to get the iSight webcam working under Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela.

First, we need a copy of the AppleUSBVideoSupport firmware file from a running Mac OSX 10.6.x installation. In your Mac, the file can be found at /System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBFamily.kext/Contents/Plugins/AppleUSBVideoSupport.kext/Contents/MacOS/AppleUSBVideoSupport, alternatively you can download it from here.

Extract the the file (by default should be in your Downloads folder).

extracted-file

Launch Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) to complete the process:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install isight-firmware-tools

 

firmware-install

 

During the program installation it will prompt you for the location of the firmware file. Enter the correct file path; that should be /home/$USER/Downloads/AppleUSBVideoSupport if the firmware is located in the Downloads folder.

firmware-location

A ‘successful firmware extraction’ prompt will show up next:

firmware-extracted-successfully

Back in Terminal, reboot your machine:

$ sudo reboot

If during the firmware extraction process you typed the wrong path to the firmware file and the extraction failed, you will need to uninstall isight-firmware-tools and repeat the process. For example, in Terminal:

$ sudo apt-get remove --purge isight-firmware-tools
$ sudo apt-get install isight-firmware-tools

… and follow the program installation prompts once again.

After rebooting, test your iSight webcam with Cheese, a webcam application that supports image and video capture. It can be installed from Software Manager or from Terminal by issuing the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install cheese

cheese-webcam-app

Have fun!

 

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