Use your Mac’s iSight on Ubuntu

June 11, 2010

There are two possible scenario’s.
1. You are running Ubuntu natively (or via Boot Camp) on your Mac, and you can’t get the iSight to work with Ubuntu.
2. You are running Ubuntu in a virtual machine using VMWare, Parallells, or VirtualBox, and you can’t get the iSight to work with Ubuntu.

both scenario’s are a pain in the ass, AND both scenarios have a really simple solution.

STEP 0. foolproof: if you’re trying to use your iSight in a virtual machine, make sure your vm software links the camera to the virtual machine!

STEP 1. get the AppleUSBVideoSupport file. you can find that file on an existing Mac OSX 10.4 or 10.5 installation at this location:
/System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBVideoSupport.kext/Contents/MacOS/AppleUSBVideoSupport
or you can download it from here. (unzip this first)

STEP 2. Put the AppleUSBVideoSupport file on your Ubuntu Desktop.

STEP 3. Open a terminal window on Ubuntu, and update your repositories:
sudo apt-get update
then install the iSight Firmware Tools like this:
sudo apt-get install isight-firmware-tools

STEP 4. The installer will ask you for the AppleUSBVideoSupport file. give it the right path to that file:
/home/**yourusername**/Desktop/AppleUSBVideoSupport

STEP 5. Reboot or log out and log back in. You can now use your iSight with Ubuntu!

Toon 🙂

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8 Responses to “Use your Mac’s iSight on Ubuntu”


  1. Hey mate – Thanks for this, worked a treat on my macbook under ubuntu. Skype on video now.

  2. Michael Says:

    Thank you, that worked flawlessly! 🙂

  3. 3arn0wl Says:

    I’ve been grateful for this post each time I’ve updated Ubuntu. However, for me at least, the camera doesn’t work in 16.04. Anyone else having a problem? And anyone got a solution?

    There’s no gain control for the internal mics on my MacBook either… Any thoughts on how to sort that out would be welcome to! 😉

    • PJ Veganic Says:

      These instructions worked on my late 2006 macbook running 16.04 but not on my macbook pro 11,2 in 16.04.

  4. steef76 Says:

    I have an old macbook 4.1 2008 running Xubuntu 16.04, and it works flawlessly.
    Many thanx!!!!!!!

  5. Shinakuma Says:

    Work perfectly! Thanks


  6. Thanks, works great at Ubuntu 16 on MacBook5,2 (White)


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