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:
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:

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

Toon 🙂

17 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)

  7. Ricky Says:

    Hey, for some reason it doesn’t work for me

  8. Jim Says:

    Thank You! I have a mid 2007 macbook dual booting Freya 0.32, and Mate 18.04. Worked great in Mate, but I screwed up the path in Freya, Can’t seem to clear it completely when I remove it, because it never asks for the path again? I got a couple more ideas to try, but I just wanted to thank you.

  9. Tim Casey Says:

    Thanks. FYI, this is still a fix in 2020 like it was when first posted in Jun 2010. I’m re-purposing a 2006 MacBook with Linux Mint 19.3. The distribution didn’t have the Apple iSight camera driver. I followed instructions and downloaded the iSight Firmware Tools and it works perfectly now. Very much appreciated,

  10. Memo Says:

    Thanks a lot!
    Work great for me, running Chrunchbang++ on MacBook Black 2.4 early 2007. I downloaded the file and follow the instructions.

  11. Kevin Says:

    This is fantastic. Just got the camera working on a 2009 macbook pro. There are other tutorials out there but this is the best by far.

  12. marten Says:

    I had the same problem as Jim above, I can’t seem to correct the file path. When doing some trouble shooting, I just look for /home/owner/desktop it doesn’t find the directory at all. perhaps my file paths are funky? seems weird though. I’m running ubuntu 16.04 since its only got 1gb of ram, didn’t want to push it with 18. any ideas?

  13. handrizzi Says:

    Hello. I’ve an iMac 4.1 and I’ve downloaded the iSight driver from this page. iSight firmware tools doesn’t run any installer on Lubuntu 18.04.5. Can you help me?. Thanks a lot.

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