Fixing Inverted Skype Video in Linux
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A great anoyance for users of certain models of linux laptop computers is the "upside down webcam." The ASUS K50IN, N73JN, K52F, and others, contain a very nice camera, except for the fact that it was mounted inverted! It was a cost saving measure to simply use an available device and not demand a camera that fits the available space without inversion. For most users, Windows is the default operating system and its webcam driver automatically sets the video right-side up. For Linux users, the default CNF7129 driver does not fix the orientation. An extra software wrapper package is needed along with an extra command to properly load the driver. Otherwise, Skype is close to useless for video calling.

The solution is not difficult and takes only a few minutes to accomplish on most systems. One must download and install the "video for linux" (V4L) packade for 64 or 32 bit systems. Users with more complicated configurations (64 bit systems with 32 bit libraries for Skype or other software) may need to download both versions of video for linux in order to experience consistent performance.

Here are the necessary steps for a Debian Linux / LXDE system:

  • As root, install the video for linux package: apt-get install lib32v4l-0 libv4l-0 v4l-utils
  • Configure the application launcher for Skype to preload the v4l module before starting Skype:
    1. Open /usr/share/applications/skype.desktop
    2. Edit the "Exec" command to read: Exec=LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/ skype
    3. Save and exit the editor.
  • Verify by starting Skype and looking at the video in Options>Video Devices

That\'s all there is to it! Skype should no longer show inverted video from your webcam. Tell your friends you don\'t need to hang upside down from a pull-up bar during video calls, and you still have no intention of putting Windows back on that slick little laptop computer you bought last year.

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