Connecting a digital camera to Linux

Q I've bought a new digital camera, a Pentax Optio 430 RS. My reasoning was that the old (about five years) Pentax digital of my brother's had connected to my first Linux box (an old P1 233 running RH 7.1) perfectly - all I had to do was something like "modprobe DC200", plug in the USB, switch on the camera and mount it. Foolishly I thought that my new system - Mandrake 9.2, updated almost weekly and running kernel 2.4.22-21 - would have no problems. I've looked at the Pentax website - no reference to Linux. I've Googled, and the only relevant references I can find tell me to upgrade and recompile to kernel 2.4.20 or above". I'm using 2.4.22-21, does that not qualify? I just don't know which way to go now, even the order that one does things in eludes me. I'm not an expert Linux user - I'm a cabinet maker. I use Linux because I hate the Gates concept of continually paying for your computer, and I like free' things. Please could you give me a 1... 2... 3... on how to make this work.

A The problem is likely to be that the camera is simply not recognised by the drivers. Every USB device has two IDs - a manufacturer and a product ID. This is used by the driver subsystem to match a driver to attached devices. Confusingly, sometimes the numbers stay the same across similar devices, and sometimes they change. The most likely reason your camera doesn't work is that your particular model has no pair of magic numbers entered in the USB drivers. Curiously though, your model is listed as working with the USB drivers. Try using usbview (it is included in most distros) to check whether the camera is recognised or not - the ID numbers listed for this device are 0x0a17, 0x0004. If yours are different, it may be a variant not accounted for in the driver. You can find out lots more info on cameras and Linux at http://www.teaser.fr/~hfiguiere/linux/digicam.html.

Follow us on Identi.ca or Twitter

Username:   Password:
Create Account | About TuxRadar