I’ve had a webcam serving live images using WebCam2000 running on my Macbook. I recently bought a new webcam, a Creative Live! Cam Chat HD (it was cheaper, $25, when I bought it August 2012). The previous webcam I was using, a Vivicam 3350B (I bought it on Woot! for $8.50 in 2005), didn’t have a Windows 7 driver and I was using Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC – it was a little cumbersome.
When the Raspberry Pi was released, I thought it would be a great webcam server. I ordered one from Allied Electronics last July, but they never had stock. When Adafruit started selling them, I bought one.
After I acquired a compatible USB keyboard and dug up an Intellimouse Explorer 3.0, I started out with the 2012-09-18-wheezy-raspbian image. Googling found a Romanian site, BobTech, with an excellent tutorial for setting up a Raspberry Pi streaming webcam (English Google translation). Basically, the instructions just worked.
Later, I bought an Edimax EW-7811Un USB Adapter and with the current 2012-10-28-wheezy-raspbian image, WiFi was even easier to setup. The only change I made in the network setup was to give the Raspberry Pi a static IP address so I could find it. I edited wlan0 section in /etc/network/interfaces:
iface wlan0 inet static
I made a change to have MJPG-streamer serve a single image instead of a stream. Instead of using http://raspberrypi:8080/?action=stream, I used http://raspberrypi:8080/?action=snapshot. I use a script to reload the page every 10 seconds. In mjpg-streamer.sh, I set FRAME_RATE=”10″ You really don’t see much action unless it’s windy.
Once the Raspberry Pi was setup, I used puTTY to connect to it, so I can start mjpg-streamer and do other things without having the Raspberry Pi connected to a monitor.