I recently created a virtual windows xp with Virtual Box OSE.

The sound and video seem to be working just fine. However, it does not recognize the webcam which I use to video chat with yahoo messenger.

I use Windows to have video chats with my daughters who live in another country. Since I did not want to go back to windows, I decided to try installing windows in a virtual machine.

But when I tried using it yesterday, everything worked perfectly except for the webcam. I was not able to make the webcam work.

I tried to download the drivers for it, but since my laptop is HP Pavilion g4-1287la, Core i3, none of the drivers I tried worked. I got the same error every time I tried to install them, something like: This driver cannot be installed in this machine


Unfortunately, your laptop does not have XP drivers according to HP. So I would recommend that you give cheese a try.

Just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command below.

sudo apt-get install cheese

Or you can install it using the Ubuntu Software Center.


Here are two possible alternatives.

Why not use your laptop's webcam in Ubuntu to video chat?

You have not said anything about what happens when you try to do this. Does it not work? If so, how does it fail? What have you tried to "fix" it?

The other way you might go is not really a solution, but rather a possible temporary workaround.

Install Windows 7 rather Windows XP into your virtual machine. If your webcam does not work immediately after you install Windows 7 then at least you will be able to install HP's Windows 7 drivers for your webcam.

You can install and use Windows 7 for up to 30 days before you will be required to provide a Windows 7 software key. If you intended to use Windows 7 more extensively then this would be a problem. However, if all you want to do is use Windows to video chat, then after 30 days you could simply delete and re-install Windows 7 in your virtual machine.

Note that you should also install the VirtualBox Guest Additions for Windows. You may also need to perform the steps described in the question Takat referenced.

I understand this not a particularly good solution. But it may be "good enough" until you can find a way to use your webcam to video chat directly from Ubuntu.

If HP did not provide you with install media for your laptop which you can use to install Windows 7 to your virtual machine, then another possibility is to download one of the DVD install images for Windows 7 Microsoft makes available via Digital River. See the links below.

Note: As suggested at the end of the second link above, you can obtain the sha-1 hash for the ISO from Microsoft Technet to verify that what you downloaded has not been tampered with and is what Microsoft released.

The (unfortunately tedious) steps to do this are:

  1. Go to Microsoft Technet and click on the on the Sign in link in the upper right hand corner.
  2. If you do not already have one, create a (free) Windows Live ID.
  3. Use the ID you created in (2) to sign in to MS TechNet and view the TechNet Windows 7 (Home Premium) ISO downloads.
  4. Locate the ISO you downloaded and click on details to see the sha-1 hash.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.