VirtualBox and Webcams

Discussions related to using VirtualBox on Solaris hosts.

VirtualBox and Webcams

Postby benf » 15. Mar 2016, 03:02

Hi,

I started to experiment with Webcam on Openindiana hosts both running Virtualbox 5.16 (matching ext pack) and the same MS Windows 7 VM with matching guest additions.

I didn't try on other type of hosts (Windows or Linux), but the "lost in translation" framerate is quite noticeable especially compared to VMware VMPlayer (Linux or Windows 7 hosts), so I'll trust anyone saying it is on par but the Webcam is framerate is excellent on cheese.

Here is the two things I noticed,
When I grab the Webcam on VirtualBox (using the Devices/Webcam menu), I loose the embedded microphone and don't have access to this sound source any more. Is it supposed to be this way ? Is there a way to get that embedded microphone in the guest ? Is it related to the Solaris/Openindiana sound architecture ?

Second thing :
- in OpenIndiana 151a9, I can see USB devices including the Webcam in the Devices/USB menu
- in OpenIndiana hipster, I have no usb devices populating the Devices/USB menu as a regular user (it works as root, I can see keyboard, mouse, ...)

And finally, should I use the Webcam feature or the USB capture feature to get the best framerate knowing that I would like to get that microphone as well ?

Best regards.
Ben
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Re: VirtualBox and Webcams

Postby michaln » 15. Mar 2016, 14:32

Guest Additions won't help, or not directly. What will help is the extension pack and USB 3.0 (xHCI) emulation. Since your guest OS is many years old and predates USB 3.0, you'll also have to download and install Intel xHCI drivers (for 7 Series chipsets) in the VM.
michaln
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Re: VirtualBox and Webcams

Postby benf » 15. Mar 2016, 23:03

I understand how USB3 is going to help (more bandwidth, thought with virtualisation in mind) but if Solaris 11.3 started to support USB3, Openindiana doesn't.
Actually USB3 is disable is the BIOS to insure I don't have and USB related glitches.

Nevertheless, the thing that I tried which had an fantastic impact to the framerate is to set USB emulation for the to USB3 and install the drivers as you told me and.. woaaah. So indeed, whether the host support USB3 or not, USB3 emulation + proper drivers in guest makes a difference.

Thank you.
Ben
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Re: VirtualBox and Webcams

Postby michaln » 16. Mar 2016, 11:00

Glad to hear that!

The thing is that USB 3.0 and xHCI aren't quite the same thing. For USB 3.0 support, xHCI is required. But xHCI also supports USB 1.x and 2.0. It has completely different architecture than the older USB host controllers and it is far more virtualization friendly.

To make it more explicit: As you found out, to have xHCI emulation running in the guest does not require USB 3.0/xHCI on the host.
michaln
Oracle Corporation
 
Posts: 2841
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Primary OS: MS Windows 7
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Re: VirtualBox and Webcams

Postby harley-peter » 27. Mar 2016, 12:49

Hi Ben,

does the microphone work now?

Peter
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Re: VirtualBox and Webcams

Postby benf » 5. Apr 2016, 23:57

Hi Peter,

No unfortunately the microphone doesn't work when I use the Device/Webcams capture so I use a mic plugged into the mic jack of the host to get the sound in.
I suspect the VirtualBox Webcam device presented in the guest doesn't support this extended feature.
I still have a 1 second latency on the webcam for example when I use skype (because it is the goal).

I don't recall if I tested it using the Device/USB capture, I think I did and it was working but I had other issues like guru meditation in both guest and host, big burst of latency, this kind of things.

I'll try again with USB3 settings to see.

Best regards.
Ben
benf
 
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Joined: 15. Mar 2016, 02:31


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