Linux Mint 11: Get iSight working on a 27" iMac (11,1 late 2009)

  9 years ago


  •  author has limitied english knowledge
  • 27" imac i5, 11,1, late 2009
  • linux mint 11 installed and running
  • small macosx (10.6.x) partition with snow leopard installed
  • libgcrypt11-dev and libusb-dev installed (you can use synaptic to install these packages)
  • courage to use the command line
  • hint: i use linux mint in the language german; so you have to adapt some commands
  • hint: all commands will be red-bold


  • open firefox and go to
  • on the right side you will find download links. download: isight-firmware-tools-1.6.tar.gz
  • open the application terminal using the linux mint menu
  • in the terminal type:
  • command 1: cd ~/Downloads
  • command 2: mkdir -p Software/SourceCode
  • hint: you are completely free to create another path in order to compile the firmware tools! i like it to compile software within my download folder.
  • command 3: mv isight-firmware-tools-1.6.tar.gz Software/SourceCode
  • command 4: cd ~/Download/Software/SourceCode
  • command 5: tar xzf isight-firmware-tools-1.6.tar.gz
  • command 6: cd isight-firmware-tools-1.6
  • hint: libgcrypt11-dev and libusb-dev must have been installed! without these packages i got error messages during the compile process and the compile process hasen't finished.
  • command 7 (on a single line): ./configure --sysconfdir=/etc && make && sudo make install
  • hint: now you should have the firmware tools in order to extract the apple firmware for the isight camera.
  • hint: the next step is to copy the AppleUSBVideoSupport file (firmware for the built-in isight camera) from the macosx partition to the linux mint 11 download folder:
    • first mount the macosx partition using the gnome file-manager (sorry i don't know the exact name of the gnome file-manager; but i think you know what i mean.). in the left column of the gnome file-manager you should see the macosx partition. right-click it and mount it (in german "einhängen").
    • now go back to the application terminal.
  • command 8 (on a single line): cd /media/MacOSX/System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBVideoSupport.kext/Contents/MacOS/
  • hint: you have to repalce MacOSX with the name you have choosen for your macosx partition.
  • hint: i could have made mistakes in writing the long path, so use the tab-key to auto-complete directory entries of the path.
  • command 9: cp AppleUSBVideoSupport ~/Downloads/
  • command 10: cd ~/Downloads
  • hint: now you can umount the macosx partition. for that use the gnome file-manager. right-click, unmount (in german "aushängen").
  • hint: now we are going to extract the firmware.
  • command 11: sudo ift-extract --apple-driver AppleUSBVideoSupport
  • hint: you will find the extracted driver isight.fw in /lib/firmware.
  • now shutdown your imac and then restart your imac. do not a reboot!
  • finally you have to install software, that can use your built-in isight camera. for that, i used synaptic in order to install cheese.
  • run cheese in order to watch your smiling face.

all credits go to: étienne bersac (maintainer of isight-firmware-tools), the authors of mactelsupportteamappleisight, mredding et al. (members of "ubuntu forums").

kind regards

gmorehouse 5 years ago

What is the file size and the file hash (sha1, sha256 etc) of the AppleUSBVideoSupport file?