Send in your ideas. Deadline October 1, 2024
Theme fund: NGI Zero Core
Start: 2023-12
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Operating Systems

Proper Webcam support in Qemu

Better virtualisation of camera interfaces

QEMU is one of the most popular open source machine emulators and virtualizers. It supports a wide range of architectures and is capable of emulating many types of hardware devices. Many people rely on QEMU to run alternative operating systems or even as a secure development environment.

Sometimes it is necessary to pass camera devices to the QEMU guest and make them available to the system. While it is possible to pass cameras using the generic QEMU USB host emulator, this only works with USB cameras and only makes them available to that single QEMU guest. However, many modern systems move away from USB cameras and provide other interfaces for the camera, and thus cannot be passed through.

Our solution is to use the operating system's video API instead to make the video device available. We will focus on providing proper support for the Video4Linux API to emulate a USB video device so that it works with the already existing OS drivers. With proper integration of a camera subsystem, this opens the door to supporting more camera APIs and even extending paravirtualized VirtIO devices in the future to improve video quality for next generation video devices.

Run by 9elements GmbH

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This project was funded through the NGI0 Core Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 101092990.