OK, this might be a bit of a long shot... I'm trying to get an Apple iSight camera to work in Linux (Solus Budgie). Not a built-in iSight, but the original 'old school' one, which connects with a Firewire cable.

I've had the iSight connected and working on my Mac through Thunderbolt 2, utilizing a Firewire to Thunderbolt 2 adapter from Apple (I had to switch the original Firewire cable to a different one with a different number of pins).

Now I've built a new computer, which has USB-C. So, I purchased the Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adapter from Apple and connected that to the Firewire to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.

When I connected it to my computer, Solus did not find the camera. Running lsusb shows:

Bus 001 Device 006: ID 05ac:1657 Apple, Inc. 
Device Descriptor:
  bLength                18
  bDescriptorType         1
  bcdUSB               2.01
  bDeviceClass           17 
  bDeviceSubClass         0 
  bDeviceProtocol         0 
  bMaxPacketSize0         8
  idVendor           0x05ac Apple, Inc.
  idProduct          0x1657 
  bcdDevice            3.48
  iManufacturer           1 Apple Inc.
  iProduct                2 Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter
  iSerial                 3 DTN73320164H2YF4Q
  bNumConfigurations      1
  Configuration Descriptor:
    bLength                 9
    bDescriptorType         2
    wTotalLength           18
    bNumInterfaces          1
    bConfigurationValue     1
    iConfiguration          0 
    bmAttributes         0x80
      (Bus Powered)
    MaxPower              100mA
    Interface Descriptor:
      bLength                 9
      bDescriptorType         4
      bInterfaceNumber        0
      bAlternateSetting       0
      bNumEndpoints           0
      bInterfaceClass        17 
      bInterfaceSubClass      0 
      bInterfaceProtocol      0 
      iInterface              0 
Binary Object Store Descriptor:
  bLength                 5
  bDescriptorType        15
  wTotalLength           81
  bNumDeviceCaps          3
FIXME: alloc bigger buffer for device capability descriptors
can't get debug descriptor: Resource temporarily unavailable
Device Status:     0x0000
  (Bus Powered)

So, interestingly, the device found is the adapter. But now I have no clue how I can find out whether the adapter is able to 'talk' to the iSight, or that some sort of driver is required.

I'm aware I'm trying to get some seriously dated kit (2003) to work with two adapters hooked up to each other, but I'm not quite prepared to give it up (also considering the hefty buck Apple charges for the adapter I've just bought...)

Any suggestions of what I can try?

  • 1
    Does connecting it after boot help? Look at additional lines in dmesg after you plug it in. – dirkt Nov 17 '17 at 10:18
  • Good tip, but the output above is what I get when I connect it after boot. When I have it connected at boot, it doesn't show the description, only the manufacturer. I've tried to connect the adapter first and then the iSight, but this does not change the output from lsusb. I'm also wondering: what should I see when it connects? Or is there a different command I could try to probe it? – kasimir Nov 18 '17 at 14:40

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