Using a Minolta Dimage 5 camera under Linux
ArticleCategory: [Choose a category, do not translate
AuthorImage:[Here we need a little image from you]
TranslationInfo:[Author + translation history. mailto: or
original in en Guido
AboutTheAuthor:[A small biography about the author]
Guido loves Linux not only because it is fun to discover the
great possibilities of this systems but also because of the people
involved in its design.
Abstract:[Here you write a little summary]
Recently I decided to buy a new digital camera. As usual I looked
for cameras supported by Linux first. I never buy any hardware
unless it is supported by Linux. I generally recommend that
strategy to everybody, even if they still have another operating
system installed. It gives you more freedom and flexibility. You
will not need to buy new hardware when one day you decide to work
only with Linux. www.gphoto.org provided the answer: Yes, Minolta
Dimage 5, one of the cameras that I had in mind, was fully
I bought the Dimage 5 and wanted to get the images out off the
camera into the computer but surprise, surprise: All Linux sites
talking about Dimage 5 said it would work with Linux but I could
not find a single word on how to get it working @!?%!
That was the moment I decided that I will write a short article
about Linux and Minolta Dimage.
ArticleIllustration:[This is the title picture for your
ArticleBody:[The article body]
The Dimage 5 camera works perfectly under Linux but to get there
you need to configure the usb-storage system. Specifically you need
to re-compile the kernel.
I will concentrate in this very short article only on the
configuration and installation part. I will not explain how to
view, edit or archive digital images.
The Dimage 5 and Dimage 7 cameras use the USB mass storage system.
That means they look from Linux point of view like a hard disk. You
can copy, move, remove images with any file manager (e.g konqueror)
or with shell commands. In other words you do not need anything
special to retrieve the images. You only need to convince Linux to
"talk" to your camera.
Step by step
I have used Kernel 2.4.17 for this article other 2.4.x kernels will
probably work as well but 2.2.x will not work since the usb mass
storage system has not been ported back to 2.2.x.
Edit the file unusual_devs.h from
/usr/src/linux/drivers/usb/storage/ and add the following 2
UNUSUAL_DEV( 0x0686, 0x4008, 0x0001, 0x0001,
US_SC_SCSI, US_PR_BULK, NULL, US_FL_START_STOP ),
UNUSUAL_DEV( 0x0686, 0x4006, 0x0001, 0x0001,
US_SC_SCSI, US_PR_BULK, NULL, US_FL_START_STOP ),
That was the hardest part! The rest is straight forward. I
informed the maintainer of the file about these entries. Hopefully
some future kernel version will have those lines included.
Now recompile the kernel and make sure that you have selected the
following options in addition to the things that you need normally
for you hardware.
# General setup
You can check for these options in the file /usr/src/linux/.config.
I don't think that you really need the CONFIG_USB_STORAGE_DATAFAB,
CONFIG_USB_STORAGE_DPCM, CONFIG_USB_STORAGE_SDDR09 and
CONFIG_USB_STORAGE_JUMPSHOT options but these are some flash card
reader devices and it might be good to have them when you own a
# SCSI support
# File systems
# USB support
# USB Controllers
# USB Device Class drivers
SCSI support is needed because the usb-storage will appear to the
user as a SCSI disk.
Now compile and install the kernel. There is a lot of
documentation on how to compile a kernel (Kernel-HOWTO from
www.linuxdoc.org or this Linuxfocus
article) I will therefore not explain any details. Basically
you need to do the following:
#create links in /usr/include for:
scsi -> ../src/linux/include/scsi
asm -> ../src/linux/include/asm-i386
linux -> ../src/linux/include/linux
cp /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/boot/zbImage /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.17
cp /usr/src/linux/System.map /boot/System.map-2.4.17
cp /boot/System.map-2.4.17 /boot/System.map
cp /usr/src/linux/.config /boot/Config-2.4.17
# run lilo (or grub if you use it)
#reboot the computer
Thanks to Seth W. Klein for pointing out that it
is no longer best to make symlinks from /usr/include.
For a detailed explanation see this mail from
Connecting the camera
Connect the camera and setup the usb connection. This is described
in the manual that comes with the camera.
Check with the command /sbin/lsmod that you have the modules
usb-storage and usb-uhci (or usb-ohci) loaded. Otherwise load them
Open the file /proc/bus/usb/devices and check that you see and
entry for the camera:
T: Bus=01 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#= 3
Spd=12 MxCh= 0
The usb proc file system with the above devices file is usually
automatically mounted but if this is not the case then mount it
manually with the following command:
D: Ver= 1.00 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS= 8 #Cfgs= 1
P: Vendor=0686 ProdID=4008 Rev= 0.01
S: Manufacturer=MINOLTA DIMAGE CAMERA
S: Product=DIMAGE CAMERA
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=40 MxPwr= 0mA
I: If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=06 Prot=50
E: Ad=03(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 16 Ivl= 0ms
mount -t usbdevfs /proc/bus/usb
For those who are curious what the numbers on the driver line in
the devices file mean a short explanation. The camera tell the
computer what kind of protocol it speaks:
Cls=08(stor.) -> Class usb storage
The camera will appear as SCSI disk. If you have already some other
SCSI disk then it will be /dev/sdb1 otherwise it is /dev/sda1. With
fdisk you can check where the disk is:
Sub=06 -> USB sub class 06= transparent SCSI =US_SC_SCSI (see
protocol.h from kernel sources)
Prot=50 -> protocol usb bulk transfer only =US_PR_BULK (see
transport.h from kernel sources)
fdisk -l /dev/sda
Add the following line to /etc/fstab:
Disk /dev/sda: 4 heads, 32 sectors, 244 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 128 * 512 bytes
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 245 15664 1 FAT12
vfat rw,noauto,user 0 0
Create the directory /mnt/camera0 and make it world writable:
This setup will allow any user to mount and unmount the camera
without switching to root. (Note that chmod 777 /mnt/camera0 and chmod 666
/dev/sda1 are not needed if your mount command has the s-bit for root set,
file permissions of /sbin/mount -rwsr-xr-x, if the s-bit is set then the
user option in /etc/fstab is sufficient.)
chmod 777 /mnt/camera0
chmod 666 /dev/sda1
Getting the pictures
We are ready with setup and configuration. Now type:
and get your pictures from the directory tree below /mnt/camera0!
A word of warning: Never disconnect the camera without unmounting
it first (umount /mnt/camera0). It can lockup your computer.
I have written a small script to automatically retrieve all images
from the CompactFlash card on the camera. This script also
automatically mounts and unmounts the camera. That way you will
never unplug the camera and forget to unmount it. I called the
Save this file as cfimageget and make it executable with
chmod 755 cfimageget. To copy all images to the current directory
(".") simply run
About the camera
Perhaps you intend to buy a Minolta Dimage and you are interested
in my experience with this camera?
Generally I can say that this is a very good camera and in many
aspects it has exceeded my expectations. It interoperates perfectly
with Linux once you have gone through the configuration and Kernel
You can get technical specifications about the camera at www.dimage.minolta.com.
The camera has, like many digital cameras, one big problem. It eats
batteries. I did some measurements: With only the electronic view
finder on it needs about 0.6 Ampere at 6 Volts. When it is about to
autofocus and with the little monitor on it consumes in average 1
Ampere. This is 1 Ampere average! With a peak current consumption
of up to 3 Ampere. With 4 little AA NiMh batteries (1600 mAh) the
camera will operate for about 1 to 1.5 hours if you keep it on and
use it. Minolta claims that you can shoot about 200 photos with one
set of batteries. I personally think that you have to shoot these
200 photos rather quickly otherwise you will run out of battery.
This is because it does not make a big difference if you actually
take a picture or not. What counts is how long the camera is on.