I want to capture a image through webcam in Linux. So I searched on the Internet and found out it's can be done using mplayer or vlc.

Following is the command for capturing image by mplayer and its corresponding error.

[root@localhost ~]# mplayer -vo png -frames 1 tv://

MPlayer SVN-r31628-4.4.4 (C) 2000-2010 MPlayer Team
mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.

Playing tv://.
TV file format detected.
Selected driver: v4l2
 name: Video 4 Linux 2 input
 author: Martin Olschewski <[email protected]>
 comment: first try, more to come ;-)
v4l2: unable to open '/dev/video0': No such file or directory
v4l2: ioctl set mute failed: Bad file descriptor
v4l2: 0 frames successfully processed, 0 frames dropped.

Exiting... (End of file)
[root@localhost ~]# 

Please help me in solving this error. I searched on the net and found out about v4l2, but still can't solve the problem.

[root@localhost ~]# lsusb
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 0e0f:0002 VMware, Inc. Virtual USB Hub
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 0e0f:0003 VMware, Inc. Virtual Mouse
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
[root@localhost ~]# 

I am using Fedora in VMWare Workstation 9. I wonder if that is the problem.

  • On my laptops and desktop I can see my webcam with lsusb. Please paste the output.
    – schaiba
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 19:24
  • @schaiba : I have edited the question. PLz check. Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 19:35
  • 3
    sigh Why wouldn't you think it important to say "Oh yeah, I'm running this through a virtual machine, and I haven't set it up to connect to the web cam yet" IN THE FIRST PLACE? Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 19:39
  • I'm sorry. That's all i can say now. Do you know how to solve this problem. Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 19:50
  • Yeah. Configure your VM to connect the webcam. Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 19:51

2 Answers 2


For capturing images from webcam, I would suggest Cheese.

If Cheese doesn't solve your problem, it will at least help you debug it easily. Cheese does that: capture image from a webcam. You don't have other thousand functions to interfere with this task.

  • 1
    +1 mplayer is a bit low-level for the simple snapshot the OP wants.
    – msw
    Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 2:47
sudo apt-get install fswebcam
fswebcam 000.jpg

then check out

fswebcam --help

It is useful enough that you can write a batch script and just have it run repeatedly to do some security camera things with it

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