How to capture a USB video in linux

Written by jason spidle Google
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How to capture a USB video in linux
Linux provides built-in support for capturing video from a USB camera. (Webcam image by Oscar from

Linux support for universal serial bus (USB) video and Web cameras is enabled through the open source USB video device class (UVC) drivers that are included with Linux distributions by default. To capture video from a USB or Web camera, it is necessary to install software that can record and save video files to your computer. The free video-capture program, Cheese, is designed to provide a user interface for recording video and taking pictures from a camera that can be stored on your computer and is available for installation on all Linux distributions.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Launch Terminal by selecting "Applications," "Accessories" and then "Terminal."

  2. 2

    Enter the command "sudo apt-get install cheese" without quotations and then press "Enter." You may be required to enter your administrative password to continue with installation.

  3. 3

    Connect the USB video or Web camera to your computer.

  4. 4

    Launch Cheese by selecting "Applications," "Accessories" and then "Cheese." Cheese will automatically detect connected cameras.

  5. 5

    Click "Video" to initiate the video-capture mode.

  6. 6

    Click "Start Recording" to begin recording your video. Once the video is complete, click "Stop Recording" to save the file to your computer.

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